Do I need SEO, SEM, Local Search or maybe two or even all three?
That is a great question! Each has its own place in the search engine rankings. For Google, as we will be talking about here, SEO refers to the organic result that Google displays, while SEM refers to the paid listing using Google AdWords, and Local Search refers to the results found within the map area.
Looking at the graphic below from may help:
Red boxes are PAID advertisements from Google Adwords these are called PPC (Pay per Click) Ads.
- Advantages: Can show up on the first page of Google search listings within a hour or less. You also have a fixed budget that Google spends each month. You can start or stop the ads as well increase or decrease your budget at anytime.
- Disadvantages:You have to pay for each time a visitor clicks on your ad. Can be as little as a few cents to several dollars each click depending on many factors. When your budget is up or you cancel your ads they stop appearing within a few minutes. Google Adwords can be difficult to set up properly, there are numerous ways that you can “tune” your Google Adwords account to save you money and increase the quality of leads (visitors) to your website. This is why some people that start a Google Adwords campaign give up after a couple of months. For help with setting up and/or maintaining/changing/improving Google Adwords contact us, it will make a world or a difference.
Black boxes are organic listings on Google. These are the listings you get from SEO’ing your website. You do NOT have to pay for them, each click is free.
- Advantages: Listing is free. Many people view them as more trustworthy than the ads listed above and may have a higher click through rate.
- Disadvantages: Time and effort. Most of the time to get listed on the front page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo there has to be work done. Pages have to be optimized and back links have to be secured. The time period to be listed can be a few months to a year or more depending on the competition for the word or words (keyword phrase) you want to be ranked for.
Blue boxes are listings from Google MyBusiness accounts. In order to take advantage of these placements your need to create a account for Google MyBusiness. We can set your Google MyBusiness page up for you for FREE.
- Advantages: The listing is free. The clicks to your website are free. The listings frequently show up on mobile devices especially if the user is near your business. It displays more information that a typical organic listing including phone number, address and reviews.
- Disadvantages: If you business has a lot of competition and it is not located close to the center of your city it may not show up in the listings. There is also going to be some work in optimizing your listing including making sure their is enough citations from other local online directories including but not limited to, manta, hotfrog, citysearch and others. Reviews are not really a disadvantage but they can be. Getting good online reviews will be critical to standing out from the rest of the pack, and if you get a bad review, everyone will see it. So make sure to provide a answer to each of your bad reviews.
Although organic SEO takes longer to show results, in the end it will be less costly and you will establish a search credibility that you might not establish with PPC.
When it comes to choosing the best tactic, it is important to evaluate your specific needs, but be sure to fully understand the differences and how you will maintain your efforts.
Still have questions? Contact us to learn more!