What the heck is SEM?

Back to Basics: Make the Most of SEM

Written by Matt Goulart, borrowed from the Website Magazine website, 7.27.12

The world of online marketing is constantly in flux, changing and evolving as the technology of the web moves forward. Whereas once a simple SEO strategy would put your brand head and shoulders above the competition, now a more complex and sophisticated game plan is required. This doesn’t mean that you should abandon all of the carefully tuned SEO protocols that you have in place, of course, but to stay on the cutting edge, your brand should fine-tune those strategies and combine them with other online marketing techniques to form a comprehensive SEM strategy.

What is SEM?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. This acronym encompasses several elements of online marketing that, when employed properly, work together to increase your brand’s web traffic, online presence, and sales. There are three key elements of SEM that work in conjunction with each other to funnel traffic towards your brand’s website and translate that traffic into sales.

SEO

This acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the aspect of SEO that most brands are already familiar with. SEO refers to a set of techniques for generating traffic that all revolve around optimizing the efficacy of search engines. SEO is based on organic traffic and works by directing attention to your website naturally by making it show up more frequently and more highly ranked in search results. The goal behind SEO is that that search engine users are more likely to find your website when they are searching for specific terms related to your brand, products and services. Some of the key aspects of SEO include: 

- Keywords and targeted search terms strategically deployed throughout your website, including tags, headers, and text withing your website’s content.
- Inbound links to your site from other relevant websites.
- Targeted, well-researched and frequently updated content.
- Don’t forget about Content Marketing. Super important for SEO.

Paid Advertising

Whereas SEO works with organic traffic, raising your website’s rank within search engines naturally through keywords and other strategies, paid ads are exactly that: advertising that you pay for. Paid advertising usually appears in a few key forms: 

- Adwords. These are keywords that are closely associated with your brand that you pay to have even more firmly attached to that brand via Google. When you purchase an adword from Google, whenever anyone searches for that term, your brand’s site will always appear at the top of the (paid) search results. 

- PPC (pay-per-click) or CPC (cost-per-click) ads. These are ads placed on targeted websites that are frequented by members of your target audience. Each time someone clicks through to our website via one of these ads, you pay the owner of the website a fee (also the network you purchased them through). 

- Social Media Ads. These can come in the form of Twitter trending topics that you promote, Facebook ads, or other paid ads that appear on social media.

Having an active, integrated presence on social media is absolutely necessary to an effective SEM strategy. Also, your social media presence should be incorporated into your main site in the form of “like” buttons, sharing options and other widgets. For example, brands with a Facebook page generally see a 300% increase in referral traffic through that social media site. Social media presence also positively effects e-commerce behaviour; for example: Giantnerd.com saw a 100% increase in revenue from Facebook within a month of adding a “like” button to their site. Being able to interact with a brand via social media has a tremendous positive influence on your target audience, and they respond to social media not just by boosting your brand’s profile and proving your SEM strategy effective, but also by buying your products and services. Don’t forget you might need a Community Manager to assist your Social Media strategy. Important to keep everyone in the loop! 

By combining these three aspects of SEM effectively, you can create a well-executed and coordinated SEM strategy that is sure to drive traffic to your site, result in a rise in your brand’s online profile and translate directly into sales.

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Sollenne Homes Website Redesign Launched

Sollenne Homes Website RedesignAfter working with Sollenne Homes of Lake Ariel, PA, a custom home builder, for several years on graphic design and print marketing, we were approached for website redesign of their existing website.

We provided a detailed quotation for not only their website redesign, but also for Advanced Search Engine Optimization. The project began early in December 2011 and today we have officially launched the brand spankin’ new Sollenne Homes website. Complete with a photo gallery that the client will be able to manage, contact forms and custom design and programming, the new website will provide Sollenne Homes, and their customers with years of satifsfaction.

What did we do?

When we look at an existing website for redesign and SEO, we always review the code that the existing site was built upon. Most cases if the site is more than a few years old, the code will be obsolete and new standards should be implimented. This was the case with Sollenne Homes. Below are the following steps we took to ensure the new site was web compliant and expandable:

  • Reworked the code for faster loading;
  • Reworked the entire meta system and content to be search engine friendly;
  • Redesigned the site to appeal to a broad audience;
  • Ensure that the site was cross-browser compatible

After launch we have been completing our SEO work and anticipate a significant increase in rankings of the next few weeks and months for relevant searched.

Sollenne Homes Custom Home Builder

SEO How Fast For Results?

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pTB4vSTNlpQ/Tu6-z8aPxAI/AAAAAAAADZI/VEdRldYomf0/s200/tortoise-and-the-hare.jpgI just read a great post on Search Engine Journal by Nick Stamoulis, who was writing about how a new client was saying they were burned by an SEO firm yet couldn’t find any evidence of any black hat SEO. Black Hat SEO is the practice of trying to “doop” the search engines by using techniques that are violations of the engine’s policies, often resulting in penalties.

Read the SEO article to see what a trusted SEOer has to say about recognizing success in an SEO campaign. Here are my favorite quotes from the post:

“One thing I constantly stress with my clients is that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. If they need to see results right away they will be sorely disappointed. While I understand how frustrating it can be, patience is definitely a virtue in the world of SEO.”

We have several SEO clients and the majority of them understand the you win at SEO by being steady, not speedy.

If you have a website that you feel needs SEO evaluation, give our SEO experts a shout and we’ll give you our honest recommendations on how to improve your rankings, and visibility.

Will Groupon Really Boost Your Local Business?

AS SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMINER…

Groupon has been hailed as the new miracle advertising tool. It has also been accused of being a ruthless corporate giant, preying on the ignorance of small businesses.

Read the entire story about Groupon and whether it’s a business booster or not.

NEW Web Redesign!!! Well It Just Makes Scents E-Commerce

Web Redesign and New E-commerce Development

E-Commerce Development and Web Redesign for WIJMSVisit the site: http://www.wellitjustmakesscents.com

Welcome to the flameless word of aromatherapy. No soot, no flames, no worry with wonderful results.

Whether you have pets, a smoker, or just enjoy beautiful fragrances around your home, reed diffusers work great. They also work wonderfully for college dorms, where candles and incense are not allowed. These are very clean, no discoloring of wall or ceilings like candles. If you have a vacation place, it is nice to come into the home after months of being closed up to a very nice fragrance. Just flip the reeds and the fragrance will be stronger again. I use no alcohol, like the major brands do. These can last months to over a year depending on the amount of reeds you use.

That’s what WIJMS is all about.

What was our role in the web redesign plan?

By discussing what the old store did not do vs. what the client wanted the new store to do, graphXevolution came up with a web redesign plan that suited the knowledge of our client, but also one that would push the site into the playing arena with it’s competitors. If I do say so myself, I believe this is one of the nicest website’s out there for reed diffusers and supplies.

The process took about 4 months to complete and included the following:

  • Custom website development for the integration of both a static, informational website with the e-commerce development;
  • Custom graphic web design that was developed after we met with the client about his likes and desires;
  • E-commerce development using Pinnacle Cart as the basis of the store;
  • Product and catalog layout;
  • Testing and finally launch.

What to expect from the site?

We’d like to believe that having one of the more accessible and welcoming sites, WIJMS will become a leader in the reed diffuser and supply category.

Do you have an online store that needs E-commerce Development?

If you answered yes, or would just like to discuss a website redesign plan to see if we are the right fit for your company, give graphXevolution a call at 570-647-8301 or send us an email.

Check out other shopping carts we’ve completed or find out more information by visiting our E-commerce Development page.