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Online Marketing

SEO vs. SEM

Are you confused by the terms “search engine optimization” vs. “search engine marketing?”

What’s the Difference?

The terms “search engine optimization” and “search engine marketing” are often incorrectly used interchangeably. It’s important to note that these two terms have different meanings.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is actually a component of search engine marketing.

SEO is the act of optimizing a website for organic or natural search engine listings. Search engine optimization is arguably the most cost-effective function in a search engine marketing campaign, yet is still just one element.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of marketing a website via Internet search engines; whether by improving rank in organic or natural listings, paid or sponsored listings or a combination thereof.

A comprehensive search engine marketing campaign is inclusive of (at least) the following functions:

    • Search engine optimization
    • Search engine and directory submission management
    • Paid inclusion and trusted feed programs
    • Pay-for-placement management (includes pay-per-click)
    • Link popularity / reputation development
    • ROI and performance monitoring and reporting

Simply put: SEO is a component of SEM.

***Tips for Search Engine Optimization***

1. Ensure your home page has a Title Tag. The title tag is the top line of your result on a search engine results page. It is best to have a unique title for all pages on your website.

2. Verify there is a Description listed for every page of your website. Each page should have its own unique description.

3. Verify there are keywords listed for every page of your website. Important: Only list keywords that are present in the content of your website.

4. Website Content and Keywords need to be optimized for users searching for doctors. Your website content should include all your practice locations, your specialties, and all other key terms. Think about what keywords or phrases your clients will use to search for you and incorporate that into your content.

5. Add “Alt tags” to all Images and Videos. Images and videos are extremely important for SEO. Alt text is a description of the image or video. Make sure the Alt text is descriptive and has at least one keyword.

6. Optimize your website’s URL Structure. Website URLs are important to your SEO strategy because they help the Search Engines find your website and they also help users find what they’re looking for. Take a look at your URL structure – it should resemble: www.mktgalacarte.com – if you click on any link on the homepage the URL will change. A non-optimized URL structure may look like this: www.mktgalacarte.com/id4ii234?source_mid876-777 . An optimized URL is easier to read and understand, thus better for SEO and the search engines.

7. Get listed in Local Business Listings. Local business listings are part of an overall SEO strategy.

8. This tip is an SEO and User experience must. Your Website should be treated like your office. Your website is the first thing a potential client sees. Your website should have a good SEO strategy and look professional at the same time. Take a look at your website, are you impressed? A website is a very important investment. When constructed properly with SEO in mind, your website can serve to engage more potential clients, and ultimately help turn them into paying clients.

9. Verify that your website has been submitted to the major search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo!)

10. Spend time with your webpage at least once per month to see how you might improve it!

At Marketing À La Carte we can help you with all aspects of marketing your business online, as well as offline. Just give us a call at (707) 745-3738 and get the conversation started.

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