If you're marketing a business in the age of technology, chances are you've heard the terms SEO and SEM. But what's the difference between SEO and SEM? And how can understanding and utilizing both of them help promote your business online?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”, which essentially asks the question, “What are you doing on your website that helps search engines find you?”. It’s the strategy behind planning and creating organic content with relatable keywords and user-friendly designs to garner traffic for your site. A great SEO strategy will steadily build your brand's credibility and make it easier to rank on search engines, which will expose your business to the public on a greater scale.
SEM, on the other hand, stands for “search engine marketing.” In essence, business owners pay for their ads to appear at the top of the list of search engines. It's more of a “pay as you go” expense where business owners use their ad budget on platforms like Google or Facebook and pay per click/engagement. This is a great way to ensure that your targeted ad gets seen, but it's more likely to be successful on SEO-friendly websites.
Unlike SEM, you don't have to pay for good SEO. However, it will take a lot of time to build that plan and put it into action, so it may be better to hire professionals to create and push an effective plan. Ultimately, both SEO and SEM rely on keyword research, but they use different tactics to drive traffic and create results.
One common misconception regarding SEO and SEM is this idea that one can work better than the other. In fact, both tactics can be used in tandem and are actually stronger together. energyhill CEO and Co-founder, Dr. Ryan Lowe, says that SEO and SEM are like two pillars holding up one structure; they are both equally important and each play their own role in supporting your business.
The linchpin of an effective SEO and SEM strategy is to find the keywords that people are using on search engines when they search for the goods or services that your business provides. The idea is to put your business in their path and let people know how your business fulfills their needs. A sure-fire way to accomplish this is to be sure that 1.) your ad campaigns include related keywords and 2.) you have a plan to publish content on your website and social accounts routinely.
Enlisting the help of a marketing and design agency can help business owners benefit from these strategies. Professional content creators can help you optimize the perfect combination of calculated leads based on good website content (SEO) and good ad spending strategy (SEM) for your business.
For more information about SEO and SEM, check out these informative videos hosted by Dr. Ryan Lowe. He will take you through the nuts and bolts of SEO and SEM, how to create and use both strategies in marketing your business, and provide examples of successful campaign tactics used by the design team at energyhill.
Developing a SEO and SEM strategy can be a confusing and time-consuming process. Instead, relying on a marketing expert can not only simplify the process but save you wasted time, money, and effort. Contact us to learn how our award-winning marketing and design team can help your business grow.
If you operate an online business, then you probably know how important it is to have good SEO. But what distinguishes good search engine optimization from bad? And, how do you know that your company is doing everything it should to earn you a top spot in the organic search results?
The fact is that Google is constantly updating its search algorithm, and marketers that neglect to keep up with the latest changes can easily see their good SEO efforts turn bad. Here are some ways in which SEO plays a vital role in your company’s success or failure:
Good SEO is an essential element of a site’s user experience. Along with impacting a site’s position in the search results, SEO can affect whether or not a site is easy to navigate, readable, and mobile friendly. The latter quality is especially important in light of the fact that approximately 60 percent of searches now occur on mobile devices. By utilizing an effective and modern SEO strategy, you show customers that you care about their experience and that you are always learning to make it better.
If you're not thinking about SEO, your business is going to fall behind. 80 percent of users rely on the internet for researching products they're interested in. If your company isn't prioritizing search results, a competitor is going to be taking advantage of those same results, and your market share is going to dip. Want to outsell your competitors? It's absolutely critical to keep a strong SEO strategy that brings you to the top of as many search pages as possible.
Using the most cutting-edge SEO techniques can help position your business as an industry leader. After all, searchers tend to view the first few results on a page as the most authoritative, and the majority of searchers don't get past the first page.
When you target the right keywords in your web content, you ensure that your business is seen by the ideal customers and clients and that they begin to view you as a trusted name in your field. Bad SEO? Well, ineffective practices won't get you anywhere near the top.
As more people are connected via their smartphone, search is now optimized for phones as well. Over 50 percent of all Google search queries are from mobile devices. Thus, Google has prioritized mobile page load speed as a crucial metric when determining your search ranking in recent years. With free tools from Google, you can work on optimizing your website for mobile searches.
This ensures your mobile website is running smooth and keeps it efficient. This is not only important from a search perspective, but it's critical to keeping users on your webpage and capturing leads. With SEO, you can stay on top of a necessary piece of an efficient website.
Search engine optimization's greatest value might just be its affordability. Unlike pay-per-click advertising, SEO lets you grow sales without stretching your budget too far. In fact, businesses often find that SEO offers better ROI than other types of online marketing. Search engines offer a close rate of almost 15 percent for new leads — a massive edge over traditional marketing. Beyond just close rate, SEO is a great source to generate leads just by having a visible web presence.
Now, this is true for good search engine practices. Bad practices, while perhaps cheap, may only land your site in a troubling spot by getting your site flagged or banned from top search engines.
As SEO experts and a Google Adwords partner, Energyhill is a complete solution for search, mobile, video advertising, and more. To learn more about what we can do for your business, call today for a free quote or contact our team and we'll be in touch.
Every business wants more website visitors — more visitors equates leads, and leads generate sales. But how is your website giving value to your customers? Blogging should be a cornerstone in your content marketing strategy to help drive steady traffic to your website.
Of course, if your blog content is engaging and provides something to a potential customer, they’re more likely to value your business. By combining valuable content with search-engine best practices, businesses will see steady growth online.
If your business doesn’t blog, it should start. What a lot of businesses don’t realize about blogging is the potential for growth and online visibility that they offer. Even a few blog posts a month can increase your web presence, engagement and improve your SEO.
Not convinced yet? Here are the three main ways blogging can benefit your business.
Search engines love new content, and blog posts are a great way to create fresh content focusing on your brand and what you're all about. Use your blog posts to inform your customers about the products and services that they love, give them how-to's, and help them connect more deeply to the value you bring to their lives.
In doing this, you'll naturally incorporate the keywords and phrases they are using online when searching for this information. As a result, you will align your content with what they're looking for, improving your SEO and increasing your visibility on the web.
In turn, you have more indexed pages — or pages that can be found in search engines. And all of them relate back to your business. You can also power up on that SEO with quality links, with related posts or other pertinent information.
With a content plan in place, you can distribute your blogs on social media channels to get the word out and drive even more traffic to your site. Essentially, information and bits of content from your blog can be reshared across social platforms to keep social feeds fresh and updated.
In addition to an evergreen timeline, new potential customers can begin to find and interact with your brand through various social channels.
Earlier we touched on helping your customers connect more deeply with your brand. That's how great relationships are built.
Your blog can help you strengthen the connection you already have with loyal customers, and also build new connections with potential customers. As you share your business expertise and inform them of upcoming trends, specials and news, you will be letting them know that you care about them personally.
The number one rule here is: Be helpful. Your business blog is not all about salesmanship — it's about providing something of value to your audience. To be successful, you should always write with your audience in mind.
Blog for your customers, and don’t be afraid to keep them on their toes! Ask them for feedback on a topic, share funny stories, and celebrate holidays and events with them.
Blogging gives your business a voice and is the perfect place to let your company's culture and personality shine through.
This is your platform with which to share your expertise and set your business apart as a leader in your market. Blogs are a place to show what your business is made of and shout out your successes.
How do you want people to think of your business? Your blog provides a place for your brand, creativity, enthusiasm and vision to be heard. Make sure your message is loud and clear, so people will understand and remember you when the time comes to make a purchasing decision.
Business blogs are a wonderful way for your company to interact with your consumers, improve your SEO and build your brand. And best of all, it’s not only a very profitable form of marketing, it’s also one of the cheapest available.
Blogs can stay online forever, so they will continually create new traffic even as you create new ones. So now, your business has no excuses to avoid blogging any longer. Create an editorial calendar or talk to us and get blogging!
Post updated: May 18, 2020, 12:10 p.m. EST
Capturing the heart of a message is the most important thing we do. Dr. Michelle Zimmerman testimonial conveys this point. In advertising and design we are not always challenged with simply solving a problem. Sometimes it goes much deeper than that. How do you convey a mission, that doesn't have a simple ending point. Energyhill's culture is to capture an audience by exemplifying the core of your message. Thanks Dr. Zimmerman for including us in your schools' journey.
It was the summer of 2016 and we received a request for more information from a school with a unique mission, strong vision, and enlightened action. Renton Prep wanted a full redesign of their web presence, as well as, marketing and design support for their schools. After a business consultation, we set goals to position them as the global leaders in technology. Energyhill achieved this by creating branding, video, advertising, and marketing collateral for the schools. Since the summer of 2016, we have partnered with Renton Prep to create stunning videos and collaborative experiences. The work that has come from this partnership spans, print collateral, landing page design, conference banners, one sheets, ad campaigns, social campaigns, and more.
This forward thinking school needed to be showcased. The challenge was fairly simple. We only needed to tell their stories. How fantastic are the Renton Prep teachers, students, staff, and technology that they use? Simply put, world class. Microsoft, Amazon, HTC, and other leading tech companies and organizations often visit Renton Prep to see and study the trends of where technology and education are headed.
The redesign of their website and re-organization of their content yielded a 6,844% increase in monthly traffic to their website. Yes, almost 7,000%. This is organic traffic, no digital advertising (yet). What's great about Renton Prep is that they are an amazing brand. Working with them is a complete joy. For one of the video shoots we produced, a local makeup artist was hired. She said, "I just really like working with this group of people, they're fantastic." We couldn't agree more, great people, amazing students.
What if you only had a limited amount of time to impress someone? You would want to show your absolute best self, and we couldn't agree more. Wouldn't you want to handle your website the exact same way? Today, first impressions are everything. You want to capture your audience's attention, making them remember you. You want your website's uploading time to be fast. Trust us, speed optimization is a good thing when it comes to your brand and website.
Instant gratification has never been more, well, instant. We can connect constantly, find answers in a flash, and capture real life in real time—then share it with the world a moment later. So it’s no surprise online users don’t have much patience when it comes to website load times.
No one likes the loading screen—especially your customers. Sure, you know to optimize your site for search engine keywords, but how about speed optimization? Who cares how strong your content is when it isn’t reaching your readers fast enough? Speed optimization is one of the most crucial factors for retaining engaged users and gaining conversions. Engage them or loose them. The results are clear: you’ve got 5 seconds to make a good impression (literally and figuratively speaking). 74% of users will leave a mobile site after waiting 5 seconds for it to load. If you don’t engage them after those 5 Mississippis, they will click elsewhere. Almost half of users won’t return to a poorly performing site.*
There is this thing called the speed test. You’re here (and still reading) for a reason. The Energyhill website loads in 1.11 seconds, which is 88% faster than all tested websites across the Pingdom Tools. To move with greater speed and agility, your site needs to be tested and analyzed for hang-ups. Once those factors are identified—which can include everything from oversized images to CSS code to external media—they can be addressed for a smoother user experience.
According to research from the Aberdeen Group, for every 1 second delay in page load time, customer satisfaction plummets 16% and conversion rates by 7%.** These numbers reveal the dramatic effects of speed on your customer’s emotional and behavioral responses, and ultimately your business’s success. Energyhill is a strong advocate for Speed Optimization and will keeping up with it as fast as we can. If you want a stellar website, you’ve got to speed things up. The cliche has never been more true: every second counts.
The year 2017 will be remembered for many reasons, including being known as the year Google killed the intrusive popups. The search engine giant will start penalizing sites that use intrusive popup ads. These changes will make content searches more efficient.
Two years ago, Google created a mobile-friendly label that made it much easier for users to find pages with readable content. The label let users know what pages did not require zooming in or tap targets without the proper spacing. As this ecosystem has evolved, 85 percent of all mobile search result pages now meet this standard. Also this feature adds a mobile-friendly label. Google has decided to remove the label in order to “keep search results uncluttered,” but will continue to use mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.
Google will improve the mobile search experience in the new year by ranking content according to accessibility. Popups that hide the main content on a page, whether immediately after a user clicks on the page or while browsing the page, is an example of less-than-accessible content. Other techniques that impede content accessibility according to Google include stand-alone interstitial displays and layouts where the above-the-fold portion of the page is similar to a standalone interstitial. In the latter example, the content is hiding underneath the fold.
The mighty search engine does not plan to penalize sites that use interstitials. It will only punish those featuring popups that take users to different screens or make content less accessible. No penalty will be applied to banner ads and login boxes will not be penalized.
This announcement has resulted in mixed feelings from site operators and publishers who count on interstitials for revenue. We are happy with Google’s announcement and welcome the change.
Be ready for Google's change in 2017. We can help you make certain your site is ready for Google in 2017. Please visit energyhill.com/audit for a full analysis of your website, so you can make sure your site is optimized and penalty free in 2017.
Journalistic styles are changing, and brand journalism is the new normal. Traditional press release styles have all but disappeared and evolved into more creative and compelling content. The backbone of brand journalism is the use of a story. This helps build a relationship and encourage genuine conversation between the business and the consumer.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a central part of any business strategy in today’s market. Optimized content drives consumers to your site, increasing the opportunity for brand recognition, visibility, and sales. Maximizing your content i performing a delicate dance of keywords, phrases, and focused, audience driven content on each and every page of your website.
Consider the influence of the social networking. Social media has emerged as a dynamic platform for your audience to share content with other consumers easily and at no cost to them.
Social media shares and blogging creates links across the web, passing your content to all interested parties and improving the search engine ranking of your website.
Simply put, it’s not enough to create compelling content. All press releases should be optimized for search engines and social media in order to maximize its viewership and improve your overall SEO.
It is imperative to understand the benefits SEO optimized content. Keywords help search engines find your content and also ensure that it is targeted to the right audience.
Your SEO or PR company should seek out relationships with bloggers, publishers, and social media users. Furthermore, this will encourage circulation of your press release and obtain third party links whenever possible.
As a result, when your press release successfully goes viral, congratulate yourself, but accept that your work is not done. Search engine optimization is an ongoing project that requires continual updates to content, and a careful study of your analytics on a regular basis.
Talk to our team for more information.