The difference between SEM and SEO

Posted by on Feb 1, 2010 in SEO | 12 comments

Many people are confused because there are two phrases in the Internet Marketing community working together and they are often used interchangeably.  They are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). There is a big difference between SEO and SEM.  SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a broader term; it includes all the strategies for promoting your website on the search engines.  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a method of getting a website ranked in the organic or natural search results. There’s 3 types of SEM; Organic SEO This is a process of improving your website’s rankings naturally.  Some considers this as part science and part art. It prepares a web page to be found for certain keywords and key phrases.  Organic (natural) SEO uses keyword phrases prominently on the website page itself (body text, headings, links, etc). This is usually coupled with a link building strategy. Local search This also uses organic SEO methods mixed with state, zip codes and city.  These geo factors bring in searchers looking for local business.  This can include Google’s directory and profile listings as well as other local directories. Pay Per Click (PPC) This the advertising on Google and other search engines.  These advertisements come up based on the keyword query and they appear under the sponsored results.  You only pay for visitors that clicks through to your websites. This includes Yahoo!, Bing (Microsoft adCenter) and Google Adwords. There are other types of Internet Marketing that can be used to promote your website and business with the search engines. Social Media Marketing SMM (social media marketing) includes blog marketing, Micro blogging (Twitter), social networking and more.  You can set up profiles on popular social networking (Web 2.0) sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You can publish your own blog or participate in online discussions as an expert. Article marketing Write and publish educational articles and place them on article syndication websites.  Other website owners can publish them on their websites.  Links in the bottom resource box will lead interested people to your website. To get the best results from your Internet marketing efforts, multiple SEM and SEO methods should be used.  Traffic strategies needs to be devised when a website is in the planning process. Search Engine Optimization works best when it is planned into the website structure rather than added...

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The WSI Atlanta Smurfs Club

Posted by on Jan 30, 2010 in General | Comments Off on The WSI Atlanta Smurfs Club

Its great to see the different WSI communities around the world. My friend Vishay Singh owns a WSI Production Center called AVAX. He is also a South African so it didn’t take long before we hit it off together. I was staying over in Atlanta for a night before going on to San Antonio to do the Digital Marketing training and Vishay kindly offered to let stay over. Nothing like a free lunch because he has arranged a morning of presentations for me with the WSI Atlanta Smurfs Club.  Here’s the invite: One thing about the WSI Franchise that is attractive to people is the learning opportunity as it keeps the brain stimulated. If there are any WSI Internet Consultants in the Atlanta area, make sure you contact Vishay at...

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San Antonio: WSI Digital Marketing Training

Posted by on Jan 30, 2010 in Articles | Comments Off on San Antonio: WSI Digital Marketing Training

Hello Fellow WSI Internet Consultants. It’s all systems go for the my training session on the 9 & 10th February in San Antonio. The venue has been confirmed and it is at the Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk. Book now on our Intranet on GNS. See you...

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Try Google Social Search in Beta Now

Posted by on Jan 29, 2010 in Social Networking | Comments Off on Try Google Social Search in Beta Now

Google’s Social Search aims to make search more personal and now it is available in beta. Social Search personalises your search results by providing web content that contains not only expert opinion but also the experiential opinions found in your friends’ Blogs and other social networks. Google’s Social Search can make the information your receive on a searched topic more reliable/credible since you know the author and are more likely to trust him/her than the information you source from an author you’ve never met. Google Social Search has also been added to Google Images. Now when you’re doing a search on Images, you may start seeing pictures from people in your social circle. Just like the other social results, social image results appear under a special heading called “Results from your social circle.” Social Search has great potential to improve search as we know it and this is only the beginning. If you want to get the most out of Social Search right away, get started by creating a Google Profile, where you can add links to your other public online social services. Visit the Official Google Blog to watch helpful videos on Google Social...

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XML Sitemaps and SEO

Posted by on Jan 29, 2010 in SEO | Comments Off on XML Sitemaps and SEO

There’s quite a big split in the SEO and website development community about the importance of submitting an XML sitemap to Google, Yahoo and Bing. XML sitemaps do help websites that’s got a structural navigation and crawl-ability problems. Most people in the SEO world needs to apply every possible advantage to a website to get better rankings.  Others will focus on fixing complex structural issues and allow crawling to happen naturally. While an XML sitemap will not directly improve your search engine rankings, it does allow search engines such as Google to see any SEO based changes more quickly. XML sitemaps have replaced the older method of submitting your website URL to search engines. You can now submit your XML sitemap directly to the search engines, or you can wait for the search engines to spider it. Sitemap types Complex websites should always have two kinds of sitemaps.  One visible to your users for easy navigation to anywhere on your website and one for the search engines. An HTML sitemap is what you will use for the visible one for your users and a XML sitemap helps the search engines to find out what pages are present and which have recently changed and to crawl your site accordingly. What is included in a XML Sitemap? Links (URL’s) to all the pages on your website. The relative importance of each page on your website. The date each page was last modified. How often each page is expected to change. When to use a XML sitemap On large dynamic websites that are poorly linked making them difficult to index. On websites using large amounts of Ajax and Flash where the web crawlers have difficulty accessing the content. For poorly coded websites (can name a few). Any website that changes their content frequently like blogs, forums, CMS (content management systems). XML sitemaps doesn’t directly affect SEO results but they do communicate important information to the search engines to help them index your website. My advice – always include a XML sitemap as part of your Website Development and SEO program. Leave a comment below or contact us for more information regarding XML sitemaps and Search Engine...

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Social Media, Blogs and Relationship Marketing

Posted by on Jan 29, 2010 in Digital Media Marketing | Comments Off on Social Media, Blogs and Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves the building of relationships with your potential customers. You can do this with Social Media, your website or direct communication with your clients. Relationship marketing builds long term customers through regular communication. It has been proved that people prefer to buy from businesses/people that they trust. They will also keep doing business and stay with you for the same reason. Usually companies spend 70-80% of their marketing budget going after new customers and clients rather that nurturing and retaining their current customers. By having solid relationships with their customers, businesses can increase repeat orders from existing clients. Find a couple of tips below to help you with your relationship marketing. Blog Marketing With a blog, you can reach your readers regularly on a conversation level. Each day you can reach them with problem solving ideas, insights, business advice on how you can help them. You can engage with your readers in a blogging conversation. In my line of work, blog development is almost more important than normal website development. Website Design and develop your website to be relationship orientated. This means that you must invite your readers with your website by presenting a warm and friendly user experience. Offer your visitors free stuff in the form of tools, information and ebooks.  Always show your hospitality. A well developed FAQ (frequently asked questions) area makes it easy for people to find information quickly and get answers.  Always encourage two way dialogue where they can easily message, call or email for immediate answers. Allow your visitors to describe their unique needs and receive specialized answers to their needs. Email communication You can use email to stay in touch with your clients.  Offer to send them valuable information such as newsletters or resources. This is about creating a positive experience, not spamming.  Everyone hates spam, even the spammers. Always offer an easy way for them to opt out from future emails so that they are in control. Social Media Use popular social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube where you can interact and network with prospective and current clients.  There is really thousands of social media tools and websites where people from different market niches gather and converse. You can also start building relationships and building more online visibility for your business, website or blog, through social networking. The best way to use and engage via social networking is to choose the networks that is most relevant to your market and niche. New social networks are developed every day so you might have to do a bit of research on the ones you will use. With relationship marketing you are distinguising yourself from the masses.  You must be willing to do what others are not will to do.  Dare to be different. Leave a comment below if you require more information regarding Social Media Marketing, Social Networking and relationship...

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Target your audience to increase your readership

Posted by on Jan 28, 2010 in Online Marketing | Comments Off on Target your audience to increase your readership

Targeting your message to the right audience is the key to growing your readership and at the same time reaching interested people. By directing and targeting your message to the people most interested will greatly increase the number of readers that will actually read your website or blog and respond. It sounds like a contradiction, but it is true. Targeting your audience is a form of online marketing. I always ask my clients who their targeted market is. Many times I get the response of “everyone”.  They are actually saying “I don’t want to exclude anyone, because they might be interested”.  The sad truth is that they will spend much more money and reach fewer interested people without targeting.  People naturally want to read something that is meant for them. The two most important parts of targeting is based on demographics and attitudes. Attitudes These are the psychological or personality factors. What is the target market’s attitude regarding the company’s product? How do they arrive at the purchase decision? These include price, fashion, status, latest technology, etc. Demographics This describes who your customer or audience is. This includes things such as age, gender, occupation, education level, lifestyle, nationality, etc. By knowing your audience, you can write in a way that catches their attention and draws them in. This is how you increase the interest in and conversion rate for a website. Let’s look at an example: Price Shopper: There are many people in this world that shop based on price alone. Their attention will be grabbed by special deals, discounts and sales. They need to see a price related call-to-action. They need to see your special offer the second they arrive or they will wander off in search of a better deal. They will sign up for newsletters that announce sales. Even the design of the website should be simple and use bright active colors. This works well for products such as cell phones, printer cartridges, etc. What ever your message, your product or service, it will be best received by those that are already interested. If you write in a way that is directed to your targeted audience, you will get more readers and more results. Leave a comment below if you require more information regarding online...

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A successful blogging plan is like a roadmap

Posted by on Jan 27, 2010 in Blogging | Comments Off on A successful blogging plan is like a roadmap

A successful blogging plan is like a road map. Use your blogging plan to create focus and a purpose for your blog.  Do you know where you’re going with your blog? Do you have a plan or are you just making it up as you go? If you want your blog to be successful, you must have a plan. If you don’t have any idea where you’re going, how will you get there? How will you know when you’ve arrived? If you are in the process of developing your blog, a blogging plan is critical What is your purpose for blogging? To reach new prospects or markets? Promote your services and products? Visibility and branding? Search engine rankings? Be recognized as an expert? Social networking and communication? Successful blogging takes time and dedication. In my line of work, time = money.  Why waste time when you aren’t getting any return out of it?  To get the most out of your blog, find a couple of tips below to help you create a blog plan road map. Who are you targeting? Many times this is the same as your ideal customer.  This can include things like age, gender, income, etc.  What are their interests?  Are they business owners?  Use this kind of information to select topics and how you will communicate your ideas. With your blog, you can target selected people but it does require some research. What will your topics be? Your blog posts should always be interesting to the targeted audience you have selected and relevant to your business.  Choose topics that you have a passion for and those that you are interested in. This way your enthusiasm will show and you will enjoy it more. Keywords Doesn’t matter how you look at it, search engines are always looking for relevant keywords and it is always about search engine optimization. Choose keywords and selected keyword phrases that are relevant to your topic.  Use these selected keywords in the title of your blog post as well as the content.  Link these keywords that you have placed in your content to the most relevant page on your website to help your website search rankings. Blogging schedule Blog a minimum of three times a week if you want to develop an audience and get good results with the search engines. It’s the easiest if you set aside some dedicated time either every day or every second day to research and write blog topics. Blogging can be fun so relax and enjoy it.  Writing can be therapeutic and fun.  It’s also quite exciting when you start engaging with others in conversation. Leave a comment below if you require more information regarding blog development or if you would like to share your blogging...

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WSI Digital Marketing Training San Antonio 9-10 February

Posted by on Jan 26, 2010 in Articles, Business Opportunity | Comments Off on WSI Digital Marketing Training San Antonio 9-10 February

I have been asked when the training in San Antonio will be held by a number of ICs. Just to confirm, it will be on the 9 & 10 February. The venue will be confirmed in the next day or two. Here is what attendees will receive when attending the training A step by step guide, template and real examples of my Competitor Analysis Report All the slides and narrative that I use in my Sales Folder Example monthly reports and templates that I use when visiting my clients A mind map of the ideal IC website A real example of a Digital Media Plan that I sell to my clients The spread sheet templates of the Online Marketing & Competitor Analysis budgets Numerous presentations that you can use for small seminars Hope to see you...

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Opening of WSI Digital Marketing Training in Mexico

Posted by on Jan 26, 2010 in Digital Media Marketing | Comments Off on Opening of WSI Digital Marketing Training in Mexico

Hello Fellow WSI Internet Consultants. I have 3 short videos of the opening of our Digital Marketing Training in Mexico City for your viewing pleasure.  We have Carlos Guzman, WSI Area Representative for Mexico opening the  training session and introducing Maribel Guiste, VP of WSI Operations. Carlos Guzman opening WSI Digital Marketing Training in Mexico City [youtube]ySw1Gi0VXoU[/youtube] Carlos Guzman introducing Maribel Guiste VP of WSI Operations [youtube]6-ho2VwZZvw[/youtube] Francois Muscat WSI Digital Marketing Training in Mexico City [youtube]m-1bnglW8_s[/youtube] I hope to see some of you in the near future when I visit a city near you Next training is in San Antonio on the 9 – 10 February, venue to be...

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