SEM Guide to ORGANIC (SEO) and PAID (PPC) Traffic


Today we know Google as the dominant force in search as it continues to lead by a large margin. Google has run away with the web search market, and almost no one is chasing. In fact, it is so prominent that "Google" has been listed as a verb in the Merriam-Webster dictionary for nearly 7 years.

But if Google is free, how is it so powerful and make so much money?

Spoiler alert: advertising!

Google didn't make money until it started auctioning ads that appear alongside the search results. Surprisingly, 97% comes from Google Adwords' online pay-per-click advertising. The company's Internet search engine is the hub of an advertising system that generated $58.85 billion in revenue last year.

We live in an exciting time for the small business owner. Google may be a global search giant, but there are many ways and tools (Must-have Tools for SEM) to leverage the power of search to promote your small business to local customers through search engine marketing.

When it comes to digital marketing, there are two main avenues for promoting your business website: SEO and PPC. Although you may be debating on which method is a better allocation of your funds (organic search engine optimization or pay per click advertising) both are viable options for improving your web presence and increasing the amount of traffic flowing into your site. However, the degree to which you'll want to invest in each of these methods will vary based on your company's unique needs and priorities.

This SEM Guide will help to save you time, hassle, and money when fighting for better search engine rankings, lowering your pay-per-click costs, and getting exposure on social media.


Confused by search engine optimization and search engine marketing? The phrases SEM and SEO are similar, and both terms are used interchangeably. However, there is an important difference between the two, and it isn't complicated. Search marketing encompasses both SEO and PPC marketing.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as the practice of optimizing the content of your websites using strategies and tactics to naturally boost search engine listings and achieving a higher ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In most cases, the higher a website naturally ranks in the SERP, the more likely the website will be visited by a user. It is, therefore, essential to achieve high scores on both on-site and off-site ranking factors since 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.


The first thing new businesses must know is that SEO should be the foundation of a business, and that everything starts with the words online-users type into a search box. Google uses complex algorithms to determine (from the search query) which websites to include in their index and the order in which these sites appear in the search results.

Search engines have tried for years to figure a way to return the best results to the searcher. In order to accomplish that, they take into account on-site SEO factors such as title tags, description tags, and most importantly content.


Keyword research is quite possibly the most important part of SEO and it is the most valuable and high return activity in the search marketing field. You cannot begin to plan for a campaign unless you know which phrases you are targeting because ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website.

The page title tag (technically called title element) is arguably one of the most important on-site SEO factor. The page title must be highly relevant to the page it refers to and keywords in page titles help your pages rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

When choosing your title tag, include your keywords naturally and strategically, without keyword stuffing your title. Don't choose a title that has no relation to the content on the page. Title tags are used on SERPs to display preview snippets for a given page, and should be unique to other pages on the site. So, if your document appears in a search results page, the contents of the title tag will usually appear in the first line of the results.

Meta description tags, while not important to search engine rankings, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs. Recently, page descriptions have started to have less to do with engine optimization and more to do with actually persuading searchers to visit your site. Descriptions should tell audiences what they can expect to find on your page, and should work to persuade those users to click through. In a way, meta descriptions are like mini Calls to Action.

Google, however, doesn't think your title and description tags are good enough.

The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position. It is what the user came to see, and, thus is extremely important to the search engines.

Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to promote your company/website online. Write a blog of your own for your company/website and include lots of unique content. Be precise in what you're trying to convey for the users in your blog entry and promote your blog in blog directories and blog search engines.


Off-site SEO is as important as on-site SEO. If you want your SEO campaigns to be successful you have to do both. However, off-site SEO has to be done after the completion of on-site SEO. In general, off-site SEO has to do with promotion methods (beyond website design) for the purpose of ranking a website higher in the search results.

Unlike on-site SEO, off-site SEO refers to activities outside the boundaries of the webpage. The most important includes things like link-building and social interaction. Back-links are other pages on the web that link to your posts. A web site that is useful is more likely to have references (links) from other websites. Link building is the most popular off-site SEO method.

Social media is another part of SEM and provides another way for businesses of all sizes to generate brand awareness, direct traffic to the site, and to boost SEO. Social media is also part of off-site SEO and if you think about it, it's also a form of link building.

It should be noted that almost all of the links you get from social media sites are €nofollow€ but this does not mean that they do not have any value. Social Media mentions are gaining ground as ranking factors and proper configuration of social media profiles can also boost SEO. So, promote your latest news and views in your social media presence and ask/invite others to like and share.

Search Engine Optimization and achieving high rankings comes down to one thing: Relevance. It goes without saying that €Content is King' and its quality content that meets the needs of visitors to your site that will make you reign supreme. When proper search engine optimization is applied to a professionally developed website, your site increase in relevance and grow its authority.


If you have ever noticed the advertisements that appear alongside search results on Google and other search engines, you are already familiar with pay-per-click, or PPC advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be an effective way to drive traffic to your website quickly, but small businesses too often make mistakes that undermine their campaigns.

Pay per click (PPC) advertising seems pretty straightforward. You target wisely, select tempting keywords, create an irresistible ad. Hot prospects then click on your ad, (you only pay for the ones that €click through€) and hopefully you convert some to buyers. But then there's this auction €thing€.

Unlike traditional advertising, with pay-per-click you have to bid on placements. It's like an auction, and competitors might outbid you. PPC ad campaigns are completely controlled by the advertiser, however.