This is the start of a series on Search Engine Marketing for small business owners.
“Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings.”Wikipedia
SEO takes more time than money and PPC takes more money than time. Each business owner must decide which asset — time or money — is more valuable to them and decide the appropriate mix. SEM takes longer to ‘kick in’ but longer to taper off while PPC starts immediately when you start paying and stops immediately when you stop paying.
If you think of SEO and PPC as an investment portfolio, this classic strategy may apply: “Here is an imperfect but workable rule of thumb: If you are investing mainly for retirement, you should “own your age” in bonds. So for example, a 30-year-old would have 30% of her portfolio in bonds, and 70% in stocks.” The lesson I extract? Have more SEO than PPC.
My standard advice to small business owners is to focus on SEO which tends to work better over time and perhaps add a little PPC to get a campaign going until SEO starts to kick in. If that makes sense to you as a small business owner, the single most important thing to do is establish a Google My Business entry for your location.
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