We’ve dedicated Monday’s lecture to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) as a means of introducing you to the wider and interconnected picture of online communication. As you are currently working on social media audits for your clients, it is important to understand the connections between search and social media, where the latter plays a consolidator and reference role.
We also look at SEO and SEM because a digital media strategy should at least consider them and their relevance. Moreover, we look at SEO and SEM because of the increasing importance search engines play in information search nowadays, with 58% of purchase decisions being made after search engines were consulted (see Amber’s slide and GroupM reference). Snow’s (2011) article about social media and its influence on relevance in search is a good resource too.
Amber’s slides are here – Amber Burton’s DCS lecture SEO vs SEM
While through SEO a website’s “findability” within search engines can be increased by using keywords, SMO is the paid and sometimes quicker route to obtaining similar results. Google AdWords and Google AdSenseare are two of the better known SMO platforms. Knowing the difference between the two of them and being able to assess which is more suitable for your client is extremely important.
Amber Burton, our guest for the day, made some extremely pertinent points. SEM investments should be made to obtain top results (as in top display per search query) otherwise they are not justified and paid search results might be the better solution. However, for SEM to obtain such results a good overall SEO strategy is needed to ensure that content, tags, meta-tags reflect the key words selected. Do check Amber’s 6-steps to good SEO which include on-page optimization as well as researching your competitors!
If you are blogging or sharing any kind of mutimedia content, start tagging then compare your results.
If you are mostly on social networking and micro-blogging platforms, think what/who your information hub would be. This sends us back to the content covered in Lecture 2 and the SICK strategy (segmentation, implementation, critical mass and knowledge transfer) and to you thinking of what your objectives (or your client’s objectives) are. If knowledge transfer is done well so if your or your client’s digital media assets are well interconnected (and by this I mean that they do have built-in reciprocal links) this will consolidate your SEO and SEM increasing thus your search engine finability and ranking. However, good reciprocal links are only part of good SEO.
So when preparing for your social media audit, think how easy and ‘findable’ your client is. Odden‘s Free Tools for Social Media Optimization might help you in the process.
Here are some things for you to remember and to think about:
- SEO results are perceived to be non-biased and give better ROI than any other online marketing media
- SEO is useful when attempting to create an online brand
- SEM provides almost instant results and can work very well on niche or ‘long tail’ marketing
- Quality SEM boosts SEO results
Here are some things for you to do:
- Check out the Search Engine Watch for more information and analysis on all search engine research and data.
- Enter the Google Online Marketing Challenge (AdWords and Google+). Check with Amber for more details and help.
- Learn the jargon.
- Be strategic.