Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot topic and is being marketed heavily to small businesses right now. And because SEO consulting is such a big need for small businesses the field is attracting all kind of people hawking SEO services.

(By the way, social media consulting is similar in this regard.)

On one end of the spectrum there are folks who have been working in the field for a few years and have the experience and skill to really help your business thrive. At the other extreme are some outright charlatans and folks who think that, because they read an ebook and it looks easy, they can take advantage of small business owners who don’t know anything about it.

Understanding what services are really being offered will help you avoid getting ripped off.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) involves getting more visibility on and traffic from the search engines. Technically this includes SEO. But in practical reality, SEM pretty much deals just with the paid side of the search engines, what Google calls their “Sponsored Results” using their AdWords service.

Helping businesses be successful with paid search is a very valuable service. For one thing it’s pretty complicated to do well and takes some expertise. Plus a well run paid search campaign can bring in tons of traffic to a website and do it quickly.

Keep in mind the search engines charge a small fee every time someone clicks on a sponsored result. Because of that you’ll often hear this referred to as “Pay Per Click” or PPC marketing.

Unfortunately much of what is being sold as search engine optimization is actually search engine marketing.

What’s the difference?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO involves doing things to help a web page move up in the natural search results. When people click in that part of the search engine no one gets charged any money. These are often called “organic” search results because they happen “naturally” without anyone paying the search engine company.

It normally takes longer to see results in the terms of increased traffic with SEO than it does with SEM. However, once a page ranks well for a specific search word or phrase (called a “keyword”), say on the first page, then traffic keeps coming in month after month without having to pay anything.

Good SEO builds an asset that keeps bringing you traffic. Good SEM will bring traffic too. But it is an expense rather than an asset because the moment you stop paying for your position in the sponsored results the traffic stops.

There is a whole lot that goes into good SEO including things like keyword selection, on page optimization, off page optimization, and competitive analysis. Unfortunately much of what is being sold as SEO today in reality just consists of basic AdWords campaigns that do nothing towards increasing your website’s organic search rankings.

Sound Strategy Builds SEO

Improving SEO should be part and parcel of any sound social media strategy.

Building good search engine optimization is one of the many benefits of the New Media Profit Path system. The strong healthy hive explained in the strategy becomes your new media hub and is designed to incorporate the best SEO practices. The strategy in that training is designed to naturally improve the SEO for your website so it will keep bringing in traffic from the search engines month after month.

If you are paying for SEO make sure that is what you are really getting. Find out how your organic search engine rankings are improving.

Don’t be misled by people who say they are providing SEO services but who are really just buying ad space for your website in the search engines.


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