Search engine optimization and search engine marketing are terms that are often confused. Many clients ask, what is the difference and do I need both services? I hope to clarify this and illustrate situations where one or both services may be necessary.
Almost nothing gets me out of my shell like a rousing discussion on SEO. Not to be confused with SEM (Paid advertising), SEO is the art and science of growing a websites’ visibility in search engine results. Years ago, I was introduced to the power of SEO, as an intern. I was asked to do some “high intel”, on-line reputation management for a self-described “VIP CEO”. Eager to impress my boss, I spent endless hours (that turned into a passion and years) of learning Search optimization techniques for driving positive information about a person or brand attention away from negative or salacious information. What a relief it was when I entered the workforce as a paid and valuable employee when my SEO focus was no longer on the reputation management of a person’s “publicly displayed bad choices” but on the brand recognition of legitimate new products launching in competitive markets. However, my entry into the riveting world of reputation management using SEO taught me so much about search engineering; including how the search engines work, the enormous value of ranking online and just how difficult it is to manipulate your visibility within search.
If you are a small business owner today and you are feeling disappointed with the returns on your marketing efforts, take the time to consider if your sales goals are supported by the plan you have to turn leads into actual sales.
To see this clearly, it is really important to understand the difference between marketing and sales. It is true that marketing and sales are both aimed at increasing revenue, however marketing drives prospects and leads, while sales utilize those leads to close deals or convert interested consumers into buyers. A successful marketing campaign can be hallmarked by “going viral” in social media, lots of engagement, clicks, inquiry emails and phone calls. A successful sales campaign is proven in purchases.
I wish I could tell my clients that digital marketing is an easy, overnight execution with instant results, but the marketing of any kind takes time, requires a scalable plan, a budget and cooperation. However, there are a lot of tricks of the trade that can get you ranked really fast, rapidly increase your search ranking and drive a lot of traffic to your site. With the right plan and team, this can be done effectively in a reasonable time frame. But it takes commitment, perseverance and a bit of fearlessness.
Clients often ask me, “Should I put my marketing dollars into content marketing instead of SEO?” Similar to the SEO vs Social Media debate that I addressed last week, a strong content campaign supports SEO, but certainly does not stand alone. Just as social media pages pop up in search, so do white papers, videos, press releases, reviews, and blogs. Content marketing and SEO do not compete with each other, they contribute to each other in the digital ecosystem.
There are two hot topics that are recurring in the SEO community; SEO implementation (how to build links and what an optimal title tag looks like) and the evolving role of SEO in the digital marketing landscape with the rapid expansion of social media dominating the matrix and moving into advertising. One question that comes up time and again? “Is SEO dead?” A study by Search Engine Watch reports that the #1 position on Google gets 33% of search traffic. 33%! And because that same 33% is actively searching for that product or service, they are highly likely to convert. They are “ready to buy” consumers actively seeking out services. Notice they are looking for something in a search engine, not being shown something by way of advertising.
My name is Amee Gray. I am the founder of Ms.Gray Marketing. You may be wondering why I would name my agency “Ms.Gray Marketing”? After all, what does my name have to do with marketing? To answer, “What’s in a name”? A lot. Your name is the title that has identified you your entire life. Sometimes you may love it, sometimes you may hate it but for better or worse, it is yours. Ask any woman who has ever changed her name after being married, how emotionally attached we become to a name. Our name is our “brand” and our signature is our “logo”. Continue reading “So…Ms.Gray Marketing?”
I seem to have met a lot of nice people lately who tell me they are getting into the “Digital marketing” business. When I ask them, “What’s your specialty?” They often look at me like I have 3 heads and say, “Internet Marketing”. I then reply, “Yes, but what do you do? Are you a media buyer, an analyst, an SEO expert, a social media manager? What do you do?” Upon further examination, I usually learn that these folks are recently unemployed or are going through a metamorphosis and they have bought into a video or web series that promises to make them rich “overnight” in digital marketing.