Search engines are the leading sources of traffic on the Internet and there is no faint doubt about that. SEO and SEM are the two things that probably best answers the question on how to how to get more visitors to your website.
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There may be hundreds of guides and articles posted all over the web but do they really answer your questions on the comparison of both the SEO and SEM strategies? If not, then this comprehensive guide will help you understand what you ever needed before making a choice on what to focus on.
There are the two best known approaches known to help webmasters get web traffic from the search engine and they can either be paid traffic sources or natural organic traffic. SEO is the optimization that is needed to improve the website visibility in the search engines to appear in the front pages and attract more traffic. On the other hand SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the paid source of traffic with which one purchases bids to appear on the sponsored advertising space of the search engines. There has been an ongoing debate within the search engine environment on which among the two is better than the other. Today we will discuss every bit of detail and come up with a clear verdict on the winner among the two top traffic sources. But before we delve any further into details on the two lets get our feet wet by defining some of the most used terms in the search engine world. This will help one to understand every detail discussed and also to get novice Internet marketers understand the drill of the game.
Terms you need to know in both SEO and SEM
1) 301 Redirect – This term refers to a permanent server redirection which should always be used when there is a change in the address of a web page.
2) Adwords – This is a Google advertising platform that serves contextual advertising to the clients who wish to use search engine marketing.
3) Algorithm – It is the set of standardized programs that the search engines use to suggest how to rank web pages in the search results.
4) White Hat and Black Hat – White hat techniques are the clean and natural techniques used to get web pages to rank on top of the search engines. Black hat on the other hand involves techniques that are forceful and counter the search engine algorithm guidelines.
5) Bounce Rate – This simply refers to the percentage of traffic that enters a website without viewing another page on the site.
6) Canonical links – This refers to the preferred web address link to use instead when there is another web page that is similar in the website. Cases of duplicate content may arise due to category tags and some other issues.
7) CPC – In full it is Cost Per Click and it is the bid price of a contextual advertisement campaign which is on a pay per click program such as in Adwords.
8) PPC – In full it stands for Pay Per Click. It is a contextual advertising program that clients pay for advertisements on a per click basis which is used by many advertising agencies such as the Google Adwords.
9) CPM – This means Cost Per a Thousand and it is the quantified average calculated for the cost spent for a thousands views.
10) Doorway page – This is a page that has been designed specifically to attract traffic from the search engines. Most doorway pages are discouraged for SEO since they use cloaking to redirect traffic.
11) FFA (Free For All) – It is a term that has been around for long and it simply defines the sites that has lots of links to other unrelated websites. They are usually used by link firms which is bad for SEO.
12) Google dance -Sometimes there is an unstable ranking position of a web page in the search engine position which is characterized by varying rise and falls and this is what is known to as Google dance.
13) Google juice– They are the merits that a web page receives from other sites. They can be measured in terms of trust flow, authority and many other advantageous boosts that a web page gets.
14) Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)- It is the search engine’s way of analyzing and defining quality content in terms of how they relate to each other and its diversification.
15) SERP – Search Engine Ranking Pages. This generally defines the ranking position of a web page in reference to the page that it is positioned.
The above are just some of the key and commonly used terms. There are many other more but mastering the use of the above is just good to get started. If you are concerned on how to get more visitors to your website from the search engine then the above are crucial in your quest.
In order to clearly know what is involve, note the difference in the two search traffic, we will look at how they both work in a glance.
How Search Engine Optimization works
SEO is probably the most widespread marketing technique that every webmaster is always following through. The truth be told, it is not an easy way to go along as it involves mastering complex strategies along with the competition to carry on with. However the profits and the evergreen traffic that one can get through the use of SEO are limitless and above all it is free. If you have ever been worried on how to get more visitors to your website for free without spending any penny and you are willing to go through the learning curve the SEO is the most ideal package for you.
Search engine traffic is known as organic because it is generated through a natural occurrence principle that is not forceful and neither is it paid for. All that is expected of someone is to ensure that they stick to the search engine algorithmic guidelines and standards. SEO basically involves two major divisions which are both crucial in the ranking process.
The first division is the on-page optimization. In this phase, the website layout and the content are the most crucial elements that need to be optimized to meet the perfect ranking standards. Some of the common expectations in the website layout includes the Meta tags, Meta keywords, website description, website, canonical optimization, website anchor links and some other factors that makes the website structure friendly with the search engine crawlers. On the other side of the optimization is the off-page optimization which is the most crucial of the whole SEO process. It is not only the most significant but one that is complex and tricky.
It is this part of SEO that includes backlinking techniques and it is where the search engines like Google have their eagle eye on. Long gone are the days when people used to do backlinking just the way they think. Today there are many things that one needs to master and learn if they are willing to survive the rocky road. The use of backlinking methods such as the use of private blog networks (PBN) have come through as a new approach to safely rank websites without facing any kind of penalties. It however is expensive and need time. Despite being a difficult approach, SEO is not dead and it is scalable.
How Search Engine Marketing Works
When it comes to Search Engine Marketing, one can get what they want as long as they have the money. This is just what many webmasters who love to get instant traffic use. If you have always wondered how to get more visitors to your website at the fastest time possible then you have to think about investing in Search Engine Marketing. One will find success in top search engines such as Google and Yahoo where they can bid and get the traffic that they need. When people search for anything online, there are usually advertisements that come along with them and they can either be on top of the search results or at the sidebar area. It all starts with determining the keywords that you want to get traffic from. One can select and group all the keywords that they need to focus and get traffic from and then bid on them. The bidding process is what determines the visibility of the advertisements keeping in mind that there are other competitors bidding too. Despite the fact that there are other factors to consider when placing the advertisements, bidding higher than your competition is something that you need to keep in mind to beat them. After ensuring that you have done everything to get clicks, the next step that one should look forward to is to ensure that they have a good landing page that appeals and converts well. Bounce rates is something that should be minimized and it is something that one can do by tweaking the landing page factors such as the sales copy, headlines and other things like the opt-in forms. To get the best out of this, one is advised to use different landing pages and determining which one is the best for their campaigns. The process of dong this is called split testing. A good (EPC) earnings per click which defines a positive ROI (Return On Investment) and it is something that one need to be keen on when using the search engine marketing. Search Engine Marketing is not also as easy as it is and one need to learn some things.
Comparing the two traffic sources
Here is a comparison of the two traffic sources citing similarities and differences in the way that they work. While one may say that SEO is complex and hard to understand, one needs to keep in mind that the use of SEM is also not a walk in the park. SEM also requires mastering lots of trends, testing a lot of things before one can confirm that they are making the perfect ROI. It cannot be confirmed which one is simpler than the other simply because people have different ways of gauging and understanding things.
One notable difference and one that contracts a lot with the two traffic sources is that with SEM you are investing money and buying time while with the SEO you are spending time and not buying anything. With SEM one spends money and making ends meet for your campaign really matters and failure to do so will lead to loss of money. Once one ranks on the search pages using SEO method, they still will not be losing money if their landing page does not convert. Both are perfect methods of how to get more visitors to your website but bounce rate is something that is unacceptable in the SEM as compared to SEO where one can have the time to work things out without losing anything.
What matters most when it comes to the two? The final thing that webmasters will be looking out for in determining whether they are doing something right or wrong with the two is to gauge if they are at the ROI is satisfactory to them. So regardless of whether you toil doing SEO or you just landed on instant paid traffic from SEM, the verdict always stand at your satisfaction.
If you are doing SEM, some questions that you should be asking yourself to find out if you are doing the right thing are; Is the profit margin higher than the investment? Is the whole system working perfectly as it should? Is there potential to grow higher? If these three questions are positive to you then you can go ahead and make things roll with the paid traffic. For SEO, one should be asking themselves if the time spent in the optimization is really worthy and if the returns are going to cater for the time. If so, then SEO should be a top priority.
One should be working out some tweaks to find out how to improve their conversions regardless of the traffic method that they choose to use. This will in the end help you to answer their question on how to get more visitors to your website. If one has enough funds to run campaigns including the risks, then SEM is good but if the opposite is true, the best way to approach this is to go with the SEO.