As a small business in Dallas, TX, the Internet is going to be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal as you work to get the word out about who you are and what you offer. However, this is not a “build it and they will come” scenario. You must have a marketing plan in place if your online efforts will be effective.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two tools you have at your disposal to achieve online marketing success. But which one should you focus your time nada efforts on? The answer depends on your goals. Before you can decide, you must first understand what these are and how they are different and alike.
Search engine optimization helps the website or web page have high visibility in the search engines. This happens naturally through a variety of factors, including content, keywords and meta tags on content. The search results happen (or don’t happen) completely naturally based on your website’s features, current algorithms and appropriate keyword placement.
Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that uses both optimization and advertising to grow your site’s visibility. It incorporates SEO through optimization, so you grow your site’s following naturally, but it also buys traffic to your website. For some marketers, the non-organic side of SEM is what gets the focus.
Which Is Right for You?
SEO is something you use to grow your site’s traffic naturally. It is something you can do on your own or with the help of a Dallas SEO firm. However, because the traffic comes naturally, SEO is slow. Sometimes marketers are not willing or able to wait for the amount of time it takes to grow their sites this way.
On the other side, SEM, because it is paid, works more quickly. SEM is a short-term solution that basically buys traffic for your site. It can be highly effective, but the paid portion of SEM only works as long as you are putting money into it.
Look at the two as if you are buying or renting a home. If you are looking for a long-term real estate option, buying makes the most sense. Over the long-term, buying helps you increase your investment and grow value. However, if you have a short-term need for housing, then you will want to lease.
In the same way, if you have time and have long-term goals, then SEO is the route to take. It’s more affordable, will give you a more natural result and ultimately, will give you the long-term results you need. If you must build traffic quickly and have more short-term goals, then SEM makes the most sense. The answer to this largely depends on your goals and your needs.
If this is confusing to you, let’s set up a time to talk. We can answer any of the questions that you might have and get you pointed in the right direction.