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Thread: SEO Vs. SEM

  1. #1
    jcarlisle's Avatar
    jcarlisle is offline CM Emeritus, Reg. Member
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    Lightbulb SEO Vs. SEM

    Which of these have you found to be more effective in bringing in customers?

    SEO (search engine optimization) is, of course, "free" -- You have to pay someone to do the work, research and writing, but you don't have to pay for the listings. The goal is to get Web users to click from a search engine to your website in a completely organic way.

    SEM (search engine marketing) is not free as you pay for certain search terms. But because you pay for positioning, you're guaranteeing that your ad or content will be seen.

    So which is better for you?
    John Carlisle
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  2. #2
    ams's Avatar
    ams
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    Default Re: SEO Vs. SEM

    I have been trying out SEM for about 2 months. It has been more of a learning experience than anything. We have had 2 responses so far

    I don't think you replace your SEO with SEM, you add the SEM. 2 or 3 listings on the search engine is better than 1.

    Search engine choice for the SEM is important, you do not want to waste money on no results. I paused the Bing SEM and have kept Google and Yahoo for the time being.



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    Ron
    Advanced Mini Storage

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    peten is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: SEO Vs. SEM

    We started with SEM and have migrated to SEO very well in one case, not so well in another. SEO seems to work better and they do work together. The biggest issue with SEO is good position in google's local business results which is hard for a big city.

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    peten is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: SEO Vs. SEM

    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    I have been trying out SEM for about 2 months. It has been more of a learning experience than anything. We have had 2 responses so far

    I don't think you replace your SEO with SEM, you add the SEM. 2 or 3 listings on the search engine is better than 1.

    Search engine choice for the SEM is important, you do not want to waste money on no results. I paused the Bing SEM and have kept Google and Yahoo for the time being.



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    Ron
    Advanced Mini Storage
    Ron, I was checking your google listing, anyhow suggest setting your business category to self storage and updating your description to use the word storage more, check some of the other listings for help there. That might get you showing on the local business results.

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    Default Re: SEO Vs. SEM

    Quote Originally Posted by peten View Post
    Ron, I was checking your google listing, anyhow suggest setting your business category to self storage and updating your description to use the word storage more, check some of the other listings for help there. That might get you showing on the local business results.
    Thanks for the heads up

    I had thought that was done already, but after we had set up the SEM it looks like the Local Business reverted to the old setup

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    Ron
    Advanced Mini Storage
    Last edited by ams; 15th July 2010 at 06:45 PM.

  6. #6
    sf_steve is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: SEO Vs. SEM

    I would not look at as a SEO Vs. SEM issue. They both have their places and people have different viewpoints on which works better in which situations. However, from the experience that we've run across is that both will be able to provide you with visitors and potential leads.

    I will tell you that statistics show that only a small portion of users searching click on the sponsored ads that Google shows while many more users look at the click through to the organic traffic listings. And here is another issue, the majority of users won't click through to a 2nd or 3rd page on their search query.

    Peten has a good point about the local business results which I would not classify with SEO as it is a different animal. I wouldn't be too worried about ranking for a city, however. Google can detect the location of a search in most cases by their ip address. So for example :

    If someone does a search query for "self storage" without the city name involved, Google will look up their ip address and determine their location and give a set of local listings that are most relevant to the searcher's ip address. There are definitely some things to ensure that your local listing gets maximum exposure, but Google is still molding and evolving their local algorithm (to prevent people from abusing their system).

    I think advertising with the search engines is a really good way to start off because you only pay for the clicks that you receive. If you have the time I would focus on building a page strictly for conversion and test it with your ads.

    If you have some analytics tool setup on your site you can track and see what users do after they come in through your advertisement and tweak your pages based on the data that comes in.

    Cheers
    Steven Lam
    <a href="http://www.storagefront.com">StorageFront.com</a>

  7. #7
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    Default Re: SEO Vs. SEM

    I like SEO first and SEM second.

    If SEO is keeping me where I want to be then I start to pull back/out of SEM

  8. #8
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    Default Re: SEO Vs. SEM

    When you're searching on ANY topic, how often would you say you click on the paid (or sponsored) links?

    Being completely honest, I'd say 10 percent of the time tops.
    John Carlisle
    Community Manager Emeritus
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