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Search Engine Optimization vs.
Search Engine Marketing

--Posted 7.21.09

So, what's the difference, and why would I want both?

Well, there's a world of difference, and using both can maximize the results you get from your website--which means more business for you.

Search engine optimization (SEO) means having your website meet several criteria that popular search engines like Google use. For best results, you will need plenty of text, and information that includes your keyword phrases. Your Search Engine Optimization specialist will access your website and make small changes to the wording as well as other changes that you probably won't even notice. Your site will still look the same, but the search engines read the code that is in the website, they don't look at the sites the same way that we do.

It usually takes about 2-3 months after your website has been optimized for the search engines for them to notice. Google tends to be the slowest, probably because they are the largest. When you use The Web Lotus for your Search Engine Optimization, we send you monthly reports for 3 months or more so that you can see your results improve! We cannot promise you specific rankings, since lots of other folks are trying to make their sites better optimized at the same time, but we can promise you that we will use a specific formula that has been proven to have the best success rate. The other thing that will help you that we cannot do (at least not much) is to get other websites to link to your site--usually you "trade" links, meaning that if you link to their site on yours, they will link to your site on theirs. The more links you have on other sites that go to yours, the better!

The nice thing about using Search Engine Optimization instead of Search Engine Marketing is that you only pay your SEO specialist a one-time fee to make the changes to your site, and then you will be able to reap the rewards. So, it's cheaper, but is it better? In some ways, YES! Read on...

Search engine marketing (SEM) can be done in a variety of ways--the most common of which is known as "pay-per-click" campaigns. You've seen them before--those links on your Google search that show up at the top of the page and/or on the right hand side. Google calls this service "Google AdWords". This is a service that you pay for each time someone clicks on your ad to go to your website. When The Web Lotus sets up a Search Engine Marketing campaign for you with Google, you decide what your monthly budget will be. We work with you to develop keyword phrases, or search terms, that you would like your ads to pop up for. Then we research these phrases to see which ones are most popular and cost more money per click to get you the results you need. We split up your monthly budget to allocate a portion to each keyword phrase based on this popularity and cost.

The great thing about Search Engine Marketing--using Google AdWords in most cases, is that your results come up almost immediately. No waiting to be indexed for 2-3 months. And by having The Web Lotus manage your AdWords campaign, you can ensure that your marketing budget is being allocated in the most effective way, to get you the most business. We spend 1-2 hours per month checking your statistics, researching keyword phrases to check for any major changes in popularity or cost, and changing the allocation of your budget dollars if need be.

So, which do you choose? We don't recommend that you choose at all, if you want the most success from your website. We can set up both SEO and SEM for you so that they complement one another! Each month when we review your AdWords campaign, we also review your regular search engine results to see how you rank. When a keyword phrase ranks high on the first page, we don't want you to waste your valuable funding by having it there twice. So the funds that were used for that same phrase in your SEM are moved to another phrase that is not ranking so well in results.

All in all, it makes the most sense to use both, and we can work with you to help you find a budget that you can afford, and that can get you the best results to grow your business. Because that's what we're here for!

Jenni Beard
The Web Lotus