SEO – you kind of know what it means, but you really don’t.
At NeONBRAND, we meet people all the time who come to us looking for “SEO” services, but they don’t actually want search engine optimization at all.
We get it, though. All the technical terms sort of run together after awhile, and it’s not your job to know SEO from SEM or FTP from DNS. In this episode of the Kurt and Kenny Podcast, we’re talking about all those technical terms, what they mean, and what’s actually important for you to know about them.
The Kurt & Kenny Podcast Episode 11: Show Notes
SEO, search engine optimization, is one of the most important and often misunderstood services NeONBRAND offers. It’s not just about making you more popular on the internet. SEO means doing the right things so that your website shows up in Google searches when people type in related terms, and that’s a very specific and narrow function.
In this episode, we’re most focused on what SEO is, what it isn’t, and the supporting techniques and tactics that are often lumped in when people talk about it. Let’s start with the difference between SEO and SEM.
What’s the Difference Between SEO and SEM?
SEM is search engine marketing. It’s a shorter path to success, but when you use SEM to appear on a search page, you’re not showing up in organic results. You’re just running an ad, and the link to your website is marked as an ad. As soon as you stop running the ad, you stop showing up at the top of the page. There are some other varieties of search engine marketing, but the method with which most people are familiar is Google Pay Per Click advertising.
SEO is everything that shows up after the ads.
Those links that appear on the search results page are considered organic rankings. Think of “organic” in the sense of natural, unpaid rankings that you earned because Google’s algorithms objectively evaluated your website and determined that a page on it was one of the best answers to a search query.
Lots of people think SEO is a way to manipulate search results, but that’s not accurate. If you try to manipulate results, Google is likely to rank you lower. Their computers are pretty smart, and they’re good at figuring out if you’re gaming the system. Good SEO is really just creating things that people want to find, and then making sure they can find them.
In search results, 80% of the clicks go to organic rankings, so ranking through SEO is super important. Only 20% of clicks go to SEM methods like Adwords. For a lot of businesses, the best strategy is often to do both until your SEO is reliable, then perhaps shift your energy to organic rankings to rank for the most important keywords.
Meanwhile, if you’re doing PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, you have to keep reinvesting all of the money that you make. Generating a return with PPC takes a lot of investment, both up front and over time. Commit and keep your head up. Have some guts, or you’ll end up wasting your ad budget.
Other Non-SEO Internet Marketing Tactics
Social Media Marketing
Kurt started out as a skeptic in 2008 when he reluctantly signed up for his social media accounts.
Kenny was an early adopter offering social media marketing before platforms really had marketing options for businesses.
Platforms have evolved over time, of course, and now they’re necessities for serious entrepreneurs. Social media is an excellent medium for awareness, placement, branding. It’s kind of like the new TV commercial.
Today, organic social media campaigns (posting like a person and gaining followers without buying ads) aren’t realistic for most businesses. Organic visibility just isn’t a thing. If you want anybody to see you and engage with you, you’re probably going to have to buy some ads and target the specific people you’d like to attract to your brand.
For the most part, these aren’t active buyers. They’re casual browsers. Used correctly, you can use Facebook ads to push people deeper into your sales funnel, but in most cases, you’re helping people start to get to know you.
Most commonly, when you hear someone talk about affiliate marketing, they’re talking about selling other people’s products through their own website content. For every link click that results in a sale, the affiliate (the person marketing someone else’s stuff) makes a very small percentage of the sale.
Affiliate sales make you a very, very tiny amount of money. The whole idea behind profitable affiliate marketing is that a lot of littles add up to make one big.
You can also offer an affiliate program for your own business so that other people can sell your products or promote your brand.
An influencer is somebody who already has a big fan following, over which they presumably have some amount of influence.
Influencer marketing means that you pay an influencer to promote your product to their audience.
Often, the price of a post or tweet or video from an influencer sounds outrageously expensive, but do your homework. If that influencer really does have a large and engaged audience, and a small percentage of those people make a purchase because of their recommendation, you stand to generate great returns.
There are lots and lots of ways to market your business online. Some are probably better than others, and the strategy that works for you depends on your individual circumstances. Listen to the full podcast for more insights, and tune in next week to hear what happens when clients go bad.
Headline: The Kurt & Kenny Podcast Episode 11: SEO, SEM, and Other Commonly Confused Terms