Understanding Search Engine Marketing (& SEO – Search Engine Optimization) really is a matter of life or death for your business online!
There are many aspects to SEM (& SEO), once you have those down-pat, the next challenge (particularly with SEO) is to stay in step with the algorithm changes that are thrown your way courtesy of Google, Yahoo and Bing. My experience has been primarily Google doing the algorithm dance with online marketers.
If you are doing your SEM and SEO right though, those algorithm changes really do not affect your online business for long. It is all a matter of making sure you work with White Hat Tactics, anything Grey or Black Hat is going to get you into trouble. Let’s chat about Search Engine Marketing Training (& More!).
Not familiar with the terms White, Grey or Black Hat tactics? No stress, I have you covered, I wrote an article How To Increase Traffic to Your Website For Free where you can discover more about these tactics.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are often confused as being the same thing, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As an online business your strategy should absolutely include both SEM and SEO methodologies. Perhaps I have blurred the lines a bit by speaking about SEO when answering the question “What is SEM”. Hang with me a bit, we will get into both for the sake of clarity and our online businesses.
A Definition of SEM
Here is a definition of Search Engine Marketing according to Wikipedia:
“Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites’ by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.”
SEM Versus SEO
Simply put, SEM is a paid-for online marketing strategy and SEO is a free online marketing strategy. That is not the only way they differ as you will discover.
SEM is internet marketing that increases a websites’ visibility via organic (free) search engines and also paid advertising.
SEO is strictly organic (free) in the way it attracts visitors to a website, SEO tactics are used to increase the volume of website visitors to a website. This is done by getting the site to appear as highly as possible on the results returned by a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
I strongly recommend a combination of both SEO and SEM strategies in your marketing.
Search Engine Marketing Training
Search Engine Marketing Training is offered by a range of training platforms including Udemy, Lynda.com, intellipaat.com and Google. I cannot recommend any of them because I have not studied with them – I will share where I study with you in a moment.
Getting back to Google in particular, they offer free training through Google Skillshop, which stands to reason as they are going to benefit from money paid through the course of your SEM strategy. Good for them though, they offer free training for all the Google products. From where I sit, if you are looking for a free SEM Training course, it only makes sense to do it through Google, in fact, I will be doing that course too.
Have a look below, you will notice that Google offers a range of product training and certifications, very clever strategy on their part. I definitely think this is worth looking into, who knows better than Google how their Ads, marketing Platform, Analytics etc works!
So, for paid for advertising methodology (SEM) you can go for free training through Google, or paid training through a number of other places as mentioned above (Udemy, Lynda.com and intelipaat.com) or a number of other places which you will find if you just type SEM Training into the search bar.
It’s a no-brainer to me that Google would be the best port of call because it’s Google and its free. I have more to share with you though so don’t dash off to study with Google – at least not just yet.
What Does Search Engine Marketing Entail?
SEM incorporates the use of SEO techniques plus it includes paid search, for example, Pay Per Click (PPC) listing and advertisements. SEM is mostly (or even strictly) PPC campaigns and the likes, but if you combine SEO and paid search, that is considered SEM. I hope that makes sense? As I write it, sounds a bit nonsensical, but I have it on good authority that this is how it works.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, as you read above, is strictly free, and is tactical in the way it attracts traffic to a website. Let’s look at what Wikipedia says about SEO:
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results and excludes direct traffic/visitors and the purchase of paid placement. Wikipedia
Lovely and succinct, I definitely could not have said it better. Thank you Wiki.
What Does SEO Consist Of?
There are two different aspects to take into account, On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO, I will list them below for ease of reference
On Page SEO
- Includes high ranking keywords into title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, alt text and the likes (if this all sounds like a foreign language, stick with me, I have the right place for you to find out more)
- Optimized blogs and articles written with high quality content
- Clean page URLS
- Page load speed is optimized
- Google ranking
- Social sharing is integrated within the content
- And there’s more … which you can learn about here
Off Page SEO
- Include high quality and natural back linking (see what I did above linking to Wikipedia? Yeah, that is back linking to a trusted authority)
- Social sharing opportunities
- Social bookmarking (Reddit for example)
- Plus much more than we have time for right here and now
Which Is Better? SEM or SEO?
There are pros and cons to both actually, and a time and place for both too. Let’s see what that means:
The training that I have followed tells me that SEO (organic / free) is the best first approach. Why? Well, while it does take longer for results to show with SEO, it is definitely less costly plus you also build a relationship of trust with the search engines that you may not achieve when spending money with PPC.
The truth is that SEM cannot succeed without SEO – you do really need both. The advantage of SEM is that you may have faster results with PPC than you would with strictly SEO. That said, it is not advisable to follow a strictly SEM strategy and not include SEO – seriously inadvisable.
So, as you can see, there is a place for each of them and you would need to select which is best for your particular needs at the time. Just remember, SEM must be accompanied by solid SEO tactics.
In Depth SEO Training Is Absolutely Essential
As you can see above, there is substantially more detail involved with SEO and you really do need a solid understanding of SEO before even considering to venture into SEM. Why? Because you should always include SEO in your SEM strategy and, the only way you are going to know what you are doing with SEO, is with solid training.
I have received outstanding training, as you can see below, Making Money Online Isn’t Magic – anyone can learn the skills!
Incidentally, you will also receive SEM Training at Wealthy Affiliate, this platform truly does live up to its promise of teaching members to make money online – via SEO, SEM and a whole lot more!
My Number One Recommendation
That brings me to my Number One Recommendation where you can learn everything you need to know about SEO and also have access to SEM training! In fact, this platform offers so much more than just SEO and SEM training, here is a quick overview of what you will have access to:
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Remember, this is a quick overview, there is A LOT more on offer, at one price! You can read an in depth review about this amazing platform if you like. There is a load of information in that review, so if you would like to have a read of the Skinny Version, please feel free.
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That is right, I am offering you a gift right here, you can test drive everything within this amazing platform for 100% FREE. you do not even need to share your bank account or card details. You never have to pay a dime if that is what you choose too. This is a Free Starter Membership and you are not obligated to change that either:
There You Have It Folks …
We started out speaking about SEM or Search Engine Marketing Training. In this article I have done my level best to give you an overview of SEM but added value by including and emphasizing the importance of solid SEO too!
Hope to see you inside Wealthy Affiliate, where it will be my pleasure to take you through all the learning I have covered to date (online marketing is a dynamic arena, I believe that the learning never ends, it’s very exciting, always something new!).
Feel free to leave me any questions or thoughts you have in the comments section below, I love to hear from you!
Blessings as always
PS Yes, that is me, Louise, aka Late Bloomer, I look forward to hearing from you. Leave me a message in the comments below, promise to respond.