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Why SEO and SEM are perfect for small businesses

Any online business requires a wholesome marketing strategy that includes both Search Engine Optimization(SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). For any small businesses, this is even more important as the online competition is fierce. To establish a foothold in any respective field, you should make a good use of all the tools you have at your disposal. Involving both SEO and SEM in your marketing strategy can have a significant impact on your growth and success if you are a small business in any industry.

SEO and SEM – What's the difference?

People often confuse those terms. It is also one of the reasons why SEM is often overlooked as people mistake it for SEO. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing which includes all the methods used to increase the visibility of your website. Search Engine Optimization, on the other hand, is a term to describe all the organic methods used to improve your website rating on a search engine. The term organic is used here as you don't pay for the improved visibility. So, SEM is a broader term that includes SEO, Pay-Per-Click methods, etc.

When using both SEM and SEO you can create integrated digital marketing campaigns with impressive results. To employ an optimal combination of SEM and SEO, you have to understand how both of them work.


SEO is a combination of many digital methods and strategies designed to increase the amount and quality of online traffic to a website. All of it is achieved in an organic way. If having a good SEO strategy is very important for small businesses as they often don't have the budget to outsource help. Using SEO your audience can reach you through their own online searches.

SEO is important to establish online exposure for your business and establish a foothold in your business segment. If nobody can find your website, it becomes useless very quickly. For many people, SEO can seem overwhelming and too complicate to manage. But worry not, here are some of the steps you have to take to begin employing a successful SEO foundation for your business.

Make a Google My Business account. This will help you tremendously as you will appear in local search results. You should also add all of the important information about your business. Another thing you should do is connecting your physical address to google maps. That is very important if you have a business that expects physical visits from your customers.

Research your target customers and keywords. Do an extensive research on your audience, including the way they search for the service or products that you offer. Find the most common keywords and phrases they use, so you can build your website in a way, that correlates with the most popular online searches. Make sure to include the most popular keywords in your content as much as possible. This includes your titles, product descriptions, articles and other content you have on your website.

Build your social media presence. Create social media accounts for your business. In the beginning, you can invite your friends if you are also personally present on those social media channels. In this day and age, social media advertising is one of the most cost-efficient methods to drive traffic to your website.

Blog. Create content for your audience that goes further than just describing your products and business. People appreciate the interesting information, and if you successfully engage with your audience, you can even create a following, that can have great benefits in the long run. Make sure to consistently update your website with fresh and interesting content.

SEO advantages

When you optimize your website for a better search engine visibility, you will improve your revenue and reach. It also allows you to better connect with your audience while having a good online presence in your business niche. Small businesses that are easily found definitely have a much better chance to grow faster.

The SEO advantages include:

  • User-friendly website
  • More traffic
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Improved business exposure
  • Better reach to new potential markets
  • Your business becomes more competitive
  • You can reach your audience beyond your business hours

Offering a good user experience by using SEO, makes your website discoverable and user-friendly.


As mentioned above, SEM is a broader term than SEO. It also includes some of the paid efforts to improve your website's visibility. As we covered the organic part of your digital marketing strategy when covering SEO, we will focus on paid efforts to do the same. Don't forget, SEM includes both SEO and other techniques, those terms are often wrongly used.

Using paid methods to increase your online presence is another way to increase your online traffic. The benefit of those methods is the fact that you will almost always appear in front of the competition that doesn't pay for ads, however, you can also waste a lot of money if your ads don't convert to actual buyers. If you want to learn more about how to start a local SEM business you can read GFKamerica's course review and insights about Parallel Profits

SEM benefits

Paying money will, therefore, make sure your website will appear at the right place to the right customer, given you did a correct assessment on who is your best customer. It does provide a competitive edge for small businesses that compete with larger rivals.

The cost of SEM campaigns can be controlled and adjusted to any budget and timeframe. If you consider that around 75% of online users go on a local search and 60% of those local searches result in a purchase, SEM is definitely a good opportunity to boost your sales.

Using paid and organic methods to grow your website

Both paid and organic methods have a good effect on the growth of your online presence and establish your small business in your field, despite the competition. You can opt for either of the techniques, however, if you use the combination of both, you can achieve the best results.

While SEO provides important results, achieved in an organic way, paid efforts grant that competitive edge that pushes your business one step further. With paid results, you can bring in targeted traffic in very efficiently. If you have both sides of your digital marketing covered, it can provide you with a good foundation for growing beyond your small business status.

The common goal of both techniques is driving traffic to your website. The day-to-day effort for Search Engine Optimization and fast, targeted traffic provided by the paid ads, is the perfect combination. SEO will provide the foundation to convert and keep the traffic generated by paid strategies.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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