Nick Brogden, the founder of Earned Media, talks about SEO and SEM for beginners in a free digital marketing course offered by Monday.com and KBB.
Kochie’s Business Booster – Supercharge your sales and marketing
I was recently invited to be involved in a fantastic project for Kochie’s Business Builder and Monday.com called Kochie’s Business Booster. This offers a free course that can help people you a bit of extra information that may help you scale your sales, boost your brand and learn more about marketing.
The below video is my lesson on SEO and SEM. If you would like to check out the complete course head on over to the Kochie’s Business Booster page, sign up and get into it!
What is SEO and SEM?
To understand SEO and SEM you first need to understand Google. Search engines are one of the best, if not the place to get new customers for your business.
This is because unlike social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram where the user is passively scrolling through the posts looking for entertainment and updates from their family and friends.
When people are using a search engine it’s because they are looking for something specific, which means we can understand their intent.
So how can this benefit your business?
Well, it means that if you can work out what searches will result in someone buying your product or service then you’re always halfway there.
Marketing on Google’s search engine is just like any other form of marketing, it’s all about visibility. There are two primary methods to gaining this visibility on a Google SERP, SERP being an acronym for search engine results page.
They are search engine marketing (SEM) which is basically Google Ads previously called AdWords and search engine optimisation (SEO). Now on the SERP, these both look similar but the difference is extreme so I’ll break down how they work.
SEO: Search engine optimisation
SEO is an organic channel meaning to rank in these positions does not require payment to Google. It’s about optimising your website with the goal of ranking as high as possible for your target commercial keywords.
The simplest way to think about this is that search is Google’s core product and the person searching is their customer. Its mission is to provide its customers with the best information specific to their queries. So in essence, search engine optimisation is no longer as much about messing around with Google’s algorithm as it was in the early days of SEO.
It’s now about creating the best possible answer to the searches and then ensuring that your site has enough authority for the answer to be respected. To achieve this you need to really understand the meaning behind the search terms and know specifically which keywords you want to rank for then go about writing detailed copy that will be of high value to anyone searching those keywords.
The next step is to increase the overall authority of your website. A good way to do this is to promote your content to people that are writing about similar topics so they can source information from your page for their own content.
They will then generally add a link to your site which provides you with additional authority and will assist you to achieve your SEO goals. One very important thing to remember when it comes to SEO, it is not a process that delivers fast results.
I recommend making a 12-month plan and being sure you stick to it. If you’re hiring an agency be sure they come highly recommended as you need to work with them for a while. But once you start to rank well for your target keywords then you will get a lot of traffic organic search and you won’t have to pay Google for each click.
SEM: search engine marketing
Google Ads are what is referred to as a ‘paid channel’ and they can take up the first 4 positions you see when you perform a search on Google.
They have an ‘ad’ written in bold text in the top left of their position but other than that they pretty much blend in with the organic listings although due to their higher rank they have much more visibility.
If you need to start getting work right away Google Ads are generally the best option as they provide you with the ability to quickly purchase visibility for your desired keywords and send anyone who clicks your ad to a webpage of your choosing.
This, of course, sounds fantastic and in many cases it is, but you need to really know your costs as it’s billed via a method called CPC which stands for cost per click.
This means anytime someone clicks on your Google Ad you will pay a fee. The cost is based on a bidding system so the more commercial intent displayed in the term the higher the cost. Be sure you know exactly what you want to get out of that traffic as paying for every click can quickly add up to a lot of money.
A pro tip for paid ads is to send the traffic to a landing page. A landing page is a web page that’s specifically designed to obtain your desired conversion and remove all other distractions.
These are extremely useful for Google Ads as we know the intent of the search. So a page can be produced to specifically provide the user with what they want and remove anything they don’t which results in a much higher number of clicks turning into new customers.
Founder of Earned Media. Nick specialises in SEO and he has been working in the industry for over 12 years. He is a recurring digital marketing expert guest on Kochie’s Business Builders on Channel 7 network TV. Nick is a member of the Entrepreneur Leadership Network and regularly contributes to many top business publications. Nick has also guest lectured on SEO and content marketing at the University of Technology Sydney.