Search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM)

Plainly put, SEO and SEM are the techniques we use to attract the right kind of people, for the right reasons, to your website. Both require a thoughtful and ethical approach to content development to work in the long term. 

THE COCKTAIL PARTY EFFECT

Imagine standing in the middle of a very crowded party, talking to no one in particular, and mumbling about what you do for a living. In this particular party, everyone has excellent hearing and their ears perk up when they hear you (or anyone else in the party) mumble about something in which they’re very interested. If fact, they pop right over — to see if you’re for real. 

Our job, as SEO site designers, is to make sure we do the following:

  • Learn who you want to attract — or avoid — at the party.
  • Discover what words or phrases the partygoers are most likely to notice or discuss among themselves.
  • Take note of the words or phrases that are so overused at the party that most people have learned to ignore them.
  • Make sure you have the best party patter. (Remember, it’s more about what the other partygoers want to hear, initially, than what you want to say. Once they come over to listen more closely, you can shift gears.)

PUT ME ON TOP

You, like everyone else, would like to be listed on the first page of Google and Bing. Preferably at the top, correct?

We can’t promise that (at least, not for free!), and you should avoid doing business with anyone who claims they can.

But we can use our knowledge and experience to move you higher in search engine results. With careful attention to the text in your website, where it’s positioned, how it’s linked, and how it’s styled, we can optimize your chances of appearing in response to the kinds of keywords your target audience is likely to use.

Your position is also greatly influenced by who pays attention to you, as measured by social reach and both quantity and quality of inbound links. It’s not sufficient to be the best and the brightest. Search engines want proof that others — many others — agree.

That’s the organic side of SEO — making sure the content on your site and in your social media corresponds nicely to the information, opinions, products, or services for which people search, share, or approve.

THE FAST TRACK

Clearly, SEO requires a lot of work over long stretches of time, and it can’t guarantee position. If you really need to cut to the chase, you might consider Search Engine Marketing (SEM), also known as “paid placement” and CPC (cost-per-click) advertising. The best example is Google AdWords, those tiny ads that appear in the right column and sometimes at the very top left of the page. 

If you absolutely need to appear near or at the top of page one of Google — to promote the launch of a new brand, or to drive conversions on a particular product or service — SEM is often the way to go. 

SEM isn’t the cheapest route to high visibility, but it works. You can bid your way to the top, control your advertising budget, target narrow audience segments, and measure effectiveness. No other form of advertising offers this combination.

AS OSCAR WILDE SAID…

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” That’s one of our guiding philosophies in site design. 

We want people people to hear you, see you, talk about you. To not ignore you.