The Difference Between SEO and SEM

Is there a difference between SEO and SEM? 

Heck yeah, there is. Think of SEM as buying traffic and SEO as earning traffic. Because both serve the purpose of promoting site visibility and driving online traffic, SEO is sometimes considered a subset of SEM in general. Nevertheless, they are two very different approaches to achieving a common goal. When visitors reach a site via SEM or “paid search,” it is referred to as paid traffic. Likewise, when visitors reach a site via SEO, it is referred to as organic traffic. Both are often used hand-in-hand to maximize online marketing efforts.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization takes place on the web development side of things. Basic SEO involves the use of relevant keywords in the site’s content, URLs, and page titles. It is important to have relevant keywords so that search engines can identify which websites to display when users search related terms. The higher the rank in search...

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Choosing Between Boutique SEO Firms vs. Agencies

When it comes to choosing an SEO provider, it is my experience that companies often pass on the more hands-on, results-oriented boutique firms, in favor of the more formal façade, dare I say the glitz and glamour, of agencies. What they often get is a much bigger bill, lots of reporting and not a lot else.

Now, if you are reading this and you yourself own or work for an agency, relax. I am not saying that all big agencies are bad. However, it’s my experience having worked for one and having dealt with clients that use big agencies, that the service levels and results are not as they should be – especially in light of the low-to-mid five digit retainers they are charging.

I think this is especially true when it comes to SEO. What many people do not understand is how labor intensive good SEO is. This reality doesn’t fit well into the financial constructs of bigger agencies. Add together their high overhead, plus the high hourly rate for a truly experienced SEO...

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The Case For Online Chat

Online Chat for Business – The Hidden Benefits

Online chat is a salve for many conversion woes and a simple and easy way to improve the performance of most websites. After we make our pitch to clients to consider and ultimately activate chat on their site, we hear a lot of the same questions. Here are some common questions and
answers:

What if we’re not available to answer the chats?

Then don’t answer them! There are two good ways to handle this:

  • The conservative approach, if you are concerned about not looking like all the lights are off, is to simply have the chat tab not appear unless an operator is logged in. This effectively makes it a total nonissue. Whether you have one or 30 customer service staff, chat can be configured to only show up when people are logged in, no one will have a bad experience of trying to chat and being unable to. (Although we would argue that this is not, in fact, a bad experience at all, or at least it’s not worse than...
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