What are SEO and SEM?

SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. It's getting your website to the top of teh results when some one searches. So if you're a plumber in Surrey when I type "surrey plumber" into Google you want to be at the top of the list. It's likely I will call one of the top 3. In fact studies have shown that about 80% of users will click on one of the top three organic (free) results.

SEM is Search Engine Marketing. You can pay for the top spot. If you do a search on Google you'll notice that they display ads, sometimes at the top and sometimes at the side. They're often in a different colour or marked as an ad.

So which should I choose? Probably both.

If you have a good website, that;s easy to read, with good content you should rank well for organic results. These are free and also 80% of people choose these. It's the way to go. However it can take a while to get ranked well (we find 2 - 3 months) but once there it's easy to stay there.

Ads are fast, set them up and you can be listed in hours. Also they are very targeted. So if you are a plumber in surrey you only want to show your ads to people who search for "surrey plumber" who are in Surrey, BC. Not Surrey, England. You can be very specific with your ads. Your ad can only display when some one searches for "leaking pipe" leading to an ad saying "Leaking pipe? We have a 24 hour callout service" linking to a page about how good you are at stopping leaks and the damage that they can cause. This kind of very specific targeting means people can find exactly what they are searching for and are more likely to call you.

Also with ads, it doesn't cost you anything to have them displayed, you only get charged when some one clicks on them, and you can set your budget carefully to spend only what you want.

This is where having a good, simple well laid out website from your SEO comes in. Once your potential client is on your site, you want to make it easy for them to contact you.