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SEO vs. SEM

Acronyms can often just get too much, whether they are being used constantly in the office workplace or on your mobile phone (the dreaded ‘lol’). Communication is about sending messages clearly and concisely so this article will define the difference between two different techniques. In the red corner SEO (search engine optimisation) stands defiant and is not disappearing anytime soon, in the blue corner lurks SEM (search engine marketing) hoping to win the fight, with money on the mind.

What does SEO and SEM mean?
SEO is optimising your website to get free traffic and overcome any technical barriers that might prevent a search engine from accessing a website’s content. The site’s content should be relevant and in turn this helps the search engine index the content effectively. An optimised website is more easily understood by search engine crawlers (more chance of ranking higher in SERPS- search engine results page). On-page tactics include, but are not limited to: meta descriptions and tags, page titles, keywords, alt image tags, headings and URL.
SEM is simply the purchasing of marketing media such as Google AdWords (paid search advertising). SEM is very controllable and you are in complete control of budget and spend. You can choose a particular word or phrase to encourage traffic to your website. Over time ad campaigns can be monitored (analytics) and changes made if necessary.
There are similarities between the two approaches but you may find, depending on your needs, you put more time and energy into one over the other. However it is important to follow SMART (specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, relevant and time). There are many definitions for this wonderful acronym but they all mean the same thing; know what your aims are to achieve your end-goal.

Online tips/advice

– Off-site SEO such as acquiring links (recommendations or guest blogs) can both benefit/harm your website’s rank. Make sure the incoming link is from a reliable, authoritative source. However link building is considered an almost outdated technique now.
– What is a sitemap? The online pages of a website accessible by search engine crawlers or users.
– Good writing conquers all!

Online Marketing │Out with the words, in with the pictures

Infographics

Infographics have been informing us since…well as of late, the rise in these popular graphics has been since the beginning of 2012. Infographics help to communicate messages or information instantly through graphic representation and minimal text/copy. Does it work? Do companies benefit from infographics or is it just more unnecessary information floating in cyberspace?
 

Why use infographics?

Infographics are a fun way to present information and as you know users do not spend a lot of time on one webpage to another. So if your business wants to communicate something quickly and clearly this could be a good way to do so. For example, the wine website Wine Folly uses infographics to help explain wine in a manageable way, please see ‘How to Choose Wine’. The graphics are simple but useful, the text clear and concise.

Infographics are also useful for social media facts and statistics. The data is easy to digest, visually pleasing and not too overbearing; ideal for light hearted (informal) presentations to clients or internally within a company. Long gone are the days of nine pages of reports on social media coverage, tracking links etc. Complex issues are made easier to understand through this method of delivery. This is beneficial to both you and your customer. [This comment in particular is applicable for digital marketing agencies].

Philosophical values and messages are perfect topics for infographic posters. Companies can build their brands around images and information they create! Clever eh?

  • Easy to produce
  • Clearly communicate messages, information, facts or statistics.
  • Visual thoughts – brought alive!
  • Build a company’s brand image – users will consider your company as a resource for user-friendly information.
  • A helpful resource both internally and externally.
  • Infographics can be shared very quickly.
  • Used to display a wide range of topics and discussions. This could be anything from blueberries to porn infographics [don’t worry the latter link isn’t too offensive].

 

This all sounds good but…

Some infographics can look a bit amateur. Remember those (one off) nights when you would do your homework last minute. You walk up to the desk, hand shaking, reluctantly sending that haphazard piece of work to your marker. Well for infographics it can be just the same. Some companies rush into producing content quickly without considering the design element and publishing as soon as possible.

This can also lead to inevitable blunders such as not citing where you found information or date from or not hyperlinking quoted sources. I advise including a reference for everything you quote. Acknowledgement of sources is extremely good practice.

Infographics about your own company are only of interest to…well, you (most likely). Remember the content should be engaging and exciting for the reader and self-promoting narcissism will not get you anywhere! In fact it may lead to bad press for you.

6 Infographic tips

  1. Remember all inforgraphics need… a beginning + a middle + an end
  2. The content should as new and as original as possible.
  3. Use eye-catching graphics, flow charts, images, photographs, cartoons etc.
  4. Whatever you say, may it clear.
  5. Information should always be easy to digest and use, this then encourages sharing on different platforms i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.
  6. Infographics are popular at this point in time but so is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr – but is your company using all those websites? No? Well infographics are like social media websites – only use if necessary or beneficial to you or your company.

If you have any comments about infographics or would like to ask me a question then please feel free to leave a message below. Use the hashtag #infographics on Twitter to find some great examples of infographics!

Cadbury’s new chocolate bar: only for women, dieting women.

Cadbury have revealed a new chocolate bar targeted specifically at women, called Crispello. This new treat is hoping to attract those women who are currently on diets or are calorie conscious. Each bar contains only 165 calories. Brilliant. This really does make me chuckle, “low-calorie chocolate bars” aimed at women on diets. Oh what a paradox!

The chocolate bar is divided into three equal portions, intended for women to really spread out their indulgence consuming chocolate. Only consuming one teeny piece at a time. All sounds very controlling, 1984. This seems also like a rather ridiculous concept. Everyone knows that chocolate is not healthy and to be separated into three sections is unnecessary. We are living in a (more) health conscious world. So they say. So will ‘less chocolate, less calories’ really sell?

The good news is, is Crispello only costs an affordable 50p! This does suddenly make it more attractive in comparison to the price currently of other chocolate bars. The new chocolate recipe also sounds extremely mouth-watering, three light and crispy wafer shells filled with a deliciously creamy centre and covered in a layer of double chocolate.

Despite the marketing and supposed USP (unique selling point) for Crispello, I am interested in having a bite… Only after one hard session in the gym though.

 

 

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