SEO and SEM: Helping Businesses Become Visible in Cleveland’s Search Market


Building your online presence requires visibility from search engines. This is where SEO and SEM can help drive website traffic so that your target market will see your content.

Do you know what “micro-moments” are? These are small windows of opportunities wherein users check their mobile phones now and then throughout the day and at times, they make buying decisions.

In a study, up to 69% of travelers search online for travel ideas during micro-moments and almost half end up booking right then and there. Invest in those moments by being visible in search engines and get customers!

SEO and SEM relate to how you can drive traffic to your site when someone searches for a keyword in search engines like Google, especially when it is done in your vicinity!

They are usually deemed to be two different concepts. Search engine optimization is usually attributed to organic traffic while search engine marketing is usually attributed to paid advertising.

In this article, you will learn the basics of both techniques and how you can use them both to your advantage.

What is the role of SEO and SEM in internet marketing?

In marketing your business, having a good website is a start to a stellar online presence. It is through it that potential customers can decide whether to do business with you or not.

Are you putting out high-quality articles? Does your website show valuable information on your product or services? Does your audience know where and how to contact you?

Give value consistently to solve their problems. Then you will have a high chance of closing deals.

But your website will not be as effective if your audience cannot find you in search engines.

When people want to buy, they go online and search for terms. They may read blogs for product reviews and advice. They may depend on social media and even look up your competitors’ sites.

Hence, you want to be visible to them and catch them in the moment that they are ready to spend. And for this, you need SEO or SEM or both.

What is SEM?

Search engine marketing refers to using the power of keywords in driving traffic to your site. It means that when someone searches for your target keyword, your website appears among the search results.

In the above image of a search engine results page (SERP), the term “buy essential oils” shows paid ads at the top. Meanwhile, right below these ads is the highest-ranking page.

SEM can be thought of as an umbrella under which you will find SEO. It encompasses both free or organic and paid traffic.

But almost always, SEM is associated with PPC or pay-per-click advertising. Probably the best-known platform for this is Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords.

With PPC, you only pay the platform when a potential customer clicks on your site. The main consideration for this is cost.

When you are still starting, your conversion rate may not be as high as you would hope for. But treat those initial costs as an investment for learning.

Every time that you get data from your campaign, analyze it. Check what works and what doesn’t.

Test everything ˗ the keywords, your copy, your landing page design, the creatives, and even the cost per click.

Hence, this kind of promotion takes time, effort, and money to optimize until you can fully monetize it.

But what’s good about it is that PPC could convert faster than SEO. Because the ads are placed high above the SERP, the probability of a customer visiting your site is much higher.

What is SEO?


Search engine optimization refers to designing your website and content such that search engines, es

pecially Google, will be able to crawl through your site.

Google will index the keywords in it and determine its quality and relevance to certain keywords to assess how it ranks.

There are a lot of ranking factors that Google considers for your content to rank high. It includes optimizing your pages’ meta titles, URLs, title tags, alt texts, headings, and keywords to make up high-quality content.

Here are just some of the factors that Google looks at in assessing your content:

  • keyword density and placement– avoid keyword stuffing by limiting the number of keywords found on the entire page and strategically place those keywords and related key phrases in the headers, body, etc.
  • positive user experience – make the paragraphs readable, optimize the loading speed, and make sure that the pages have no error or broken links
  • link building – acquire backlinks from reputable websites apart from your pages to enhance crawlability

These are just some of the factors and ranking may be based on a combination of factors, not just one.

So, it is best to tick all those boxes when auditing your site for higher chances of ranking high on the SERP.

You need to build your entire website to be SEO-friendly. It takes research to see what keywords are worth competing for and competing against big brands will be difficult. It also takes time.

But the advantage is that being at the top of the SERP will bring you more visitors and that is for free!

And you can dominate your market through local SEO. It means that search engines show your business when someone in the same area looks up your product or service within Cleveland, Ohio, for example.

Make your business visible in Cleveland and beyond

With technology paving the way for businesses of all sizes to market online, the digital marketing space has been booming.

There are advertisements on social media feed, web pages, and even on search engines.

But remember that traffic, paid or not, will not convert unless your offer and strategy work. And until you refine your process, you might lose money and opportunities.

In the beginning, you may benefit from PPC. The downside is that ad costs are becoming more expensive due to increasing demand.

Good thing there is another solution. As a long-term plan, investing in SEO is always a good idea. It is a slow burner but when done right, it could be an evergreen source of traffic.

However, one disadvantage of SEO is that it takes time. You cannot simply search for your keyword and expect to see your page there at the top.

Hence, if you plan to execute SEM fully to its capabilities, dabble in both PPC and SEO.

Want to talk about SEO and SEM strategies for your business? Contact Cleveland’s Milia Marketing now.

Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia is an author of Marketing Magnifier, marketing consultant, and owner of Milia Marketing, an award-winning Marketing firm located in Cleveland, OH. Anthony helps Small and Medium-sized businesses get the best ROI for their marketing dollars by shedding light on their sales and marketing challenges.