1. What does SEO stand for? What about SEM? What is PPC?
  2. How can SEM help my business?
  3. Is online advertising as expensive as traditional media?
  4. What ROI can I expect from an online advertising campaign?
  5. Is SEM Consulting a good investment for my company?
  6. Should I try it all on my own?
  7. What should I avoid when looking for an SEO/SEM Consultant?
  8. What should I look for in an SEO/SEM Consultant?
  9. How much does SEM Consulting cost?
  10. How do I get started?

What does SEO stand for? What about SEM? What is PPC?

SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization", SEM is "Search Engine Marketing", and PPC is "Pay Per Click" Advertising. The general practice of working within Search Engine algorithms and guidelines to increase your website's exposure is known as SEM. This covers any field that involves marketing your business on Search Engines, including advertising, "organic" rankings, local business listings, and more. Optimizing your website to help the Search Engines determine if it is relevant to what your customers are looking for is SEO, and PPC is advertising on Search Engine result pages.

[Back to Top]

How can SEM help my business?

While many large companies took a while to come around to the concept, SEM is a booming topic of interest these days due to the incredible amount of people that use Search Engines to find what they're looking for every day. Google and Yahoo! are used over 100,000,000 times every month! Radio, newspaper and television advertising still have their place, but putting yourself directly in front of a potential customer, when they're looking specifically for what you have to offer, is far superior than trying to push your products or services on them while they're entertaining themselves reading, watching TV or listening to their favorite radio station.

[Back to Top]

Is online advertising as expensive as traditional media?

It's possible to setup a PPC advertising campaign with a daily budget as low as $5.00, meaning your company can invest a mere $150/month into driving traffic to your website. The core differences between online advertising and traditional forms of offline advertising are that you only pay for a potential customer that sees your offer by taking an action of interest (clicking on your ad to visit your website), and that you can accurately measure your results, down to every single person who sees your advertisements.

[Back to Top]

What ROI can I expect from an online advertising campaign?

If you invest $200 into a couple Newspaper advertisements, you will have no idea if anyone saw the ad, let alone if they decided to take any action to learn more. With PPC, you choose the keywords you want to focus on, then see the exact number of people that have typed in those phrases and viewed your ads, then the precise number that clicked the ad to learn more...all in real time!

Because every market has a different level of competition, the bid prices (Cost Per Click, or CPC) vary wildly. In some markets, such as the "Debt Consolidation" niche, clicks can cost over $50 each. However, it is typical to get clicks for $0.10 - $1.00 in most markets. If you can convert 1 in every 100 visitors to paying customers, you will most likely only spend $10 - $100 to acquire each new lead.

[Back to Top]

Is SEM Consulting a good investment for my company?

Every company is different, but many times investing in an Internet Marketing campaign can yield a significant increase in sales, in a much shorter time than traditional PR and marketing techniques. As with any form of marketing, it is essential to stay focused on the right target audience and maintain a consistent, convenient flow to carry visitors through the process to becoming customers. In general, whether you own a landscaping company, a salon, a doctor's office, or you're a real estate agent, your business can benefit from expanding your reach online.

[Back to Top]

Should I try it all on my own?

While it starts out as an exciting business adventure, making, marketing and managing a website is a tough task. In fact, a large majority of businesses simply pay someone to make a small website, than they're left confused and embarrassed by their poor design and lack of results.

Like with anything in business, it's possible to take the task on yourself, or you can pay someone that makes a living doing only that, a professional, to do it for you. Though Search Engine Marketing is a fairly young profession, there have been more advancements and improvements to it in the past decade than you could imagine. That said, it's a matter of investing money to achieve better results (with less headaches) versus attempting it yourself.

[Back to Top]

What should I avoid when looking for an SEO/SEM Consultant?

Because SEM began as completely uncharted territory in a World of established practices and slow-moving bureaucratic practices were the norm, some "firms" decided to take advantage of the hype surrounding the Internet and charge companies $10,000's, or even $100,000's, to get websites more traffic. They used spammy, underhanded tactics to show off their quick results, then left before the smoked cleared (Google banned 100's of websites and inflicted harsh punishment for spam, costing businesses their online reputation and branding). Then, another group of scammers came along thinking they could charge very little for quick results, and employed undertrained overseas workers to do boring SEO tasks for very little pay.

The biggest things to avoid are consultants who tell you they will get you on the 1st page of the Search Engines in a certain amount of time, or that they will submit your website to 100's or 1,000's of Search Engines or website directories.

[Back to Top]

What should I look for in an SEO/SEM Consultant?

Like in any field, there are the shady companies, and those that do anything they can to help their clients, in order to make more money through happy return customers and referrals. It's crucial to find a consultant or firm that is flexible with pricing, will give you a free consultation to give you a fair and accurate quote for the services you require, and is focused on SEM specifically, for best results.

[Back to Top]

How much does SEM Consulting cost?

Some companies charge $100,000+ for their services, others charge $100's. However, it's reasonable to assume that you should be prepared to invest $5,000 or more to launch or optimize your website. Anyone charging less than that for a complete design or optimization service is doing something you're not going to be happy with. For short-term website improvements, redesigns and advertising campaigns, $1,000 - $3,000 is a common range. For complete launches and overhauls, it's typical to invest $8,000 - $50,000 or more.

A good consultant will work with you to provide you with the services you need, for a reasonable price. If you have (or want) a small website to showcase your business and increase sales, you will NOT have to shell out $10,000's to meet your goals.

[Back to Top]

How do I get started?

The best course of action at this point is to determine if Search Engine Marketing is a worthwhile investment for you and your business. If it is, do some research to find a few other potential consultants, and get quotes from each. Then, I would recommend getting a free consultation with me, to help you decide what's best for your business. I'd be happy to point you to the best designers, or even other consultants, to help you reach your goals.

Ready to get started? Click the button below to fill out a short form, and I'll be in touch as soon as possible to setup your free consultation:


Consulting Consulting: Overwhelmed with Internet Marketing? Nothing a little guidance couldn't fix.

SEO SEO: Wish your site was showing up in the search engines? I can help.

PPC PPC Advertising: Want visitors NOW? Pay Per Click is what you need..

Optimization Optimization: Are you wasting money with every visitor? Without these 3 things you are!