6 Rules You Must Know for Using SEO and SEM to Grow Your Business

If you’re managing a business, you know how important a web and mobile presence is. Whether you’re selling tacos, tiaras, or terabytes, customers need to be able to find you.

You’ve probably dipped your toe into the complex world of organic or “free” search, also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But what do you really need to know about SEO and SEM?

I spoke with SEO/SEM expert Andrew Shelton, founder of the digital marketing agency Martec360, who gave me six rules that you need to pay attention to right now if you want to increase your sales through search:

1. Mobile is king

Need evidence of the importance of mobile? Some 96% of smartphone owners use their device to get things done. About 70% of smartphone owners use their phone to research a product before purchasing it in a store. Half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Furthermore, Google has begun to make its search index “mobile-first.” That means that Google will primarily index mobile content and use that to decide how to rank its results.

2. Paid search pays off on mobile

On mobile, paid search (SEM) is increasingly paying off. Shelton says he used to tell his clients to focus on free search (SEO) but with users putting mobile first, the continuum has changed.

“The greatest return on investment is email,” Shelton says, “because you have those customers in house. But paid search is next.” He estimates that paid search spending went up by factors of 25% to 50% in 2016.

3. Have a solid content strategy

The old adage is the new adage: “Content is king.” You need high-quality content for your website if it’s going to compete in the free search business. You can’t go about that blindly.

Consider what customer problem you’re solving. What customer questions can you be answering?

Do you have a mechanism for customers to ask questions? There could be a wealth of ideas for blog posts, FAQs, and buyers’ guides right there.

4. Social media is worth your return on investment

Social media can be vexing for many businesses. You definitely have to perform a cost-benefit analysis on it. Spending six hours a day sending out tweets that don’t lead to conversions is going to be a losing proposition.

Treat social media as “an engagement with an ongoing conversation with your customers,” Shelton recommends. “It’s not just for selling.”

In fact, if your social media channels are too hard-sell, they’ll be counter productive. You have to create value. Tools like Hootsuite, Falcon.IO, and Curalate can help.

5. Manage your online reputation

According to Shopper Approved, an app that helps its clients collect online ratings and reviews, 88% of all consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business.

All of those reviews are part of the SEO equation. They can help you, or they can hurt you. But an app like Shopper Approved can help push more positive reviews where you need them.

6. Measure and monitor your progress

The only way you’re going see your business grow exponentially through SEO, SEM, and social media is to measure what you’re doing. You have to know where you’re starting, set some benchmarks, and monitor your progress.

Install Google Analytics. There is a plethora of other e-commerce tools you can use for analysis. Data is your friend. Get used to swimming in it.

And if you need help, find a consulting firm that understands your customer and your goals.

Just remember, effective search is process. You won’t get it right the first time. But you’ll get better at it with everything you learn.

About the author:

Kim Folsom is the Founder of LIFT Development Enterprises–a not-for-profit, community development organization with a mission to help underserved, underrepresented small-business owners – and Co-Founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator and revenue based venture fund. Learn more about Kim and her company’s mission to help grow and fund 1000 underserved and underrepresented small businesses by 2026 via their Founders Business Growth Bootcamp program at www.foundersfirstcapitalpartners.com.



Vienna Game Developers Are Using The City’s Coffeehouse Culture To Create A New Kind Of Arcade 

The rise and fall of arcades have in large part shaped how we think about playing video games together in public places, but in their absence, young designers are finding new ways to bring social gaming out into the open.

Read more…

All articles

Privacy Opponents Are Using a Sneaky Trick to Help ISPs Sell Your Data

Do you know what your internet service provider is doing with your data? You probably know that it can see the sites you’re visiting, but have you ever thought about whether it’s selling that information to advertisers? Anti-regulation officials are planning to make sure your ISP never has to tell you.

Read more…

All articles

The Department of Defense Will Finally Stop Using Floppy Disks For Nuclear Operations

A new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that multiple U.S. government agencies still run on decades-old technology—the most alarming of which is the revelation that nuclear operations are still carried out with 8-inch floppy disks.

Read more…


All articles

All articles

All articles

What’s so great about cloud computing and why should you invest in companies using this technology?

cloud computing
by Carlos de Miguel

Question by Hip Hop Hero: What’s so great about cloud computing and why should you invest in companies using this technology?
I heard it’s good to store things so that businesses can have their employees able to work on the go (mobile).

Best answer:

Answer by Harley Drive
it’s all hype, trusting your data to a company that may not even exist next week is madness , any company can set up a private network using the internet, any outage and you lose everything and how can you trust a company that may also store your rival’s data?

Give your answer to this question below!

Q&A: Could we simulate a human brain using cloud computing?

Question by Synthetic ARC: Could we simulate a human brain using cloud computing?
If every supercomputer on earth were to be tied together plus using 1% CPU power from every household computer…. would that be enough to simulate a human brain???

Best answer:

Answer by fractal
it seems you’re going to have to wait 8 years for the answer to this question


perhaps 12 years…


would it be premature to start placing our bets now?

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

How can I share files/documents using cloud computing?

Question by mike s: How can I share files/documents using cloud computing?

Best answer:

Answer by Robert Moore
My favorite way to share files is Dropbox. When installed it will create a Dropbox folder in your My Documents. Whatever you want to share, drag into your PUBLIC folder and it will be available for people to look at and download.

To share a file with anyone, RIGHT click the file that is in your PUBLIC folder. Scroll down to the DROPBOX option, it will open a side menu and then from there click COPY PUBLIC LINK. Then paste it into an email or IM to the person you want to share it with and they will be able to click your link and download it directly.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” William Wordsworth .. A simile is a comparison using like or as. List the simi?

Question by Christina: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” William Wordsworth .. A simile is a comparison using like or as. List the simi?
A simile is a comparison using like or as. List the similes used in this poem.

2. Personification is a poetic figure of speech that gives non-human objects (ideas, inanimate objects, animals, and abstract concepts) human characteristics. Identify at least two examples of personification in this poem.

3. In your own words, describe the scene that is captured by the poet in this poem.

4. Besides the immediate pleasure that the speaker gains from what he saw in his wanderings, what other benefits did he receive?

5. Would you describe this poem as a pastoral poem? Why or why not? State your reasons.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Best answer:

Answer by Chocolat
One of the similes is “as a cloud” but you should do the rest of your homework on your own.

Give your answer to this question below!