Does your Squarespace website need more traffic? Business to Consumer (B2C) companies need a steady stream of visitors who are ready, willing, and able to buy, while Business to Business (B2B) companies need to continuously generate leads for their sales pipelines. If website traffic is the lifeblood of your organization, you have two primary methods of increasing website traffic: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Getting your Squarespace website on the first Google search engine result page (SERP) is critical because only a small percentage of searchers ever make it to the second page. Most searchers look at the first page and if they don't find what they're looking for, they enter a new query. SEO and SEM can help you land where you want to in the SERPs.
SEO vs SEM Explained
SEO is the process of fine-tuning your website and other digital content so that it receives organic (free) traffic from all the search engines. But it can be extremely difficult to reach the first page of search engine results (SERPs) in highly competitive industries such as travel through SEO alone. Results for queries like "Paris hotels" or "London flights" will be dominated by companies like Expedia, KAYAK, TripAdvisor, and British Airways.
In circumstances like that, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) — or promoting your website through paid advertising — can be a more effective way to appear at the top of the SERPs. Also known as Paid Search, SEM includes Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising with Google AdWords and Bing Ads, the two most popular platforms.
PPC ads appear in the sponsored ad section at the top or right sidebar, and as the name implies, you pay every time someone clicks on the link. Advertisers bid on the keywords they believe will bring them qualified traffic and then write copy designed to drive action.
Decide if SEM is right for you
Before you invest in SEO, figure out whether or not your efforts will be worth your time. When you query your search terms, if the top spots are devoted to companies you can't realistically compete with, website optimization may not get you where you want to go. Choosing niche-targeted, long-tail keywords and testing the water with a PPC campaign might be an approach for you.
If you're going to do SEM yourself, be sure to build in a testing strategy, so you'll be able to determine what worked and what didn't. To make it easy to interpret the results, test only one thing at a time, and continue to optimize your campaigns based on what you learn.
If you decide to hire a search company or consultant, read testimonials carefully, and check their online reputation. Use LinkedIn to get background on company employees, and if you share connections, reach out to them for feedback.
Regardless of whether you focus on SEO or SEM, handle your efforts in-house or outsource them. Your top priority should be providing your site visitors with high-quality, helpful content that positions your business as a trusted resource. In the long run, that's what the search engines will reward moving forward. With the right approach, you can boost traffic to your Squarespace website!
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