SEO versus SEM

Day in and day out, doctors I work with have this concern:

“I want to be the top site when people search for gynecologists in Singapore. Should I use SEO or SEM? What is the difference?“

Let’s start with the basics.

1.)  What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

The area in the orange space is what we call Search Engine Marketing (SEM). You pay per click and cost is dependent on how popular the search word is, making it a really expensive thing to do, especially for popular words like “clinic” or “doctor”!

More importantly, in recent times, patients have come to see clinics that market themselves so aggressively as too focused on making money. This makes this form of advertisement a double-edged sword.

The area in blue is what we called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a more organic form of marketing and that means you cannot appear overnight at the top of the blue box.

2.) How does Search Engine Optimization work?

(Source: http://www.redevolution.com/seo-explained/)

So what does this mean for you, the doctor? Drop your stethoscope and pen and start blogging! Well that’s just one of the many things you have to do. The more links you have to your website from other websites, the more you are recognized by Google. It involves more than just paying money to advertise, and makes SEO services expensive.  it makes more sense to get one of your own staff to do it.

I will write a post on how you can increase your SEO rank yourself soon, but asking your own staff to blog and publicizing the blog is a good way to get started! And there is an unexpected twist to the tale. Social media is now becoming an increasingly important way to reach customers, especially in the medical industry. To get the most out of Internet marketing, you need to stay in trend!