As the business sector embraces digitalization, marketing strategies have also transformed to align with it. Despite that, the marketplace remains competitive. Stepping up your web marketing strategy is necessary to keep up with the increasingly competitive marketplace.
A quick Google search for the most effective digital marketing approaches will surely highlight the acronyms SEM and SEO. And in this article, we will learn why they’re the key to winning your web marketing strategy. Let’s get started with what SEM is all about.
Defining the concept of SEM
SEM is a marketing term that stands for Search Engine Marketing. It is the collection of tools, techniques, and strategies that optimize a website’s visibility via search engines. Simply put, SEM is a web marketing strategy that aims to improve search engine rankings on Google and other similar sites.
SEO and SEM: What’s the difference?
Both organic and paid results are covered in SEM. Most marketers, however, use SEM to refer solely to search engine advertising or paid results. To better grasp this concept, let’s look at the two types of search results: Organic and Paid.
- Organic results appear on search pages based on a search engine’s algorithm. The algorithm determines which websites are most suited to answer a particular query. And each search engine may have different factors affecting their results. For instance, Google’s algorithm prioritizes relevancy, quality (web content), and authority (links from other pages). Businesses then employ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in their content that follows those factors to help them rank organically.
- Paid results incur a cost, as the name implies. Advertisers must pay for each link they want to display. Basically, you’ll need to buy ads in the search engines where you want your ad to appear, such as Google or Bing. This approach is also known as PPC (pay per click) or CPC (cost per click).
Many people get confused about the difference between SEO and SEM. So, we’re here to help clear your mind about these terms. As mentioned, SEM is a broader domain that encompasses both paid and organic search methods. It is a strategy to boost the visibility of your websites, improving your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) performance. SERP is simply the page that appears when you submit a search query to Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. , as well as other search engines.
On the other hand, SEO’s primary focus is on organic search results. It aims to boost your site’s performance using Google or Bing’s ranking algorithms through quality content. With SEO, you can optimize a website to draw traffic from search results automatically.
If we look at SEM as paid advertising or PPC. Here are some key differences you will notice:
- Type of investment. With SEM, you will pay every time your ad gets clicks. Meanwhile, SEO work needs an initial investment of time, effort, and budget.
- Position your website will occupy in SERP. Ads usually occupy a band to the top, while organic search results fill the center space.
- Type of content. Quality content, typically in longer formats, is the foundation of SEO. On the other hand, SEM uses ads with a limited number of characters and landing pages designed to have the most significant impact.
- Results period. While SEM can produce benefits quickly, results in SEO usually take longer.
The Importance of SEM to your Business
There are many benefits SEM can offer for your brand. For instance, it increases brand awareness and visibility by boosting your online presence. As a result, this generates online leads and increases traffic, which gives you more sales and revenues. Similarly, you can supply visitors with unique information that they may not be able to get elsewhere. This helps build your brand’s reputation, credibility, and trust for your audience.
Since SEM covers both SEO and PPC, business owners often wonder which is a better marketing investment. However, SEM isn’t so much about which strategy is better as it is about which is more suited to your current situation and budget. Investing in organic and paid search strategies is especially worthwhile when done concurrently.
Many businesses start with SEO as it is often less expensive than other marketing techniques. And according to research in 2018, 49% of marketers worldwide claim that SEO provides the highest ROI. With some basic research and website abilities, you can even do some elements of SEO on your own. Furthermore, traffic derived straight from organic search is free, whereas traffic derived from PPC incurs a cost per click.
Working on quality SEO can help you rise in the SERPs when you demonstrate to search engines that your site should rank for relevant keywords that accurately describe your items. Organic SEO surely takes time, but as you create a favorable reputation and keyword growth, traffic should automatically improve and become more consistent.
Doing paid advertising alongside SEO will increase the chances of people learning about and supporting your brand. More than just getting the top-front page on SERPs, you’ll also be able to generate conversions and measure your ads’ effectiveness. Moreover, paid ads don’t need a substantial initial investment since they only charge you when your ad is clicked, so it’s a good choice for any business.
The Bottom Line
Combining SEO and PPC — in this case, SEM — gives you more chances of getting discovered. More than creating an email list and generating leads, integrating SEM will get you on top of your competitors. People use search engines for queries, and seeing your website there will help boost traffic to your website. Just remember to track important Google Analytics metrics to succeed in winning your web marketing strategy.