A successful digital marketing strategy is what can make or break your business. As the world is shifting towards online businesses, it is the perfect time to dive into all the nitty-gritty details of online marketing. Either you were focusing on SEO previously or not, the pandemic has accelerated the shift and every business has to learn the tactics used in the digital realm.
As you step into this highly data-driven world, there are two main terms you need to be aware of. And that does not mean only knowing what these words stand for!
Here is a brief guide about what is SEO and SEM, how are they different, and why are they important for your business in the future.
The Layout Of Search Engine Result Pages
The first step is to understand the basic layout of the search engine result pages. As Google is the worlds leading search engine, we will focus on its layout. Under the search query box, there is a portion reserved for Google ads. This is the place where businesses aim to get to by paying a certain amount of money and ranking well for the relevant keyword.
Then comes the organic search results situated below the ads. You can get the top spot without paying any money. All you need to do is to understand all the ranking signals (and that is quite tricky) and tweak your marketing campaigns accordingly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It is an essential marketing strategy for brands trying to attract more traffic to their website. It aims to appear at the top of organic search results. So SEO targets the unpaid portion of the SERPs.
As the search engines crawl through the indexed pages they will pull out the most relevant, useful, and authentic content for their users. They will several things on your websites such as links, titles, tags, and keywords. All these elements help decide the search engine the relativity of the pages to the search query.
Almost anyone can learn SEO basics and incorporate it into their marketing strategy to gain more traffic. But if you want to achieve the best results, it is crucial to hire an SEO expert.
Then comes the question then why do businesses need SEM when they can appear on the search results page for free? Here are some answers.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
It is the practice of driving traffic to your website by purchasing ads on search engines (like Google Ads). These ads are mostly pay-per-click (PPC) ads that show up above the organic results. A marketer chooses which keywords to target in each paid search ad campaigns. You can set many of these campaigns at the same time. Thus it is also commonly referred to as “paid” or “PPC” marketing.
Make sure the keywords you are targeting are closely related to your product or service or else you won’t be able to gain that top spot even if you are paying the highest bid. The best thing about paid advertising is that you only get charged for the ad placement when a user clicks on it. If you want to be the first thing that searchers see when they’re in a ready-to-purchase mindset, you have to get a knack for SEM as well as general SEO practices.
The Differences Between SEO And SEO
As evident, the main difference is that of the money. The paid marketing costs you more as compared to SEO.
When you dive into the technicalities, there are several differences. SEM search results include “Ad” designation whereas SEO results do not. The paid ads are shown to the selected targeted audience according to the bidding amount and requirement of the marketer. Whereas SEO results are shown to anyone and you cannot choose who will see your search results at which time.
If you invest in SEM, you can see immediate increases in website traffic and conversions. Conversely, SEO may take months of consistent efforts.
As SEM is a form of paid advertising, it often involves more steps than SEO. The process generally includes keyword research, cost calculations, running paid ad campaigns, creating copy for ads, and bidding on search ad placements.
How Do They Work Together?
Although there are major differences, both SEO and SEM help your brand appear in search results and drive more traffic to your website. They require knowing your audience, use keyword research to uncover search terms, require testing, and continuous optimization efforts. Find the right agency that specializes in every department.
Which May Cause Uproar In The Future?
If you want to see consistent growth in your business and target your customers at the most important moments in the journey, combine the paid and organic search marketing. It is essential to remember that SEO and SEM don’t have a direct impact on each other on the back end but they can impact your sales together.
If you are launching a new website, SEM can help you get recognized among the audience. Business with already established websites and online authorities prefer to keep SEM marketing budgets low as their audiences search for them only.
Keep filling the on-page and off-page content gaps and you are more likely to stay in results for a long time. The first few organic search results typically have the highest click-through rates or CTRs. So if you can get to the top with your marketing strategy, you can likely outperform SEM ads. But if your website appears on the second page of results or even lower, you can probably get more clicks through SEM.
The Final Word
To sum up, SEO and SEM are two sides of the same coin and you cannot do well in the online world without having expertise in both. SEO is expected to be more important in the coming years as its value compounds over time. In the years ahead of 2020, search engines are going to get smarter and smarter, and it is essential to learn SEO tactics to stay in the game.
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