Those trying their hand in digital marketing, may feel a bit confused when faced with the prospect of optimisation.
They may encounter a lot of strategic methods, but the top of mind tactics are definitely SEO and SEM. Honestly, they don’t need to compete with each other. In fact, you can put in a lot of effort on pushing both methods for your brands. But it helps to know the basics and the major differences between SEO and SEM.
Once you understand the core of SEO and SEM, you’ll know how to use it to your benefit on your digital campaigns, you will be able to improve your online business marketing and increase your sales and conversions.
Defining SEOSearch Engine Optimisation (SEO) covers all ways of improving your web page or content ranking on search engines to boost your audiences. With lots of websites offering the same products and services nowadays, only a few pages get huge audience exposure and the rest go almost unnoticed. It’s important to let people know your business exists. You want online presence for your business. SEO is how you do it. SEO is an organic way to appear at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) through observation of the current trends and adaptation of your content to these trends.
Now let’s talk about SEM.While SEO refers to organic means to improve visibility on a search results page, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are paid strategies to get noticed. SEM is also known as paid search or pay-per-click marketing. To put it simply, these are paid ads on a search results page. SEMs have ad extensions visible on a results page. Both SEO and SEM benefit your business marketing game as they both help your webpage get more attention from users. Given this, they are both ways to drive more traffic to your business web page. Having customers is vital to business after website creation – especially a new business – and SEO and SEM is how you can put customers in the equation.
Noting the DifferencesThere are differences between SEO and SEM and it’s essential to know these differences for a more effective business marketing. First, SEM search results appear with ad extensions. SEO search results appear with featured snippets – which are text boxes with short yet helpful information. Also, remember that SEM results are paid placements, so whenever a potential customer clicks on an SEM result, you will have to pay a certain amount.
"So basically SEM is paid ads. SEO is free."
An effective SEM requires a robust amount of ad spend and steadily monitoring analytics that go with the SEM spend. This is to ensure you know if your SEM campaigns are working and what’s worth pursuing with your budget. The good thing about SEM is you have the option to select your demographic. You can choose a specific set of audiences you want to target. After all, you get what you pay for.
Like mentioned before, SEO results are free. To target your demographic, you have to build an SEO campaign over time to focus on that.
Through SEM ads, you can immediately put your content at the top of search results and acquire the attention of your target audience. SEO takes some time, with the effects being long-term since the methods used to acquire audiences are organic. You build your audiences through SEO slowly but surely. With SEM, the results are fast but once you stop paying for placements, you can visibly see a dip in traffic. So yes with SEM you have to constantly feed your digital campaigns with money.
However, you can leverage both to ignite your visibility in the web searches. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are tactics designed to translate your business content, be it a webpage, article, or links, into tangible sales.
You can go for a short SEM campaign initially to launch your site and eventually ease into an organic long-term SEO strategy to maintain your traffic. You can do seasonal campaigns as well to launch products, boost services or landing pages.