While SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) are different, they both play very similar roles sharing one common goal, which is to bring website users to your site.
Often, people try to define whether one or the other is better for marketing online, and which one will get you the kind of results that you are looking for.
It is true that each has its strong points and its weaknesses. Michigan SEO Company widely recognized that these two methods can actually be used together to create an even more effective online marketing strategy.
Research shows that most consumers search online before making any kind of purchase. Therefore, it is obvious that your company’s presence in search engines from a Trustworthy SEO Company is essential to reaching your business goals.
What is SEO?
SEO focuses on the code of the website using ALT tags, page and link titles and much more.
The goal of SEO is to attract users organically – without paying for it.
SEO involves many different factors, including:
The more useful, informative content that you have, the better. In addition, including relevant keywords helps search engines to direct your site to the appropriate searchers.
If your site loads reasonably fast, this will improve its rank.
Ease of Use
Does it make your site easy to navigate?
Search engines judge authority based on links. Inbound links give you authority because search engines see that other sites reference your content. Outbound links serve as citations to the information that you provide, building authority for your statements.
Benefits and weaknesses of SEO
- Free to Implement
If you are willing to spend the time to learn it, SEO can be a completely free option to market your business.
- Brings Targeted Traffic
Getting higher on search engine results doesn’t just mean you’re getting more traffic. It also means you are getting better quality traffic.
- High Conversion Rates
Due to receiving more targeted traffic, your website visits will be more likely to convert into sales, subscriptions, etc.
- Results Take Time
For SEO to really work, it could take weeks of effort. This is partially due to the time that it takes to fully optimize your site.
Additionally, Google starts to trust websites only after some time of being online. That means that even if you work extremely hard to improve your site’s SEO, it will still take time for you to rank well in search query results and get more traffic.
- No Guaranteed Results
In addition to the time it takes, there are no guarantees when it comes to SEO. Landing on the first page is essential to the success of your SEO methods, and getting to the top of that page is even better.
What is SEM?
Also known as paid search advertising or paid search marketing, this method involves the paid ads that you see displayed on a search results page. These ads are targeted to certain keywords, and appear when those keywords are searched.
When you search Google keywords, you will notice that the first few results might have the word ‘Ad’ or ‘Sponsored’ next to them. In addition, Google will place these types of ads on the right sidebar of your search results page. These ads or sponsored results are paid links to related content.
Good and Bad SEM:
- Fast Results
If you are looking for immediate results for your business, then SEM is the fastest way to get you to the top of search results. If your ads are well targeted, you could be bringing in new traffic within hours!
- Brand Recognition
Seeing your brand at the top of the search results gives you more visibility across different platforms in your related niche. Even if the searchers don’t click on your website, they’re becoming familiar with your brand within that niche.
- Brings Targeted Traffic
When setting up your campaign, there are plenty of ways to make it targeted to your potential customers. This means that more clicks to your website will be from the people you want.
- Easy to See ROI
Within the panel of your ad campaign, it’s easy to see how well your ads are doing, whether the traffic they bring is converting, etc. You’ll have a great view of the return on investment, as well as being able to adapt your campaigns to the results you’re seeing.
- Requires Specialized Knowledge
Each different management platform (e.g. Google AdSense) is unique, and usually quite complex. There is a definite learning curve involved. Also, knowing how to set up and manage an ad campaign that is successful takes a fair amount of knowledge.
You could always decide to hire a professional to set up your ad campaign for you, but this will be an extra expense.
- Takes Time to Implement
Keyword research, learning a new management platform, and setting up your campaign will all take time. However, the time involved doesn’t end there. After setting up your campaign, it will require constant monitoring and optimization to achieve the best results.
So How Do SEO and SEM Actually Work Together?
When done correctly the two complement one another extremely well.
Your SEO efforts are for gaining organic listings. SEM helps you create a more effective and targeted advertising campaign that helps your website get found for the words you don’t rank for organically.
Search Engine Land hits the nail on the head:
- SEO: earning traffic through unpaid or free listings
- SEM: buying traffic through paid search listings
When working together, SEO and SEM are stronger than either would be working individually.
The important factor to remember is that both are only as good as the website is that is being marketed.
If the website does not provide the quality that Google thinks users are looking for then all of your SEO and SEM efforts will go unnoticed and cause you a severe amount of frustration.
Start with a website your users will love and then market and optimize from there.
How do SEO and SEM Relate?
This is the focus of both SEO and SEM methodology. People search for keywords that help them get the information they need, and the results that they find are those that are optimized for those keywords.
If your pages are optimized for SEO, it means that they will come up as organic search results when people query the right keywords. Along the same lines, if your sponsored links and ads are well targeted to the correct keywords, your pages will show up in the sponsored area of the search results, above the organic results.
The goal of SEO and SEM tends to be the same: to drive more traffic to your website. However, that is not the only goal. Both of these methods have the goal of increasing, not just the volume, but the quality of the traffic on your website. Ultimately, the end goal of increasing high-quality traffic is to get a higher conversion rate.
Both of these methods are effective in reaching their goals due to their natural responses to keywords. The difference between them is the time involved and the effort it takes to see results.
The differences between these methods can actually lead to huge benefits in using them together as a team.