Web search is one of the most powerful tools we have today. Just like you, people from all fields use Google to find solutions, learn new things, and understand the world. One of those new things can determine whether SEO vs. SEM is best for your business. Whether you are an online business or a local business, chances are that people are actively looking for you.
As of 2019, Google said that more than 2 trillion searches have been done on a daily basis. However, according to Internet Live Stats, Google now has 5.5 billion daily searches. This is equivalent to 63,000 questions per second. Internet live statistics are a reliable source for forecasting.
Like any other technology, the search is growing rapidly and evolving over time. This means that there is a huge opportunity for businesses (of all sizes) to reach their target audience and leverage it to connect with them.
Most businesses know that search engines can drive massive traffic to their web properties. Not only any traffic but traffic that actually converts into leads and sales. Even though there are other ways to gain online exposure, Google leads the pack when it helps to make the best bang for your marketing bucks. This is mainly due to its huge user base and market share.
What is SEO And SEM In Digital Marketing?
SEO and SEM are marketing processes used to generate brand awareness and website traffic through search processes. By optimizing content and effectively using the digital space, many businesses are able to promote their services and see greater success for themselves. SEM is included under the SEM umbrella, but SEM as a whole includes other marketing strategies as well.
While there is this overlap between the two, they are not quite the same. Let’s take a closer look at both.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method to optimize a website to get visitors from organic/natural traffic or search engine result pages.
Although organic search traffic is not paid, the process of search engine optimization can increase costs depending on the competitiveness of the market you target.
The purpose of SEO is to attract relevant visitors to your website who are interested in your products or services. However, optimization is only part of the equation to achieve targeted organic traffic. The second part is getting more traffic by targeted traffic, relevant keywords.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a way to funnel in relevant traffic from search engines by purchasing paid or sponsored ad listings.
So if you are thinking “Is SEM the same as paid search or PPC?” So the answer is yes. SEM often refers to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and marketing. And as long as there are many PPC platforms in the search and social space, Google AdWords is the most popular and successful option.
The purpose of SEM is to help advertisers gain visibility in search engines and drive the right type of traffic without waiting for it. To be successful with SEM, it is important to have a strong, dynamic SEM strategy to get the best return on investment.
Why Is SEO and SEM Important?
Both SEO and SEM are powerful processes that can help businesses see substantial growth. By properly using search engine location, you are able to tap into the already large audience. Keyword research, website management, and targeted advertising alike all contribute to the effectiveness of search engine campaigns. And implementing either of these will help you see an increase in SERP rankings, brand awareness, and quality leads. Now all you have to do is decide which process is better for your business, and get the ball rolling.
Search Engine Optimization: Pros and Cons
Every online marketer is influenced by search engine optimization and its effectiveness. Before the infamous Google Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates, SEO made a lot of black hats or immoral marketers rich. But things are not as easy now. Google has dropped the game, and now, it’s all about quality and the amount of value you deliver.
Here’s how to optimize your website for search engines and help you get organic traffic:
If your customers do not recognize your brand, they do not know it. By building awareness of a brand, you not only affect the bottom line of your business but also improve long-term prospects. The objective is to reach the top in the minds of potential customers.
SEO vs SEM Brand Awareness
There are many ways to raise awareness about a brand, such as social media promotion, offline marketing, etc. But search engine optimization has its own place when making your target customers aware of your products/services.
how exactly? When they search for your target keywords, they place you in front of your favorite audience.
The words people use to search Google are more than just words. They are the gateway to your business. Ranking for these keywords gives you more visibility. When people see your website repeatedly in search results, it contributes to brand awareness.
Use the following steps to find the most relevant keywords:
Step 1: Make a list of the seed keywords you will use to find the right keywords you want to optimize for your website.
Step 2: Once you have a set of seed keywords, proceed to create a comprehensive list of possible keyword phrases that you want to target using keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner.
Step 3: Analyze and select keywords based on competition volume (both quality and quantity) and the number of monthly searches.
The Internet gives you the opportunity to connect with your target audience, providing them with the information they are looking for. For example, the content you publish on your blog can help build a solid relationship with prospects or potential customers to learn more about a topic related to your niche.
People can use commercial search terms or other informative search queries about your niche market. When they receive your content, they immediately see you as a market authority. Which indirectly has a positive effect on your branding.
As you can see, Google is used by many Internet users as a research tool to help them make better purchasing decisions. What better way to help buyers than to supply them with the answers to these questions? Regardless of the market, you are in, you will build a better brand by helping them with useful content.
Building a better brand starts with serving your audience in the best possible way. And by doing so, you automatically become a resource, a favorite of Google and other search engines.
Increased Trust and Credibility
Google works really hard to ensure that only the best websites appear first. And every loyal Google user knows that when it comes to producing the best results, the elder G did not disappoint them. Which makes it highly reliable in terms of service.
By trusting Google, people also trust websites that manage to rank high in its result pages. Being on the 10th page of SERPs may not do much for your site. But by hitting the first page, you automatically earn “credibility” and “trust” points from search users.
Prospects who are searching for your service or product will trust your site more easily and find it more reliable when they see it in organic search results. And since a lot of people are accustomed to ignoring sponsored advertisements and going for organic search lists, it makes your job to stand out from others easier.
Also, if you are a business that relies heavily on user reviews, appearing in SERPs with a bunch of positive reviews can go a long way in building the credibility of your business.
To increase your chances of hitting Google’s page, make sure you’re doing the following:
- Use relevant keywords in the URL to describe the content of the page.
- Use your main keywords at the beginning of your page’s title tag.
- Put the right keywords in your page’s meta description and make sure that it is sufficiently enticing users to click-through to your site.
- Use your primary keyword in the H1 tag of your page.
- Finally, use your main keyword along with the related long-tailed keywords in the first few paragraphs of the page.
It goes without saying, but by using SEO, you can drive a lot of targeted, ready-to-buy traffic to your website. Your business website may be selling the most niche products, but if it manages to rank for the right keywords, you will get traffic for a long time to come.
The best thing about organic search traffic is if it takes time to dry up. In other words, once you make an initial attempt to rank it, it does not take much effort to maintain it.
The most reliable way to increase search engine traffic is to create great content that your audience is looking for. For example, if you are a pest control company, you can write quality blog posts to get rid of pests. The idea is to educate your prospects and lead them to buy from you. This is exactly where SEO intersects with content marketing.
SEO today is about content marketing. It is about how you leverage content to develop your brand and educate your target prospects about it.
You can learn how to implement content marketing for better SEO results here:
- Get different people on your team to create unique content. This not only allows you to create diverse content related to your niche but also gives you an opportunity rank for multiple keywords.
- Before creating any content, make sure you know your brand, understand your target audience, and be aware of your marketing goal. It helps you to produce content that ranks your rank well and helps your potential customers.
- Focus on producing remarkable content, not just creating content for it. Even if you are working in an obscure niche, understand that Google will always favor quality content over quantity. As long as you don’t publish less, then it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re not publishing the price reduction superficial content.
- Publish data-driven content that provides substantive advice supported by proof. People as well as search engines will make your content more reliable and efficient if it combines real data.
- Answer the burning questions of your target audience with your content. It is a proven way of delivering high-quality content that ranks well in search engines. Your audience will like your content because you will address their pain points. And due to the evergreen nature of the content, it will attract backlinks from established websites.
Using SEO is not rocket building science, but it can seem complicated, especially when you are not sure what to do. If you want to generate more traffic with SEO, contact us. We really helped generate $ 96,664.98 worth of SEO results in 5 months, and we can also help you.
If you do not have to worry about one thing while doing SEO, it requires a lot of investment with very few results. Yes, there are fixed costs involved in running a successful SEO campaign, but they are very low.
The reason for this is simple: the level of brand awareness you can build with SEO and the kind of laser targeted traffic you can drive will cost you with other marketing methods. So even though SEO is not cheap, it is reliable enough to justify the costs. Which makes it a winner.
Better Return on Investment
Paid or sponsored advertising usually charges you for a click, while SEO does not require you to pay for impressions or clicks. But keep in mind that quality SEO is not free at all. Depending on the target market you are targeting, you will have to invest time and money in achieving the desired results. And if you are not an SEO expert, then you have to work with a reputed SEO company.
Compared to traditional marketing or advertising, search engine optimization can give you a better return on your investment. It lets you reduce your efforts and improve your results without losing time. With more patience, it gives better returns in the long run than per click advertising.
Here’s how you can improve your SEO ROI:
While the quality of your content is important, the quantity aspect cannot be ignored. For better SEO results, make sure you are publishing long pieces of content – at least 1,000 words.
Make sure your website is simple and easy to navigate. Because it is important for SEO to have a firm website structure and architecture.
Add relevant images to your content, making it visually appealing to visitors and improving SEO.
A business that survives in the long term needs a marketing strategy that is equally reliable. Having a permanent means to get targeted visitors to your product page or to your company blog can be of immense benefit. And SEO is all it takes.
SEM vs SEO
While SEO does not guarantee that you will continue to receive traffic on autopilot for a long time, it gives you the peace of mind that PPC marketing does not come with. Once you rank for a particular keyword, you can do the necessary on-page SEO to maintain your rank. By being more sustainable, SEO can help you dominate a market segment without making a hole in the wallet.
Higher Quality of Click-Through Rate
Placing a top sponsored listing in the search engine can cost you a lot of money at stake. And yet, it does not guarantee that your ad will attract a large number of clicks.
Why? Because the second contender for PPC advertising in SERPs is not the second ad, it is an organic search listing. As more users click on organic search results, you’ll get a higher click through rate.
SEO vs PPC
Of course, your CTR depends on many factors, but you definitely have more chances of getting more clicks on an organic listing you sponsored. So by focusing on improving the performance of your search lists, you are getting a bigger piece of the traffic pie in the long run.
Let’s face it, no matter how well you know your audience, it is not easy to predict everything they would type into the search engine to find you. Google gets billions of search engine queries daily. This means that by focusing on just a few keywords, you are skipping a big chunk.
When you focus on SEO, you have a wider reach. The more quality content you publish on your website, the more people will be able to find your site. And the more people search your site, the more traffic you take to your product or service page. Unlike PPC, you are not limited by the budget or the number of targets you are targeting.
Any experienced SEO expert can tell you that getting your website ranked in search engines is not a walk in the park. It does not happen overnight and takes a ton of focused effort to see results. If correct, this one factor can work in your favor, giving you a strong strategic advantage.
Since there is an obvious barrier of entry for anyone who tries to defeat you after you set up, you should not worry about “buying” competitors to go to the top. Their only option is pay per click advertisements, but again, this is not the same as gaining a higher position on SERPs. Again, it is assumed that you have taken the right steps and were patient enough to consolidate your place in the top search results.
The above benefits of SEO sounds great, right? You think SEO is the clear winner of the SEO vs. SEM debate. Like any online marketing strategy, even SEO has its drawbacks. Here are some that you can experience if you choose to focus on it.
SEO can be slower than PPC, especially if you are not an established player. Once you know which keywords to rank and work hard, you have to wait for traffic to arrive. Depending on the number of keywords you are targeting and the content you are publishing, it may take weeks or even months.
Can be highly competitive
For a business that has just started experimenting with SEO, the results of the chosen keywords can be dominated by established players that are almost impossible. This happens when it becomes important to revisit the keywords you are targeting and go to the long-tail keywords with less competition.
A firm content strategy may be required
Publishing quality content on a regular basis can help you attract targeted organic search traffic. But creating great content that gets a high rank in search engines is not easy. If your business does not have the necessary resources, then developing strong content assets can prove to be a challenge. Which affects your ability to create a strategy to work.
Need regular backlinking
Gone are the days when you could create a bunch of irrelevant backlinks to your webpage and it could shoot search engine pages.
Today, link building goes hand-in-hand with the type of content you are publishing. But it does not stop there. Your business also has to regularly access other websites, which are worthwhile. Although you get cases from every link, quality links are not created the same way. To get it right you will need expert help
Now, let’s look at the SEO vs. SEM dilemma – the other side of search engine marketing.
Search Engine Marketing: Pros and Cons
SEM or PPC is the most widely used form of online marketing method. But it has both advantages and disadvantages that your business should know about.
Let’s take a look at the pros before going into opposition.
Reach the top
The folded area above the SERPs is where the most attention is focused. One of the biggest advantages of paid advertisements is that you are able to attract the attention of your target audience by being at the top of the page.
SEM vs SEO
Regardless of whether or not the user chooses to click on the ad, they will not miss seeing it. But, as long as you have a well-designed ad that is relevant to the keyword, you can see good results.
It takes a lot of time and effort to try to get the top slot in organic search results with the help of SEO. So if you have the mantra for bidding on the right keywords using PPC, you can literally pay your way to the top of the SERPs.
Keep more control
Sponsored listings or PPC ads give you more control over the results you receive. You are not limited in any way. By tweaking and testing every little detail of the ad, you will be able to improve the overall performance of your campaign.
Unlike SEO, the marketing message you want to deliver can be more persuasive and promotional. How do you control not only this message but also where you want to take your prospect. Each element of the ad can be customized to ensure that you receive the highest click-through rate.
Showcase product better
Organic search listings contain plain text and nothing else. So if you are selling a product on your e-commerce website, you have no option to display the product picture to entice the potential buyer. This can affect the overall conversion rate of your product and may lead to lower click-through rates.
However, things get better when you’re using Google’s Product List PPC ads. These visual shopping advertisements show you a picture of the product in the ad entry. Due to the visual element in the listing, the likelihood of a user clicking on the product increases, which can ultimately increase your click-through rate and conversion.
Increase brand visibility
When you are trying to bring traffic to your website, it is important that you get only relevant people to see your listing. Or there is no use in having a ton of visitors. When you are doing SEO, you may or may not find the right people to visit your website. But this is not the case with PPC advertisements. Your ads are targeted to the lasers who are actually searching for your product or service.
Being seen by people who are interested in your niche or brand helps you increase the visibility of your brand. Which indirectly affects the amount of business you get. Even if many people are not clicking on your ads immediately, they may discover your product in the future. Either way, paid advertisements will help immensely in terms of getting in front of your target audience and filtering out whoever is not part of it.
Investing in search engine marketing or per click advertisements is different from investing in SEO. Because when you are investing money in SEM, you are basically controlling your budget at every step. By having strong control over the budget, you do not lose a lot of money in the long run.
PPC gives you the ability to fix your daily budget which depends on how much you want to spend. And since you can start with a small amount, you do not have to invest heavily before testing the water. Once you know that a certain campaign is giving you a good return on investment, you can increase your budget and increase your advertising expenses without worrying about losses.
Display Laser Targeted Advertising
Reaching potential customers becomes easier when you know you are not letting the wrong people see your ad. But PPC ads are not limited to just one type of targeting, which helps you to tailor your advertising campaigns for the best results.
When talking about pay per click marketing, the most common targeting option that is talked about is keyword targeting. However, if you know your audience well, you can go beyond that and target ads based on:
- Time of day
- Day of the week
- geographic location
- Used language
- Used equipment
For example, if you are running a holiday sale in your eCommerce store for people based in the United States, you can design your ad properly for them. This level of targeting is highly profitable for businesses that are time-bound or location-bound. If done right, targeted PPC advertising can give a huge return on investment.
Achieve Quick, Measurable Results
Anyone promising quick results with SEO is a snake seller. Because SEO is a process in itself that takes a certain amount of patience and commitment. Building a certain level of organic visibility takes time, no matter how good you are.
However, with a well-maintained PPC campaign, the results can be analyzed and any conversion-related issues can be fixed in no time. It should not be surprising to see the massive results from the PPC campaign which has been going on for only a few weeks. When you have a budget, it is not only possible to get quick results with PPC, it is completely possible.
Get real time feedback
PPC is extremely helpful when it comes to getting constructive feedback from your target audience. By running a PPC campaign, you get instant feedback that removes any guesses. This kind of agility is not possible to achieve with SEO. Because agility requires speed, and paid search lists have it.
For example, before launching a new product or service, a business may create a simple landing page to gather feedback from the target audience. Or it can run a survey by asking a bunch of targeted questions. Or it could even go a step further and create a minimally viable product to see how the target users are interacting with it. With a little creativity, PPC ads can help gather real-time feedback that can be used to improve the final product, or idea.
Split test for better ROI
As we all know, one of the main drawbacks of traditional advertising is the lack of data. It is difficult to know what is working and what is not. For example, you can run the best advertisement in a newspaper or magazine, but you do not have access to important data about the performance of the advertisement.
Search engine marketing allows you to split test or A / B into separate advertisements and each other. You are able to test every small element of the ad as well as the landing page. Everything can be tested in real time with the help of PPC advertisements, from the color of the call to the right to the action button of the images.
Having access to such important data not only helps you get a better return on investment from your PPC campaign, but also gives you the knowledge needed to get better results in other marketing areas like SEO, email marketing, etc. .
Experience more stability
There are many different updates in the SEO world from time to time. This is to ensure that users are seeing only the best search engine results against their queries. However, due to such frequent changes, the position of your website in organic search results may be affected. And sometimes, you can lose the ranking that you built over time.
Pay per click are more stable and predictable. Even if there are changes or updates, they do not make a huge difference in the way your ads run. They are micro and tailored to the needs of advertisers. Which means it is easier to manage a PPC advertising campaign and improve ROI between any changes.
Generate low cost leads
When running PPC advertising, the cost of a lead depends on many factors. However, if you manage to get the basics right, and optimize the campaign effectively, the leads you generate from your PPC campaign can prove to be high quality and low cost.
The cost of lead is further reduced when working in a small niche that does not have heavy competition. For example, if you are an interior designer looking for more business in your area, you may find it easier to get leads with PPC ads – seeing that you are targeting the right keywords.
Now, search engine marketing or PPC advertising has its share of disadvantages, which you should know if you plan to take a dip.
Can be expensive
Unless you are eBay or Amazon, PPC can prove to be a costly affair. You may not initially realize this, but over time, the cost keeps rising. If you are not doing enough testing with your ads, you can lose a part of your budget without any great returns. If you are generous with your advertising budget, focusing on the wrong keywords or markets can make a big dent in your wallet.
Need constant investment
Although the organic search is not free, you do not need to constantly feed it with advertising dollars. Pay-per-click advertising campaigns require sustained investment to keep them up and running. You keep getting results as long as you keep piling up more money.
If your campaign is successful and offering good ROI, then it makes sense to invest regularly. But not when you are losing money and you are only putting more in hopes of turning the table. This is why keeping an eye on your acquisition costs is always important.
With a little bit of help from online marketing experts, we’ll help you discover even more of what your online marketing has the ability to do.
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