Read on to find out exactly how SEO and SEM work. Find out how you can use them both to create a wider reach for your content and website.
Perhaps you are an expert in SEO. But have you heard of SEM? SEM stands for search engine marketing.
SEO is a powerful tool to use to optimise your content. SEO and SEM combined however, will create an even more robust content campaign.
Table of contents:
What is Search Engine Marketing?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO stands for search engine optimisation.
It is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Basically, you need to focus on the quality of your traffic.
You want people to visit your site who are genuinely interested in what your website has to offer. By tailoring your content to reach your target audience, they will return to your site again and again.
Secondly, you need to think about the quantity of your traffic. You can increase your reach through the search engine results pages (SERPs). Ideally, more traffic is better for your website.
Finally, advertisements make up the majority of SERPs. Organic traffic, however, is any traffic that you do not have to pay for.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
On the other hand, search engine marketing is the practice of marketing a business using paid ads on search engine results pages.
The process involves advertisers who bid on keywords that users of search engines such as Google or Bing might search for when looking for specific products or services.
This gives the advertiser the ability to have their ads appear amongst results for those searches.
These ads, also known as pay-per-click ads, come in various formats.
Some ads are small and text-based, whilst others can be product listing ads. PLAs are visual shopping ads that allow consumers to see product information instantly, like the price and reviews.
SEM is powerful because it allows advertisers to place their ads in front of customers who are ready to buy the product. It is worth noting that no other advertising medium can do this.
And this is what makes search engine marketing so powerful. SEM is a key way to grow your website, or your business.
SEM Vs SEO
It is helpful to compare SEM with SEO to understand how you can use each practice for your website and content. Search engine marketing describes paid search marketing, in which businesses pay Google in exchange for the search engine to show their ads in the search results.
SEO, however, is different because it is not about paid search marketing.
Instead, SEO is achieved through organic traffic, and businesses must earn their place on the search engine results pages by targeting their content towards a specific keyword search.
But both SEO and SEM are integral to the growth of your online marketing strategy. SEO is ideal for long-term growth, and PPC or pay-per-click, is great for businesses that want to see quick results.
Why is SEM Important?
SEM is important to your business because it is a direct way to improve a website’s visibility using paid search marketing, contextual advertising, and search engine rankings.
In a nutshell, SEM is the management of your website’s presence in search engines through the combined marketing strategies of both SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) together.
SEM can actually help improve revenue and sales through search engine optimisation and paid search marketing.
How SEM Works
Keywords are the basis of SEM. Users enter keywords into search engines to find the product or service they are looking for, which is where search engine marketing comes in.
It is essential to create a keyword management strategy once you begin the process of utilizing SEM. You need to enact research into the relevant keywords to your business and what customers will be likely to search when they are looking for your products or services.
Once you are more informed on how to reach your customers, you can create your search engine marketing campaign using SEM.
Benefits to Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing can be especially beneficial in optimising your business or website online.
By simply increasing the strength of your online presence, you can improve the awareness of your brand alongside your visibility.
As a result, you will see online leads and increased sales. You can also provide valuable information and content for your visitors, who may not find such information elsewhere.
An advantage of SEM is that it should provide you with almost instant results.
SEM has been shown to provide businesses with a fast return on investment.
It enables such businesses to take advantage of a short-term window and grow their traffic quickly. SEO is different to SEM because it tends to increase traffic gradually over time.
PPC also allows you to have more control over the presentation of your marketing messages and products.
The fact is search engines will decide how organic results are displayed, but you are allowed more control over calls-to-action, pricing, bullet points, and other parts of your PPC ads.
Ultimately, users will always see paid ads before organic search results, with an average of four ads on desktop and three on mobile devices. Paid search results dominate SERPs.
A good SEM strategy will place your brand, business, or website at a good spot on search engine results pages.
To Conclude: What is Search Engine Marketing?
Ultimately, search engine marketing is a smart way to increase the visibility and brand awareness of your company, business or website.
You need to make sure that you understand the customers, and prospective visitors of your website, before you set out to create a strong SEM strategy.
This is so that you can understand the relevant keywords to use, which is essential to search engine marketing that actually works.
If you are looking to truly optimise your content, then it is wise to utilize both SEO and SEM in your marketing strategy for the attainment of long-term growth.
If you would like more information or help with understanding SEM, take a look at our Knowledge Hub.