If it came in a bottle, everyone could do it
SEO and SEM are both forms of digital marketing, but which one is best for your business? If you aren’t sure which strategy is best for your business, then carry on reading this article. We compare the difference between SEO and SEM so you can decide which one is best for you.
What is SEO?The results from SEO won’t be immediate but once you begin to gain more traffic to your website, if optimized properly, the results will be long lasting. If people struggle to find your site when they have searched for it, you could be missing out on potential customers. For the SEO to be effective, the company must have a good understanding of the do’s and don’ts in digital marketing and also take into account their strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to know that not all websites will achieve the same results with strategies that have been successful for other business websites.
What is SEM?
SEM (search engine marketing), helps to increase customer leads and website traffic by using similar strategies to SEO, but SEM promotes the websites by using PPC (pay per click), also known as paid search. It also comes with some benefits, as with SEM, there are different forms of marketing that you cannot receive from the traditional type.
PPC is one of the main advantages of SEM and it’s very cost effective. Instead of the company having their ad shown on television or in a magazine and having to pay a large lump sum for it, the company can pay a very small cost for PPC. It’s a quick way to increase the websites trafficking whereas SEO can take a lot of time to gain higher search listings. Another advantage of SEM is that the company can target specific audiences with their ads.
Questions you should ask yourself before choosing SEO or SEM
What is your goal? – This is the most important question that business owners should ask themselves when they are considering digital marketing strategies. If you have not asked yourself this question yet, you’ve missed out a big step. For a marketing strategy to be successful, it needs to be specific.
The more specific you can make it, the more likely your strategy is to work and gain your business site visitors. Although it is important to make a competent strategy, it needs to be remembered that you cannot always get what you want instantly, you need to have patience. There are many different types of goals you could consider for your business. If you haven’t yet asked yourself what your goal is, below are some of the most common goals for both SEO and SEM campaigns:
● Leads – When you are spending money on either SEO or SEM strategies, the last thing you want is to be losing out on money. If you choose to focus on leads, SEM is the best solution, especially for the short term. SEO can work for some leads, but because it can take more time to see results, it’s much more of a long-term strategy. SEM is a lot more accurate than SEO when it comes to phone tracking solutions, but it is the most expensive form of SEM campaigns. The different types of leads are phone calls, emails, contact forms, and walk-ins local.
● Website traffic – Although SEM is the best way to gain traffic to your site almost instantly, SEO is the best solution if you want to increase traffic gradually, on a long-term basis. The different types of website trafficking are organic traffic (SEO), paid traffic (SEM) and referral traffic (SEO). SEO allows your visitors to come across your site a lot more ‘organically’, which helps your site to gain referral traffic.
● First page on Google – This is a goal that almost everybody goes for. Being on the first page of Google when a specific keyword has been searched sounds brilliant as, of course, people are going to come across your website that way. Yes, it is a good way for your website to be more visible, but it can take a lot of work and a very long time for your site to reach the 1st page. If this is your goal, the best way to achieve it is by deciding on a keyword that isn’t so competitive.
● Targeting – SEO can work well for local targeting but there are restrictions. SEM doesn’t have as many restrictions as SEO does so you can target more than just a city; you can target multiple different locations and even be as specific as targeting a zip code.
What is your time frame?
Although SEO campaigns can be very successful, they are a long-term investment whereas SEM can achieve results much quicker. Compared to SEM, you need to put a lot more work into SEO as more specific strategies and time is needed. Results from SEO may take more time but they can also last for a long time. SEM results are almost instant but when your budget runs out, your results stop.
What is your budget?
Before you fully decide on your goal, you need to think about what your budget is. Depending on how much you have to spend on your marketing strategy, it could affect what you can and can’t do.