SEM vs SEO: Which Is Better for Your Bottom Line?

SEO vs SEM words on a board

The fact of the matter is that when someone is looking up a service, their first move is to use a search engine 93% of the time. SEO and SEM have become key parts of the processes inside a search engine. Though some business owners can confuse the two terms and believe they are interchangeable terms for the same thing.

So what do SEO and SEM do? How do you know which is better for your business advertising online?

Read on to learn what is the difference between SEM vs. SEO.

How Does SEO Work?

The main purpose of search engine optimization (SEO) is to place a company’s website at the top of a search engine organically. This is done by using keywords on your site that your target customer may input on Google, Bing, and other search engines. The keywords you use should be relevant to your website, industry, product, or solution. And, they should be terms that actual people searching online would use. Once you start incorporating keywords into your content, search engines will crawl your site and index your pages so they show up in search results. It’s a good idea to optimize your site so that pages load quickly, so visitors are more likely to stay on your site and continue browsing. When using proper SEO methods, you can gain the trust of your target consumer audience by showing them helpful content that is relevant to their searches.

How Does SEM Work?

It can be hard to understand SEM (search engine marketing), but it is simple once you know what it is. Some aspects of SEO, like keyword research, are part of it, but there’s another side you might not think about. PPC, or pay-per-click, is where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Through this, you get your ads or the link to your site all the way up to the paid area of a search engine search result. This makes your site seem more prominent than your competitors. All in all, SEM combines both SEO and PPC for optimized paid results.

Which One is Better for a Digital Marketing Strategy?

If you are a business that cares about long-term results and sustainable success, you should have an SEO campaign in place. Ranking your website organically takes longer and requires consistent effort, but it pays off in the long run. SEO may be much easier to manage for an established business that has had an online presence for a long time.

If you want immediate results or testing out an idea, your digital marketing strategy should be focused on SEM. Also, if your business is new, especially in a competitive space, SEM and other pay-per-click marketing may be more beneficial to you. Once you set up a successful campaign, it’s very easy to scale. So, incorporating PPC may sound like a good idea if you need to get results quickly, but you should consider how much those ads will cost based on your industry and the number of advertisers bidding for the same keywords you want. If you do go the paid route, you should keep in mind that the majority of internet searchers will ignore a paid advertisement if they do not see it as genuine or befitting their needs. Additionally, PPC only brings results for as long as the campaign is active, in other words, you have to constantly pay for your ads to run and when you stop, your traffic stops.

To get the best results from digital marketing, try to strike a nice balance between the two methods.

Choose Between SEM vs SEO for Your Business

The battle of SEM vs. SEO depends on what you want your marketing strategy to be. Both have pros and cons, depending on timing and price, but when you use both in a balanced manner, there is no limit to how far your digital marketing strategy will go. It just depends on the effort and the level of investment you put into it.

Have you been looking for a company that can help you out with SEO, SEM, and PPC? Check out our SEO page to see how we can help you get results.

We’re here to help with any of your needs, just drop us a line.

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