SEO vs SEM, there have been a long battle between these two. But, the most important question is, “Which marketing strategy will suit your business needs? “
What is SEM?
Search Engine Marketing or SEM as it’s commonly known as, is marketing through the internet. It endorses websites on multiple search engines by increasing their prominence in web pages or search engine result pages.
How Can You Use SEM?
SEM is used in different search engines. The best site that uses SEM is Google Adwords because it utilises the three methods of SEM: paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusions. Google Adwords isn’t the only one that provides SEM. Sites like the following provide SEM too:
These sites have one thing in common. They all give you options on what type of advertising you prefer – a banner or just a small pop up. They all depend on keywords.
How Much Does SEM Cost?
The cost of SEM depends on your business needs. If you think you need to get the word out to a larger audience then you have to spend a huge amount too. In most cases the cost of SEM advertising depends on the following factors:
- Keyword popularity
- Line of business
- Number of advertisements on a daily basis
- Service provider
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation is also a marketing strategy using tools to make your website relevant using unpaid or organic methods to increase your search engine rankings.
There are four important factors SEO marketers consider when implementing a strategy:
- How search engines work
- What people search for
- Keywords and key phrases typed on search engines
- Search engines preferred by target market
The job of SEO specialists don’t end there. They also edit the tags of a website, take care of the HTML and add outbound links to boost their website’s presence.
Keywords are Important Tools in SEO
Search engine optimisation is all about the proper use of keywords. It is not easy to find the right words to use especially when you have lots of competitors online. What is essential is that you find the right keywords—or those that would give you the best results and do your bets to use them as a way of getting to the top ranking.
Google and Yahoo can help you with your keyword phrases because they have tools to help you access keywords in their data bases. But, be careful when choosing keywords. Make sure that they are still relevant. There are keywords that have been very popular a year ago but will not give you the same results today.
Here are the Advantages of using SEO:
SEO is cost-effective in a sense that you don’t have to go for paid advertisements to boost your rankings. But, it is not entirely free. There are perks of hiring professional digital marketers who have proven their worth in the online market. If you really want to boost your visibility and to increase brand awareness it will be helpful if you find a good digital marketing company with SEO experience. They have people who specialise on creating cost-effective strategies to boost your rankings and to attract and keep paying customers.
It is a smart way of building your credibility online. People trust brands that impart learning, than those who simply offer their products or services. You can provide informational content that could help improve other people’s lives or solve their problems.
Here are the Disadvantages:
It is time consuming and you need skills to do it right. Not everyone can choose keywords and use them to boost search engine rankings. There are people who studied how to do it, and learned though their experiences. For example, it is not easy to write content that attracts and converts customers. In the same way, you can’t just throw keywords together and come up with ideas, and expect that people would read them. With millions of content online, it is difficult to prove your brand’s credibility unless you present a unique and powerful content.
Which is more practical, SEM or SEO?
SEM is effective and simple—but it is more costly than SEO. If you have the budget to pay for SEM campaigns, why not take it? But, if you want to keep your expenses to a minimum while you are still trying to gain traction, SEO is the way to go. There are also digital marketing companies offering SEO and SEM services at an affordable price—so you don’t really have to choose between the two.
Here are tips when choosing between SEO vs SEM:
- Look at your budget. Which option can give you the same results at a cheaper price?
- How many clients will a certain strategy generate?
- Do you have the skills to do the SEO by yourself? If not, how much are you willing to spend on an SEO marketing agency?
- Is there a much better option—such as getting SEO and SEM in one package? If a digital marketing company offers you this option—and you believe that they can deliver, would you go for it?