When it comes to making sure your online marketing investments are paying dividends, you need to be sure customers have your online presence in front of them as frequently as possible. However, with the increase in the complexity of Google’s search algorithms, and the variety of online marketing options available to businesses, it really does pay to be in the know.
With both SEO and SEM being so similar, it’s crucial to understand the differences in functionality, cost and effectiveness. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is focused primarily on improving search results organically, with a big focus on tweaking and optimising websites to increase visibility, whereas SEM is more based around pay per click and paid searches.
Why Use SEO?
In terms of sheer returns, and an increase in revenue, SEO is definitely slower and less immediate than SEM. However, a key part of SEO involves making your website both more customer and search engine friendly, and through this organic method raises the ranking and visibility on search engines. Making your website more user-friendly is always a great thing for your business, with a definite link between sales and conversions, and sites being accessible and intuitive. SEO can be a great long term investment, but don’t expect to see massive results from day one.
Why Use SEM?
SEM is quicker and more effective than SEO, but this comes at the price of being much costlier. In order to consistently raise your sites ranking on Google, you’d need considerable, steady investment. In terms of conversions, PPC is slightly more effective, due to paid search results being 1.5 times more likely to turn in click-throughs from the search engine.
Through SEM, you have closer control of your sites visibility, admittedly at a cost, which can prove useful when it comes to timing advertising campaign pushes and the like. It also negates the necessary website optimisations crucial to SEO, making it a little easier and quicker.
The fact is, you don’t want to neglect any potentially beneficial marketing options, and you want your marketing budget to cover a variety of methods that best serve your needs. When combined SEO and SEM can operate more effectively, as well as be cheaper than just throwing everything into SEM. Organic search results are statistically a lot more likely to be clicked on than paid search results, however SEM offers greater control of your brand visibility, and gives you more options.