The way your company utilizes the internet is essential for its success, as nearly 2.1 billion people worldwide are shopping online and searching for businesses in all industries. Both SEO and SEM are great options to increase your bottom line and build a network of new customers in your area. Here, we’ll go over the differences between these digital marketing strategies and how your business can implement them.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is a series of strategies that can help boost your ranking on search engine results pages like Google. SEO is free for the company, meaning you don’t have to pay the search engine to highlight your business’ website, all one needs to do is employ certain tactics.
Keywords, local keyword phrases, and long-tail keywords are used to help online consumers find your company. Having strong SEO in place means that your website is designed clearly and is easily read by both the consumer and the web crawlers that index websites and create rankings. Nearly 90% of digital marketers find that SEO leads to strong financial returns for companies that use this strategy.
SEM - Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing is the digital marketing strategy that includes paying for search engines such as Google to show your business’ website on the results page. It is also sometimes referred to as PPC or pay per click, or paid searches. SEM also uses keywords and key phrases but directs your website at a specific group of consumers that are on related businesses websites.
What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
SEM is marketed to a specific group of users, and SEM will have your company’s website marked as ‘ads”. Generally, SEM is directed at potential consumers who have already decided to buy the services, whereas SEO reaches everyone. SEO builds long-term trust online, but SEM sees faster ROI or financial returns, just so long as the ads stay up. SEO is a long-term solution to creating a digital marketing strategy, but it can take months for companies to see increased profits.
How To Utilize Both SEO and SEM
Start by finding the keywords that are most often searched in regards to your company, these should be obvious, however, there are also a lot of resources online that can create a list. Once you have your keyword list that will address the general consumer, you want to create long-tail keywords and phrases. Long-tail keywords are three or more words that help target a more specific audience. For example, if you run a roofing business, your keywords might include “roofing”, “contractors” “shingles”, while your long-tail keywords would be “contracts for quick roofing repair”.
Once you have these keywords, you can decide if your company needs financial returns fast, as that means you’d want to start with SEM, or if you’re looking to example your consumer base and begin to build your rank, as that means you should invest your time into building strong SEO tactics. Both of these digital marketing strategies help consumers find your company but your business’ needs are what should determine your first step.