Make SEM and SEO work together in favour of your business
Most people who deal with SEO and SEM understand that they are pretty much two different sides of the same coin. Even so, they entail extremely different aspects of marketing and use slightly different approaches. In general content, they are used together to refer to activities used in the search engine space. This is why it becomes very confusing for people who are not aware of the intricacies of this world.
So, let’s start by understanding the main difference between search engine optimization and search engine marketing. This will help us better understand how to use these terms properly to give an edge to your business.
Understanding SEO and SEM
Search engine optimization is a term used to refer to the process in which a search engine crawls through content to see its effectiveness in order to attract the right kind of traffic. Search engines assess a lot of constituents in a website- such as tags, link titles and keywords. Then these tools help in raking its capacity for attracting organic traffic on a website. Some aspects that these crawlers look for include- the quality of content where link building and keywords are used well, the user experience offered by a website and the backlinking that your website does. Once you understand the principles of SEO, incorporating into your marketing, content strategy and digital sales is a piece of cake.
Search engine marketing, on the other hand, is a descriptor which integrates the different forms of paid search advertising. So, the best example of SEM would be a Google ad. This will end up on the top of any page you are browsing. While this is sort of similar to keyword placement, it requires a lot more strategy. Some constituents of SEM include- targeted ad campaigns, creating a copy based on particular keywords, advertising activities being in a designated budget and using tools such as cost per click and click-through rates.
Integrating SEO and SEM to your advantage
Both SEO and SEM are heavily dependent on keyword strategy. They help in driving traffic to different business web pages and business websites. There are many marketing techniques which can be used. Both of them focus on traffic flows and you can make whole sole marketing campaigns with tools used for both. What is important to understand is that people use search engines for nearly everything in today’s day and age. Depending on the keyword you want to sell, you need to figure out its popularity and then take a call in terms of categorizing it. So, a heavily searched keyword has too much competition. If your campaign or product is heavily reliant on that particular product, then you may need to incline towards SEM a little more than SEO.
If your product is dependant on web space for its sale, then having a strong presence is crucial. You need experts to categorize your search between search engine marketing and search engine optimization so that the potential of both is used to its maximum. This helps in boosting your visibility for a longer duration. It also depends on how you allocate your budget. SEO is mainly free listings and the generation of organic traffic. While SEM would help you pay a little for higher sales. It’s more of an investment decision that you need to make.
Another thing is that you need to consider the age of your business. So, for example, if your business is new, you would need to depend on CTC or SEM because it would take a while for SEO to build up. However, do not ignore SEO in the process. Let them run side by side so that your product is always visible in the web sphere where you compete.
SEO and SEM: What the future holds?
Both SEO and SEM will continue to make drifts as most major search engines are doing the same. The parameters for rankings are continuously being changed, and that’s why both SEO and SEM have to keep up. For this particular reason, it is tough for strategists to predict what would happen exactly; but we do have a rough idea.
1) The user experience or UX has become quite a crucial parameter. It will continue to grow more and more critical to search engine optimization. It is a current trend and also very useful for sites that want to rate higher on Google. Having a good UX will ensure that your website gets better ranking on Google as they are working towards rewarding user-friendly sites.
2) You must have heard of AMP. It stands for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Project. With time, this project is anticipated to gain even more popularity. It is a collaboration between industry professionals as well as developers. Herein, they create a massive open-source library which would offer most users an effortless and smooth way to access mobile-friendly web pages. This matters for both SEO and SEM is because slowly and eventually, slow loading pages are going to die off. With more and more websites going towards the usage of AMP, we have seen that mobile searches and traffic from major publications increase. For example, Washington Post and Slate have adopted this and it benefited their traction quite a bit.
3) With time, even Artificial Intelligence will become more and more crucial in decision making for SEO. Also, for other search activities, especially as the concept of the Internet of Things is coming up. While more usage of AI will change the nature of searches, it would still give us a chance to create more and more targeted ads for SEM at the same time. Hence, find ways to ensure that AI is used to its optimum for ranking higher in lists.
4) Lastly, the future of SEO and SEM- both will see a lot of data-driven content. With time, everything will become more and more focused based on the user’s preferences. That’s why entities will create more personalized and targeted campaigns.
Should you go for SEO and SEM?
When you go to a digital marketing expert, you will realize that this differs case to case. It depends on your campaign and your target audience. Any efficient digital marketing expert will advise you to go for both- SEO and SEM in tandem. You would, however, require a sufficient budget to run both. There are several other factors which can affect your decision regarding you would need to run either SEO or SEM or both SEO and SEM.
This is what fits in different scenarios:
1) Short customer lifecycle: In case you are launching a product for promotion which comes with a short buying cycle, (1 month approximately), then you would not have enough time to run an SEO campaign to boost the website for ranking higher. In such a situation, you would need to run an SEM campaign to get on top of the search results.
2) You need traffic maximized: In such scenarios, studies have proven that both paid and organic search results would help in increasing the clicks. In such cases, you would need to run both SEM as well as SEO campaigns.
3) Cases where paid search competition is high: In such a situation, most studies have proven that you would need to run SEO instead. SEM is fruitless in such a case. If your profit margin is negative, then don’t opt for SEM as it would just be like donating to google with no use to you.
In a nutshell, you need somebody experienced to tell you whether SEO is ideal for you or SEM. In most cases, you would need to run both but with SEM, the spends can be high. Hence, considering a profit margin is crucial. Since SEO is content-driven, it requires a lot more insightful content creation; hence we recommend that you evaluate the chances of your return with both and then decide what to opt.