November 25, 2020
Our Favorite Small Businesses to Support this Holiday Season
Holidays in 2020 look a bit different. Here are some of the businesses we love that make it easy to shop online.Read More
SEO and SEM are crucial to the success of your business. We want to help you understand these terms and what the difference is between them.
June 3, 2021
You’ve probably heard people mention that SEO and SEM are crucial to the success of your business. However, it may be a lot of information to digest if you’re doing a quick Google search and trying to understand what each of these terms are. So, we want to help you understand these terms and what the difference is between them.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing a website in order to rank for specific keywords. Within the broad term “SEO”, there are three main subdivisions:
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the portion of gaining search engine visibility using paid strategies, including PPC (Pay Per Click) ads. SEM involves using (primarily) Google Ads to target specific keywords with ads that deliver specialized content based on a search. SEM is an extremely effective and powerful tool for businesses, but often isn’t cheap.
SEO and SEM can both be used to help a brand gain awareness and traction. Regardless if a brand is using SEM techniques to attract users, being on the first page of Google (or other search engines) is extremely powerful, as most users won’t go beyond the first page of search results.
Both SEO and SEM require specialized knowledge of indexing, ranking, and SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) processes to be able to execute adequate keyword research and implementation.
SEO and SEM are also both continuous processes. There’s no “end point” at which SEO stops needing work or where SEM stops needing evaluation. These processes require consistent refinement and optimization.
Having SEM content (ads) guarantees you above-the-fold placement, which means that the content will require no scrolling to access. If a user searches for a keyword you’re targeting (and other factors like budget, geography, interests, etc. align), the ad will be one of the very first options. Much like SEO, higher placement yields more clicks.
Using SEM allows you to remarket products across display networks. This will result in a higher “bang for your buck,” as the ad will be seen more widely and frequently than an organic SERP placement will.
SEO and SEM both have unique strengths and weaknesses. SEO is better for longevity and general brand awareness. It will strengthen your authority online, and provide lasting results for the business. SEM is best for quick results that overpower competition. SEM will also provide you with substantially more data from users to tailor future approaches to marketing. Though both are valuable independently, the two are better together.