Once upon a time, search engine marketing (SEM) referred to both search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search, such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns.
REQUEST A QUOTE
Fast forward to present day. SEO refers to strategies to drive organic traffic to a company’s website. In contrast, search engine marketing (SEM) services focus on gaining clickthroughs to websites by means of buying ads on search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO vs SEM
So, what differentiates SEO from SEM, and which should your company focus on to grow its web presence?
As mentioned above, SEO facilitates organic growth, while SEM services are paid. All businesses stand to benefit from tasking professionals with managing both types of campaigns.
SEO’s organic traffic takes time to build. Think of this as the long game. A successfully-executed SEO campaign includes months of regular blogging for keywords your business is targeting, backlinks from other reputable businesses and/or publications in your professional field, and the fine-tuning of the copy within your website.
SEM, on the other hand, begins acquiring site visitors as soon as the campaign is paid for an launched. When properly executed, this is a short-term growth strategy that drives conversions as SEO efforts build a lasting brand presence in the background. The three ads visible above and below Google’s search results are the result of search engine marketing campaigns.
HOW DOES PAID SEARCH MARKETING WORK?
Step 1: Set your budget
- Regardless of budget or objective, good business is always about getting the best return on your investment. In this case, the amount of money set aside for search engine marketing will determine how to combine the following factors to achieve the best value for your company.
Step 2: Choose a search engine
- Google AdWords is the most-used paid advertising platform with 64% of market share
- Bing Ads follows with 21% of the search-engine market
- Yahoo: Search Ads is the smallest of the big three with 13%
- Next-tier search engines – few people can even name a fourth search engine. All other competitors make up a collective 2% of the market
Step 3: Select a type of PPC ad
- Impressions: pay every time your ad appears on a SERP. Less expensive per
- Click-through: pay when a user clicks your ad, and is redirected to a predetermined page of your company’s site
- Clicks will always be significantly more expensive than impressions, because they inherently guarantee a visitor will view your site. With enough data, search engine marketing consultants can determine the click-through rate on pay-per-impression ads and determine which type of ad is less expensive for your business’s particular SEM campaign
We don’t want to share our entire secret recipe for search engine marketing success here, so inquire using our form and we’ll tell you how we would tailor our SEM approach to your brand.