The world is now a global village. The internet is one universal marketplace with throngs of brands scrambling desperately for customers.
Brands now have to wage war among themselves online to capture clients, and two of the commonest approaches are paid search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
Differentiating between SEO and SEM
Let us assume you want your website to appear on search engine results when users type “bookmaker.xyz“.
You could either leverage SEO and produce high-value content optimized to keywords related to the aforementioned search query or buy auctioned positions on search results related to the query.
If you choose to go with SEO, you will have to build valuable content that assuages user queries and build authoritative backlinks to such content to convince search engines like Google of the credibility of your website.
If you manage to build such links and get critical aspects of your on-page SEO right, like H1 tags, page speed, and meta description right, search engines will start showing your content to users who search for queries related to the said bookmaker.
This organic process is more sustainable but takes a lot of time and effort. The other approach is buying paid positions on search results. This is more related to social engine marketing.
Diving deeper into social engine marketing
Social engine marketing (SEM) represents one of the most vibrant advertisement means to get your brand before the eyes of potential customers. SEM is assuredly one of the most efficient means today to promote your business, grow your reputation and ultimately make sales.
Going into the deeper details of SEM, SEM involves deploying paid advertisements to be strategically displayed on what people get from their search results, say on Google, Bing and others.
The advertiser handling the SEM campaign would target selected keywords that most customers are likely to search for (maybe when they want to purchase a product) and bid for those keywords.
What follows from there is that the search engine results for the query the customer typed (which contains the selected keywords chosen by the advertiser) will return results to the customer with the brand’s ads appearing along with the results of the query.
What results can you expect from SEM?
SEM has a high potential to convert and lead to a sale because your ads appear before an interested audience.
Someone in need of a service connected to your brand. So when your ads show in those queries, such interested customers are more compelled to click on your ad for solutions.
So you can see, if this is done properly, it has the vehement capacity to pull in traffic from all over and put your products before an inspired audience who are much more easily persuaded to buy – or join your loyal customer base.
These ads are referred to as PPC denoting Pay Per Click. These PPC ads come in a variety for businesses to choose from based on their target audience and marketing budget.
Among the options are small and text-based ads. There are still product listing ads, otherwise referred to as Shopping ads.
Such ads have more visual elements, which tend to be more engaging to the viewer. They could be more detailed, sometimes containing reviews and the lowest product prices.
Generally, SEM encompasses the PPC and SEO, all part of the procedures through which businesses can optimize search results for commercial purposes.
What separates SEO from PPC is that while SEO is organic and built, PPC comes very readily with pay-per-click fees. Both SEO and PPC are aimed at increasing website traffic, though.
Now the effectiveness of your PPC campaign goes beyond carelessly littering search engine results with your ads. Selected keywords must be optimized to generate maximum clicking response from the audience.
A well-executed PPC campaign, however, would confidently bring a leap in conversion.
Most times, what works best is combining SEM and PPC to get more complete results. Generally, it would do you good if you take time to have wonderful value-adding content on your website before you go on a promotional spree of SEM and PPC.
Another significant point to make sure the return of investment on your SEM approach is advantageous is ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly and ad-friendly.