Do you want to see incredible growth in your company’s digital footprint?

You need a marketing strategy that makes use of both SEO and SEM.

To create an effective marketing strategy, you need a clear understanding of the difference between SEO and SEM, as well as how they can work symbiotically.

If you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking they’re interchangeable, we’re here to remove any confusion and to explain how to weave these principles together to increase your company’s visibility, Google rankings, and reach.

The Difference Between SEO and SEM

SEO and SEM have a common goal: to boost traffic to your site in order to increase conversions. Their difference is in their methods.

What Is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an organic method of moving up your website’s position in search engine results, which ranks it according to its relevance and authority.

SEO is made up of on-page and off-page strategies.

On-page SEO Strategies:

  • Keyword research
  • Meta data
  • Page copy and site content
  • Well-formatted URLs
  • Short loading time
  • Internal link building

Off-page SEO Strategies:

  • External link building
  • Social signals
  • Social bookmarking
  • Local listings

SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy that boosts your site’s long-term rankings.

What Is SEM?

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a search strategy that uses paid ads to boost the visibility of your website on search engines.

You can’t have successful SEM without SEO. Your paid ads must contain relevant keywords that match your customers’ search queries so that your ad pops up in the correct search engine results pages (SERPs).

And while, yes, paid ads heighten your visibility, if your site isn’t relevant there won’t be any visibility to work off of. Successful SEM makes use of several different strategies.

SEM Strategies:

  • Run ad campaigns
  • Build ad groups
  • Write relevant ad copy
  • Have an ad budget
  • Monitor metrics
  • Create targeted social media ads

Now that you have an understanding of how SEO and SEM intrinsically work together, a good question to ask is which you should focus on first.

SEO vs SEM: Which Should You Focus On?

SEO builds a foundation for SEM by providing useful content for your customers. If you don’t have credible and well-optimized content, any SEM efforts will be wasted. To establish page authority before running a paid ad campaign, aim to consistently create high-quality content that is worthy of ranking in SERPs.

Immediate visibility due to SEM can be useful if you’re starting up your company’s website for the first time and you don’t yet have organic site authority. When this is the case, consider running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign to initially promote your product or service.

Combining SEO and SEM in Your Search Optimization

By now you should understand the difference between SEO and SEM. Finding a balance between the two is essential when building your search optimization strategy.

With the harmony of both methods working to boost your site’s rankings, you can rest assured that your marketing strategy will support itself, generate traffic, and increase conversions.

To learn more about SEO, SEM, and other marketing methods, set up a conference call with the team of experts at Buzzhive Marketing.