How SEO and SEM work together
All too often solutions require more than just one tool. In the world of digital marketing sometimes you need to use a few tools to cast a wider net over your target market.
SEO and SEM are two basic strategies essential in digital marketing, but they are also two acronyms that lead to confusion: what is best for my brand and how can I use them to reinforce each other?
Here at Brand Sentrik we want to help you understand the definitions by defining the terms first.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. According to Wikipedia, it can be defined as “the process of improving the visibility of a website in the organic results of different search engines.” SEO strategies are mainly focused on Google.
Search engines have evolved over the years and, with them, SEO strategies have become increasingly sophisticated. A simple explanation is that there are two fundamental factors that influence the positioning of a web page.
Google considers that a website is relevant when it corresponds accurately with a specific search, that is when it answers the question the user has asked. To improve the relevancy of your website, it’s good practice to use On Page SEO: keyword optimization, fast loading, great user experience, etc.
A website has authority when it’s popular, and this popularity is measured by the number of links pointing to it. To improve the authority of a website, Off page SEO techniques are used, among which link building is common.
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What is SEM
On the other side of the coin, SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. With the big picture in mind, we could consider that SEM encompasses all the techniques used to improve the positioning of a website (including SEO).
Therefore, SEM refers to techniques that improve the positioning of websites through paid ads that appear in search engines for certain keywords. Ex. Google Adwords.
The main difference between SEO and SEM
Both SEO and SEM seek to improve the positioning of a website in search engines, such as Google. But there are several differences between them:
- The place that your website will display in the results page will vary.
- The type of content with which is worked with is different for both strategies. SEO is based on creating content, usually in longer formats. While SEM ads display a very small number of characters and landing pages designed to achieve the maximum impact.
- Finally, the terms are also different: with SEM, short term/medium term results are sought, while SEO is a medium to long term digital marketing strategy.
Why SEO and SEM work well together
They both work together because they rely on keywords to drive traffic. Traffic to your site comes in different ways and by various demographics. If you can leverage both to drive traffic to your site, the better.
How SEO and SEM work well together
Using both allows for great exposure in the search engines. The information that you get from your SEM campaign can be used for SEO and vice versa. In the ideal situation, paid results should accompany organic to leverage the presence of the brand.
SEO vs. SEM: What is better?
The next question is which one is better? And the answer is ideally both at the same time! If you combine them with intelligence, you can take advantage of their mutual potential to achieve better results in both strategies.
Will you use both in your next campaign?