In digital marketing, gaining web traffic is the main objective when doing investment in the optimization for SEO, web positioning in search engines such as Google, or when launching an advertising campaign in SEM search engines based on the PPC campaigns (Pay Per Click) such as Google Ads. Although both paths lead to gaining visibility of the company in web search engines and take you to the same destination, the scenario to choose between SEO and SEM is different since both SEO and SEM are completely different paths to achieve the same.
Some ingredients are needed to make your investment in an advertising campaign with Google Ads (SEM) that can give you the expected results, but this requires professional experience and techniques. As for SEO, when done with passion and following the rules that the search engines dictate, it can become more economical and effective than the SEM, but it requires much more time and effort. So how to solve this dilemma?
At GSS Webtech IT Solutions, we employ both SEO and SEM techniques to obtain the desired results for our clients. However, as an IT company offering full-fledged IT solutions, we must keep you informed about the optimum strategy that works the best for you. So, SEO or SEM? How to make the best choice? This post will help you understand when to invest in SEO or SEM according to the circumstances of your marketing strategy.
Before we delve deep into discussing which Digital Marketing strategy suits your company better, let us understand what SEO and SEM mean.
Search Engine Optimization:
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of getting traffic to your website by optimizing your webpages to such an extent that it pops up on the search engine results which in turn diverts the web traffic to your page. This kind of web traffic is also called as ‘organic traffic’ or ‘natural traffic’.
Climbing the Search Engine Position
The way to optimize a website for its good positioning in web search engines, mainly Google, has been changing in recent years. Fortunately, the rules of the game are clearer than ever and, if we follow the parameters of Google and other search engines, good results are achieved. However, you also have to evaluate the cons when it is urgent to generate organic traffic. Of course, investing in SEO ensures you improve your organic traffic, the one that is not free, but the million-dollar question here is whether this is achieved in the short, medium or long term, and how long the company can afford to wait until receiving those potential customers on your website.
SEO ensures you improve your organic traffic but, before investing in it, you must define your goals and evaluate how much time it takes and if you can wait until you get results. Depending on the plans you have for your business, your objectives and the time available, investing in the SEO optimization of your website could be very useful when it comes to gaining visibility in web search engines such as Google and traffic to your website, at a cost very economical, compared to the costs of advertising in web search engines, such as Google Ads. But, if you can’t afford to wait to get the benefits of the SEO campaign, which can sometimes be up to 12 months, maybe contemplating investing in an intense and fierce advertising campaign with Google Ads will help you gain visibility in a short period.
Search Engine Marketing:
Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a form of digital marketing that involves promoting your website on search engine result pages by shelling out money. When search engines promote a website, it gets a major visibility boost when compared to organic traffic routing and is often a part of paid advertising campaigns. The traffic so obtained is referred to as ‘inorganic traffic’.
Sponsored Listings in SERPs
The practice of marketing a business online using paid advertisements on search engines like Google or Bing is nothing but Search Engine Marketing. Businesses who want to advertise on search engines start bidding on keywords. Keywords are a set of words that internet users enter in search engines when searching/looking for a product or service. Purchasing such frequently typed keywords takes place through a bidding process, after which, businesses advertise their products/services using those keywords. In doing so, their advertisements alongside the results for those search queries. Although an ingenious way to cut short the organic climb, it burns a hole in the pocket.
Advertisement campaigns, also known as pay-per-click ads, come in various sizes and shapes. They can be just text-based advertisements that easily convey vital information or even visual-based advertisements like product listing ads that allow customers to see important information at a glance.
The biggest advantage of SEM is the opportunity it offers the advertisers to display their ads to customers who are motivated to buy a product, especially at the precise moment when they are ready to make a purchase. This facility to influence the decision of a motivated customer at the last moment is extremely powerful and effective. As no other medium provides such an opportunity, SEM plays a very important role in developing businesses.
Bottom line: SEO or SEM?
Regardless of the size of your business, you have to agree to the fact that your business, or any business for that matter, has a unique audience. When it comes to reaching the audience, both SEM and SEO contribute equally to that cause. However, the results are entirely dependent on the marketing and business goals of the business.
For businesses that are not at the liberty of investing money in PPC advertising, SEO makes complete sense. And for other businesses who have no dearth for monetary resources but are running short of time, SEM is a lucrative and beneficial option with PPC campaigns.
No matter what field your business is in, it is very imperative that you plan, analyze and set the goals for your business that can bring about an improvement in your business objectives. By leveraging the right method of online marketing strategy, your business can reach new heights of success.