SEO / SEM Strategy

SEM, or search engine marketing, is often considered the part of search marketing that uses PAID tactics to gain visibility in SERPs. A paid SEM strategy includes both the activities involved with setting up and optimizing ads as well as setting a budget that pays for the placement of ads.

What is SEO and How Does it Work?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process by which search engines “crawl” content to see how effective it will be to attract traffic. Search engines will assess a number of things in a website (such as keywords, tags, and link titles) and rank it for its capacity to attract organic traffic based on a variety of factors.

Some things that crawlers look for include:

  • Quality Content: Having great quality content sends a message to search engines that your website and business is delivering a legitimate good or service. Part of the way they assess you is via link building and keywords.
  • User Experience: Is your website designed for users to have a frictionless experience? Is it fast and easy to navigate? Can users meet their end goals (e.g.: making a purchase) with ease?
  • Link Patterns: Are you backlinking to authority sites? Where are your inbound links coming from?

What is SEM and How Does it Work?

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a descriptor that incorporates various types of paid search advertising. This is the type of thing that you’ll see as Google ad and usually ends up on the top of a page list. Usually, this has a to do with keyword placement and usage and that’s one way why doing it well can require some extra knowledge and strategy.

Here are some examples of SEM-based advertising activities:

  • Targeted (paid) ad campaigns
  • Writing copy using very selective keywords
  • Ensuring that advertising activities fall within an allotted budget
  • Applying key performance indicators like click-through-rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) towards future advertising activities

There’s such a thing as poorly done SEM, but when it’s done well, it will get you to the top of the rankings. This involves spending some time designing your ads so that they are targeted well.

SEM is great for brand recognition as it means that you’ll be at the top of the list every time someone searches. It’s also a great way to bring in targeted traffic to your website. And because it has to do with paid ads, it’s easy to understand your ROI in a direct way – you are using paid ads and will be able to monitor the traffic on those and then create campaigns based on this information.

Drawbacks of SEM are that it does require some extra special knowledge and tools (like Google AdSense). If you’re not well versed in the area, you’ll probably want to hire someone with a significant amount of expertise in web marketing and ad campaigns to handle this end of things and make it worth your while.

When we talk about SEO and SEM differences, we’re really just talking about different approaches to advertising.

SEO is sometimes used as an umbrella term that includes SEM, but because SEM refers strictly to paid advertising, they are actually separate. SEM is about getting traffic via paid ads, and SEO is more about acquiring, monitoring and analyzing organic (unpaid) traffic patterns.

Follow us here