Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are often used interchangeably. They do strive for the same result, better search engine impressions and ranking. Imagine a horse race and now imagine the horse as the SEO and the jockey as the SEM. As long as you keep this image in mind, you have an abstract model into how SEM and SEO work together.
If your racehorse is old and sickly, it would not matter how good the rider is. Vice versa, the best racing horse will not perform as good with an inexperienced rider. But think about it. If your horse is the absolute fastest, you may not necessarily even need the best rider to win. Let us now go back to SEO and SEM. A good SEM paired with a bad SEO is not a good thing. However, a bad SEM paired with a good SEO may yield better results. This brings us back to the question of what is SEO and SEM? SEM is the campaign, the strategy, the creative. Video marketing, facebook page, google ads and strategically pairing social media together. SEO is infrastructure. It is the structure, the readability, the security, the speed and much much more. SEO is the foundation of every website and without a good foundation, even the best SEM may not yield the desired results. It is important to note that SEO falls under IT services and not marketing services. It is making your website as friendly and as readable as possible to all the search engines. The friendlier your content and structure, the easier for the search engines to find it. That is what you want. Even an average article can gain more traction with perfect SEO.
Now let's delve in a little deeper into these terms. Let us start with SEM and move on to SEO a little later. We feel that both of these play a very important role in promoting your website and gaining traffic. Paying close attention to the ROI (return on investment) in the case of SEM.
What is SEM or Seach Engine Marketing? - SEM vs SEO
From what we know, SEM is a paid strategy. Think of Google Ads, Facebook, Bing ads, Instagram and paid listings. Tricky part being on how much budget is allocated. It would not be a good idea to simply put all your eggs in one basket nor is it a good idea to start off allocating a large amount for each paid campaign. You could always hire a marketing agency to assist you, but we are talking about the DIY approach at this moment. Experimentation is key. Start off with the least amount they allow you to put in. Learn what works in terms of keywords, time and copy. It is a little like fishing and requires a lot of time, patience and creativity. Instagram, for example, could just be a simple image post and a call to action to the link in your bio. Google Ads can get expensive if not used properly. Sure you can go for the keywords that are most used and you will end up paying a lot for the competition. Or you could simply go for something unique and niche. Sure you won't get a lot of searches, but it puts you in a better position and more likelihood of getting that click. For example, you could be selling a T-shirt and add the keyword 'T-shirts'. This would mean you would have to compete with every online T-shirt manufacturer and seller out there. Or you could type 'red shirt' and you would drastically reduce the competition and improve the chances of being clicked on. Since a person who is looking for a red t-shirt is more likely to buy a red t-shirt. As opposed to a person searching for a shirt and is simply window shopping. SEM is all about campaigns and how you plan to target them.