What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The process of making improvements on and off your website in order to gain more exposure in search engine results is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And more exposure will eventually lead to more visitors finding you for the right reasons. To simply put it, search engines are just trying to find and understand all the content out there on the internet, and then quickly deliver relevant and trustworthy results based on any phrase the user might be searching for.
What SEO Means to Your Business
If you’re a business, there are some very real and specific benefits to having a consistent, ongoing search engine optimization strategy. For the first time in the history of marketing, users are offering up their actual intent through the words that they type and speak into search engines. And more than ever before, you can measure the results of your SEO efforts as a marketing channel.
More and more content appears on the web every second of every day. And your customers need search engines to navigate through it all. People search to find answers to their questions, to buy products, to find a place to eat, to book travel, to get news. Just about everything we do online starts with a search.
The aim of SEO is to make your website visible to your target market who are interested in your products or services.
Good SEO can essentially provide you a stream of some of the most targeted, intent-driven traffic that you could possibly ask for. But more than that, one of the biggest benefits of SEO is the ability to actually measure your results. You can use your website analytics data to find out exactly how successful you are in acquiring search engine users. And you can see if those users’ actions are in line with your business goals.
What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.
SEM is also alternately referred to as paid search or pay per click (PPC).
In paid search advertising, sponsored ads appear at the top of and on the side of search engine results pages to gain more visibility and prominence than the organic results. The aim of SEM is to help businesses gain visibility in the search engines and drive traffic without having to wait for it.
What SEM Means to Your Business?
The digital marketplace is hugely vast and competitive. It’s important to prioritize online advertising in your marketing strategy, that is, if you want to get noticed. This is where SEM works its magic. It allows all advertisers to make bids on target keywords – words or phrases that users may be entering when they’re searching for products or services.
Since consumers enter search queries with the intent of finding information of a commercial nature, they are in an excellent state of mind to make a purchase, compared to other sites such as social media where users are not explicitly searching for something.
Search marketing reaches consumers at exactly the right time: when they are open to new information. Unlike the majority of digital advertising, PPC advertising is non-intrusive and does not interrupt their tasks.
Results are immediate with SEM. It is arguably the fastest way to drive traffic to a website.
SEO vs. SEM
The main difference is that SEM drives traffic through paid advertising, while SEO drives, monitors, and analyzes organic (unpaid) traffic. SEO is the best marketing strategy for long-term results. Websites can receive 24/7 free traffic and take full advantage of search engine optimization.
And so for the question, which should you use for marketing your business website?
The answer is BOTH.
You can use SEM to get countless traffic even if your eCommerce website is brand new. Once you generate sales, you can save the email accounts of your customers and you can continue selling to them forever (as long as you have good email marketing) — that way, you benefit from recurring customers.
SEO and SEM should work together side by side.
What you need to realize when doing SEO is that it often takes time before you start seeing significant traffic come in initially — that is why you need to run your SEM campaigns together with running your SEO.
Because SEM relies on PPC ads to drive traffic to your website, you’ll only get results when you keep paying Google to post your ads. Once you stop, so does the flow of traffic you get.
With SEO, the effect is the complete opposite. For as long as your content ranks in the SERPs, it will continue to keep driving traffic to your site.
There is a long-term effect in SEO traffic, while longevity in traffic when you run an SEM campaign is pretty much non-existent.If you are looking for an SEO or SEM specialist for your business website, you should look for web hosting plans that include ongoing strategy for both SEO and/or SEM to your hosted website. spireMinds offers expert SEO and SEM strategy to any of their web hosting plans. No need to worry about these intricate details on how to reach your target audience in the digital world, sometimes you just have to find a web host that will give you everything you need to reach your digital success.