3 Benefits of Using SEO and SEM Together for Your Business
Whether you’ve just launched a new business or you’ve been tasked with growing an existing one, chances are you’re looking for ways to: a) get noticed and b) drive sales. Sound familiar?
Sure, we all know that websites are crucial in helping businesses generate attention and potential customers. But just how do people find their way to a website? The answer is predominantly through online search engines–particularly using likes of Google.
Getting found on Google sounds easy, but when you’ve got so many competitors in your space, it can be a job in itself. Since most people don’t look past the first few listings on Google, you really need to be near the top to gain traction.
What are SEO and SEM?
SEO and SEM are two of the main ways to boost your search ranking in today’s online marketplace. Although we won’t get into the nitty-gritty of each here, SEO is focused on optimizing a website to improve its rank in organic search results, whereas SEM uses paid advertising to improve a website’s search visibility.
SEM most commonly comes in the form of pay-per-click (PPC) ads where businesses are charged by Google (or Bing, Facebook, etc) every time a user clicks on an ad. Cha-ching! An example are the ads you see at the top of a Google page:
SEO requires specific expertise in search analytics and is more long-term focused. SEM requires up-front financial investment and is typically a shorter-term strategy. Both rely on online search and, when used strategically, can move you ahead in the search engine race. And that’s nothing to shake a stick at.
How SEO and SEM can work together for your business
So, when you’re faced with the daunting task of creating a digital marketing plan for your business, which one should you choose: SEO or SEM? The answer is… both.
For many businesses, SEO and SEM should be used in tandem. Let’s look at three benefits of using SEO and SEM together:
1. See results faster
When you have a new website, it can take time for it to build efficacy and authority. Testing meta descriptions, title tags and copy to see which will perform better in organic search can be a long (and did we mention, arduous?) process.
Using SEM allows you to immediately drive traffic to your site using targeted keywording. Once your campaigns are up and running, you can start playing the SEO “long-game” armed with analytics and insights from your SEM campaigns.
If you have a more established website with some solid SEO clout, the strategy is a little different. In this case, you can leverage your SEO data to determine which keywords you think will best convert for your SEM campaigns. Search data provides super valuable insight on user behaviour such as conversions, click-through rates and website user activity. This can be used to create a stronger, more targeted SEM strategy.
Over time, websites that rank higher in organic search may not need to run as many SEM campaigns, since their audience is finding them via the first page of Google. That means you can free up marketing spend to put towards those other tactics you’ve been dying to try.
2. Power up your keyword presence
Once some winning keywords are identified, you’re in a good spot. A huge advantage to using SEO and SEM is that both approaches can be used to target the same keywords.
This bolsters your keyword presence on search engine result pages (SERPs) on Google and the like. Your website’s ranking and visibility, consequently, continue to go up. This is a great sign that both your potential customers and search engines are beginning to take notice.
3. Optimize your content strategy
As we discussed already, SEM lets you immediately target and test key search terms. It tells you quickly whether messaging and content are working to drive conversions. This means that low performing keywords or messaging can be dropped in favour of more successful ones, which can fast-track your SEO strategy (and make you look like a superstar). Plus, high-ranking search terms and quality content get noticed by Google, which further improves your search rating.
To summarize: Rather than seeing SEO and SEM as separate tactics, the magic really happens when they come together. 💥 With a little coordination, SEM campaigns can be used to fuel SEO results, and SEO strategies can be used to bolster SEM campaigns.
At the end of the day, that means more eyes on your business, more traffic to your website and ideally more sales. Win, win!