You might have heard the acronyms SEO and SEM mentioned frequently in relation to the digital marketing space, and although they might sound very similar, they are quite different approaches to digital marketing. Basically, SEO (search engine optimisation) involves optimising a website in a variety of ways to achieve higher rankings on search engines via organic search results. SEM (search engine marketing), however, is related to traffic and visibility gained from both organic and paid search. There’s a bit more to it, so in this article we take a look at SEO and SEM to give you a better understanding of which might be better suited to you.
What option is right for you?
If you’re looking to get in touch with an SEM agency in Brisbane, it’s a good idea to first understand the fundamentals of SEO and SEM to ensure you can better comprehend the services they are offering. Basically, Google’s search results are divided into two main categories: paid search and the organic search. If you want to solely focus on improving how your website is ranked through making tweaks to your website and are not at all interested in investing in paid advertising, SEM might not be for you (yet).
If you’re looking to get into SEO, you should know that there are four main subcategories you will have to look into: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO and User Interaction Signals. On-page SEO involves the use of keywords that your audience will typically search for and can be found in things like the title tag, meta description and webpage URL. Off-page SEO involves obtaining trust and authority from other websites, which will typically involve incorporating backlinks into your site.
Technical SEO involves making your page run well and good site architecture upkeep so that search engines can easily crawl and index all of the pages on your website.
Finally, User Interaction Signals relates to the way that your audience interact with your site (bounce rate, for instance).
When you might need SEM
It’s always a good idea to keep in mind that SEM actually incorporates SEO, but just provides the option of paid advertising the supplement any organic search modification. Paid advertising, otherwise known as PPC (pay-per-click), is a highly useful tool in SEM to help you find an audience that you might not otherwise have known about (and vice versa).
PPC contains a wide variety of options and feature sets, making it both highly useful and very intimidating. For starters, you will need to bid on the keywords you want to use in search engines – highly competitive words will be more expensive, but cheaper keywords might be too niche for your audience to find. Your ad will also receive a quality score from Google, which is basically a metric that associates your ad with a rating determine by click through rate, landing page quality and your Google Ad account’s overall Quality Score – if Google gives you your ad a good Quality Score, it will then allow you to get a discount on each click.
What should you focus on?
It’s often hard to know what to focus on when you’re considering SEO or SEM as there are a lot of factors to consider. If you’re just starting out in the digital marketing world and have a smaller budget, SEO is usually a good choice as you can get much better bang for buck – after all, with a bit of bad luck, PPC ads can quickly eat up a huge amount of budget with very little yield.