The Importance of SEO and SEM in Search Marketing

In order to understand Search Marketing and its components SEO and SEM, it is important to know the impact of this kind of marketing in the web business world.

Search Marketing- You need to understand the terminology for this type of marketing before you can create a strategic search optimization strategy.

Search marketing relates to any process that helps a brand get attention by appearing on search engine results pages (SERPs). It includes efforts to get higher rankings and increase search visibility so you can drive more traffic to a website or specific webpages.

There are two categories in search marketing:

SEM or Search Engine Marketing uses PAID strategies to increase search and traffic results for a client’s website. It is generally considered a major part of your overall digital marketing strategy. It is a digital marketing process with the goal of increasing visibility in search engines either by getting organic traffic through SEO or paid traffic through PPC (Pay per click) advertising.

Through paid search advertising you need to purchase advertising space in the search engine results. So, instead of trying to rank in one of the top positions organically through SEO and get free traffic, you pay to appear in front of the search results.

The most well-known advertising platform for paid search is Google Ads also known as Google Adwords. With the help of Google Ads, you can get your ads to appear in the Google search results and you pay only for the clicks on your ads. The whole process is called Pay-per-click or PPC. There are other search engines that have a similar system but they are not as popular and successful as Google.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization uses ORGANIC strategies to appear in search. SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the purpose of getting free traffic from search engines. It is important part of setting up a website because an optimized web site is easily understood by search engine crawlers and this increases the chances of ranking higher in SERPS (search engine results pages). In the case of SEO, website owners don’t pay for placement on SERPs. Instead, they use a variety of methods that prompt search engines to show their content near the top of SERPs because the result is valuable and well-targeted.

The components of SEO

There are 3 components of SEO: technical SEO, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO.

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the crawling and indexing phase. With technical SEO you ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website without any problems. The strategies for this SEO relates to site speed, mobile-friendliness, indexing, crawlability, site architecture, structured data, and security.

On-Site SEO is rules and methods you can apply on individual pages and content so that they optimized for specific keywords. The strategies included in this SEO are keyword research, content creation, and keyword optimization.

For example, you need to have optimized titles, good descriptions, well-formatted URLs, optimized headings (H1, H2), alt text for images and many more.

Off-site SEO refers to the process of getting references or backlinks from other websites for the purpose of increasing your web site’s trust in the eyes of search engines.

This may be confusing for first-timers but it could be imagined like a ranking system wherein the website that has the most references, ranks higher.

References, in this case, are links coming from other web sites to your site. That is also the reason why off-site SEO strategies are referred to as link building.

Difference between SEO and SEM

The main difference between SEM vs. SEO is that SEM is a paid strategy and SEO is an organic strategy.

SEOSEM
It does not include any references to Ads as no paid search methods are used.Includes Ad Designation or marking.
Search results are featured as snippets.Search results include Ad extensions like additional links, addresses, and contact details.
Search results are organic and nothing is paid for clicking ads.Search results and ads are paid as PPC method and the brand is charged as per the set budget.
The target audiences cannot be selected.The target audiences can be selected as per age, gender, demographics, interests, etc.
The impact takes time as traffic is generated organically. It can take months to improve search rankings of your page.The impact is immediate as your ads start showing in SERPs and you can manage the visibility using filters or changing the allocated budget.
You cannot make changes or manage results as the updates are time-consuming.It is a flexible method where you can make changes or improvise your campaign as per the performance as the search data becomes available soon as the ads are clicked. Hence its flexibility allows you to strategize your campaign successfully.
It adds value to your website overtime hence it is beneficial in the long run.The ads and campaigns stop right away once the campaign ends or your budget freezes off. Hence it’s not a long term method.
You can get a higher click-through-rate (CTR) if your SEO is strong enough to land on top of the search. In that case, it will work better than SEM.SEM ads work better than SEO if your organic ads do not land on top or on the second page or lower. In that case, SEM achieves better CTR.

So, which is better depends on your overall digital marketing goals. If you want to get traffic fast then you can start with SEM (paid search advertising) and in parallel work on your SEO. If you want to create a long-lasting online business without relying on paid traffic, then SEO is your answer.

Does SEM help SEO?

Despite what many people think, SEM does not help SEO. If you use PPC to target specific keywords and get search engine traffic, that doesn’t positively or negatively affect your SEO efforts.

SEO rankings are decided after taking into account hundreds of factors and SEM or PPC campaigns are not a part of them.

How SEO and SEM are related to each other?

There are some common points and strategies which make them similar to each other.

The goal of both SEO and SEM is that they aim to help a brand appear in prominent positions on SERPs. The goal of each tactic is to help a brand show up in search results when users search for specific terms related to the brand’s industry, business, or offerings.

The goal of both is to gain visibility on SERPs, but more importantly, to drive traffic to a website. Each strategy employs tactics to increase click-through-rates (CTR) and get more users to click on the search results.

In order to succeed in both strategies, you must have a good understanding of your audience and how they act. By using buyer behavior and psychographic analysis, you can get to know your audience, discover what their needs are, and what they are searching for. Then you can create valuable content that shows up when they go looking for solutions related to your brand.

The first step for both SEM and SEO is performing keyword research to identify the best keywords to target. The research includes looking at keyword popularity to determine the top keywords or impact keywords that your ideal audience searches for. It also includes looking at keyword competition to see what other brands are targeting the same keywords and determining what you will need to do to compete with those other companies.

While performing SEM and SEO you will find out that neither is a strategy that you can set and forget. Both require continuous testing, monitoring, and optimization to increase performance.

SEO or SEM? What tactic would you choose out of the two?

To determine what tactic out of SEO and SEM will be better for your business following points would be worth considering:

Competitor Analysis– To decide which is right for your brand, look at what your competitors are doing and how they are performing in their search marketing before you decide how you can best compete with them. Research what search terms they rank organically for. Consider if you can execute a plan to top their SERP placements. Also, look at what paid terms they are using to drive traffic to their own sites. As you perform this research, look for gaps that you can fill and areas where you will be unable to compete in both paid and organic search.

If you have been in business for a while and already know what your customers want and how to best reach them, you may want to start to build a long-term SEO strategy that will provide value over time. If you aren’t sure how customers and competitors will respond to your offerings or content, you may want to consider an SEM campaign that allows you to test your ideas, products, and services.

Customer buying cycle– If your products and services have a short customer buying cycle, meaning your customers know what they want, search for it, and buy it, you may benefit from SEM ads that put your product right where customers will see it. Longer buying cycles, where customers research and compare for weeks or months, may not perform as well with SEM, as there isn’t an immediate buy after seeing one ad.

Cost per click average– Before deciding that SEM is right for your business, research and consider how much you’ll need to spend to show in paid search results. Keywords have varying cost-per-clicks based on competition. If your cost-per-click is low, it might be the right strategy for you. On the flip side, a very high cost-per-click might make you decide you’re better off focusing on SEO.

Timeline of your business– If you just opened your business and launched your website, it’s going to take time to develop your SEO and begin to appear organically in the search. While that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put together an SEO strategy, it does mean that you could benefit from an SEM strategy until you build your SEO. SEM is an effective way to drive traffic while building organic SEO.

Website analytics research– So before you launch a search marketing campaign, research your website to see where you may have the potential to grow an organic SEO strategy that is already working before putting money into an SEM campaign.

Summary

A successful search marketing campaign requires efforts on both SEO and SEM strategies. Some businesses may choose to focus on SEO. Others may choose to focus on SEM. But most of the time, the right approach is to implement a combination of both SEO and SEM strategies. It all depends on your unique business and goals.

But now that you know the similarities and differences between SEM and SEO, you’ll be better equipped to decide how each can help your brand reach its goals.

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How Digital Marketing Budget Plan Can Help You Improve Your Business.

Do you plan to increase your digital marketing budget? Still looking for ideas to make your budget effective? Well, you are at the right place then.

Marketing and promotion are related to each other and they are necessary to make things work for your business. Print, TV, Posters or commercials are some of the traditional ways to promote products or create a market for them. But these days, all marketing and promotions are done online. The smart devices and applications that are available these days, which will help you to market your business and find what is going on around. These days many small, medium and large enterprises are implementing a number of new technologies and research methodologies to grow their businesses using digital efforts. The aim is to target where your audiences without focusing anywhere else.

Almost all marketers are planning to increase their budget every year. Reports state that more than 90% of organizations have increased their digital marketing budget over the years. However, allocating a marketing budget is not an easy task. Every organization needs to make sure that its efforts in digital marketing are maintained specifically across the brand and its goals, and not anything else.

Here are some tips to help you plan a digital marketing budget:

How do you Allocate Your Budget?

It is important to allocate your budget in the right way. Set your goals based on your ideas on which of these strategies would work and eliminate the non-working ones. The focus should be on converting lesser money into more success.

There is a need to cut out on things that do not contribute to your strategies. The decision to allocate your money to a specific strategy should be based on the value generated by it. The best example is of social media which does not cost initially for you to create an account on social media and to post on it. It requires constant analysis and research to find out the audiences of your interest that are active across social media networking sites, such as Instagram and once done then it is important to raise your social media budget.

There are unending possibilities that your social media account can bring to your campaign. A few resources invested in this medium can bring you so much of profit, then with continuous investment, think of how effective it could get.
You would have to plan to invest your social media budget on the one platform or account that has a better conversion percentage of advertising cost of sale because sometimes, it happens that a particular social media network begins to underperform while another one becomes strong. Hence, in that case instead of focusing on something that doesn’t get your results plan on something that would bring you results. A lot of research goes into understanding the requirement of your audience.

How do you Define Your Goals?

Thinking about the digital marketing strategies and its implementation is the next step once you have your goals defined and laid out Software and manpower are two of the main resources that can help you accomplish your digital marketing goals. You need to plan out the resources you will need to fulfill these goals.

Think of it in terms of whether you want to allocate dedicated manpower or technology for each process and plan your budget accordingly such that you have placed them in your strategy. If you would like to dedicate staff or technology for social media marketing, plan the number of staff members you will need to handle social media.

If you want your tools to be really efficient – then you would need to spend a lot of money on it. For single-member investment would be less but as a team, it will increase.

In order to allocate a dedicated resource, it would be similar to creating a calendar and then ensuring that someone handles the posts on time. In-Depth analytics needs to be applied to make sure that your team is doing their job right while also finding out what works and what does not.

What Are My Goals?

A clear cut idea of your goals is required while you are planning on your digital marketing budget. Do not end up allocating budget for unnecessary things. Experimenting with something that will surely work is required instead of looking for what might work.

You need to be clear of what you want to achieve –

  • Do you want to enhance your brand’s visibility?
  • Do you want to increase the revenue?
  • Do you want to increase the engagement of your clients/customers?
  • Do you want an increase in the number of your clients/customers/followers?

Each of your business goals is important – so how and where you start is important. Make sure you implement ideas that will help you to achieve your digital marketing goals, which are directly related to your business goals.
Set your aim in such a way that by the end of it, you are accomplishing and getting what you wanted. This could be either a single outcome or short-term goals, based on your business’ requirements.

Planning Your Content

It is one of the most important aspects of any digital marketing strategies. The content you require depends and varies from business to business.

Hence, based on your business, its needs and goals, it is important to decide the type of content that you create. Create articles and blog posts that are in-depth, and make sure these become an important part of the marketing goals. These should be in-sync with service-related industries and here, you would find that consumers are looking for detailed information before they arrive at a decision. Here, your budget should be allocated for writing experts who will help you to write related content.

Sometimes, rather than just text content, certain businesses might benefit from video content as well. Though content is involved, it is a different side of the content spectrum that would need a variety of skill sets different from that of text content. So you would need to think of budget in terms of recording equipment, editing equipment, writers and even presenters in case you are seeking external agencies, vloggers or professionals’ help to accomplish this.

Where Are You Going to Publish this Content?

You need to know where you would market your business. Website, social media, blogs and various other factors need to be taken into consideration before you finally decide where you would allocate your budget. To have clarity of the platform is as important as any other aspect of your business.

The platform where you will publish your content can be decided based on your business, consumer or target audience and the market you focus on. For a B2B enterprise, your audiences would be from the management level. Your content would be centered more for consumption in office – accessed may be using a desktop or laptop device. This could be content that would appear across articles or even on websites.

If your business is more of retail or B2C focused, then the content that you develop should be something that connects with the people who would be accessing these through devices, such as personal computers, phones or tablets.

Your content would be posted on social media in the form of images or videos. Your budget can be adjusted accordingly.

Paid Advertising

You can think of investing in something like paid advertising where you could allocate your budget for digital marketing strategies. Depending on how much your overall budget is or how much you’d be ready to spend you can start planning your budget. It is important to think of what are the factors that would influence your target audiences and based on these factors you can split your budget between Google Adwords and other social media advertisement campaigns.

Social media ads mainly target social media networking sites, such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and anywhere where your audience is active. With Google Adwords ads, you can include search ads that will drive your customers’ attention or remarketing ads that will remind them of your brand’s name.

Email Marketing

email marketing

Email marketing is a major way of influencing consumers’ minds. You can always use email marketing as one of those important methods that would keep moving leads to your sales channel.

A number of email marketing strategies can be implemented but is important to introduce the one that actually works. Email marketing would need you to invest some budget.

Sending accurate follow-up emails are necessary to introduce consistency instead of email pop-ups and copy mails. A number of factors should be taken into account such as the size of your business and its target customers, etc. hence in the process, you should be able to decide how much you can allocate for your email strategy in the digital marketing budget.

Search Engine Optimization budget

seo

Your search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part which should not be ignored in the digital marketing budget. It is important to make sure that your website is able to attract consumers. Your content should be strong enough to attract search engines and people to your website. When you invest certain budget and time on SEO, there are all chances that your words and voice would reach the right customers at some point in time. So it is also important to have an effective SEO strategy for your business.

Every industry has different needs and every strategy needs to be improvised accordingly. So it is important to do your research well before you start allocating budget for your digital marketing plans.

Bytelabz Software Solutions is a renowned web design and web development agency in Trivandrum, Kerala. Our service includes web design, web development, SEO and digital marketing services will help to take your businesses to grow in the online world to the next level. For further information, please contact us today.

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