How Are SEO and SEM Similar?
Getting the word out about your brand is an immensely important aspect of brand management. Unlike standard physical businesses, people must hear about your business, blog or brand through some form of digital word-of-mouth. In many cases, search engines are a common medium through which audiences find the information, products and services they need.
Search engine optimization has long been known as a major form of digital marketing, given its ability to drive consistent traffic organically to websites. However, search engine marketing in general is also an important aspect of modern marketing.
While discussing the differences is worthwhile, understanding how SEM & SEO are similar can shed light on why using both is crucial. Let’s take a look at the similarities.
Both Target Search Results
This seems like a no-brainer, but both SEO & SEM show up in many of the same places. For example, PPC advertising campaigns will display above, below, alongside and even sprinkled in between various organic search results. Brands that are targeting search engine results pages via SEO efforts understand that they are not just competing with other SEO aficionados, but also those using additional forms of SEM. As such, pinging links through either method is capable of generating attention and visibility for your brand in search results.
Both Require Optimization
In order to truly deliver competent results, both SEO & SEM revolve around the use of optimization techniques. Several aspects are involved when optimizing content for both organic and paid search engine marketing.
One prominent example is the use of keywords: in order to instruct search engines exactly where your content belongs, targeting the right keywords is crucial. While any combination can be used to generate results via both strategies, choosing the right keywords in terms of what’s affordable and feasible determines whether or not a strategy will actually produce a return on investment.
Both also require the optimization of titles, tags and other prime elements to ensure that the first impressions of readers is positive; otherwise, the links and/or ads in question are a waste.
Both Require Great Content
To ensure that you’re not just pinging links into a proverbial trash can, it is imperative that the content being promoted through both SEO & SEM is excellent and relevant. When audiences see your ad or link in search engines, they expect that the content in question is reflective of what’s being promised. In many cases, deceptive practices lead to poor performance and (in the case of SEO) even penalties.
Whether it is a PPC campaign designed to sell products or an organic effort to promote persuasive content via SEO, the quality of the content matters more than virtually any other element. It doesn’t matter if you’re targeting audiences for free with organic strategies or paying for advertisements: without quality content, the effort will fall flat.
SEO & SEM offer unique pathways for brands to consider, based on their level of experience with search engines, patience and overall budget. In an ideal world, both strategies will be used – which is why it is important to understand how they are similar. These examples show that whether you are grinding for organic visibility or paying for instant traffic, the outcome and execution are often not so different.