May 11, 2021 by Edwin Gerace
Find it difficult to choose between SEO and SEM? Make a better decision using these six critical factors. Keep reading to solve the SEO Vs. SEM dispute
SEO or SEM – that’s the question! The dispute has intrigued the online marketing community for over a decade, and it’s time we set things straight. This post will share some of the most critical factors that will help your small business make a better decision. So without wasting any more time, let’s get cracking!
Search Engine Optimization or SEO matters because Google receives more than 66,000 searches per second every day. Small businesses should invest heavily in SEO since 93 percent of all customer journeys begin with a search engine! Most importantly, companies worldwide receive a staggering 40 percent of their revenue through organic search traffic.
Search Engine Marketing or SEM gets you what SEO can’t – instant results! 64.6 percent of customers that are looking to make a purchase will click on Google Ads. Businesses that can land their ads on the top 3 paid advertising spots enjoy 46 percent of the clicks! Now that we know why both SEM and SEO matter, let’s figure out how these two online marketing strategies differ.
SEM campaigns allow you to choose the ad placement on a search engine or a website. The placements generally have an ‘ad, sponsored’ designation mentioned over them.
When you run SEO campaigns, the website link is displayed in the organic results, i.e., in sections like featured snippets, people also ask, and regular results. SEM results are displayed along with ad extensions like CTA, phone number, site links, and more.
The results of SEM campaigns are only visible to the target audience you specified while creating the ad campaign. You get to choose the demographic and the search terms you want your ads to show against. SEO results, although can be optimized for keywords, are open to every internet user.
SEM costs more than SEO since the former is a paid advertising strategy. The ads are displayed on paid search placements, and you are charged every time an internet user clicks on the ads. You don’t need to break your bank to run an SEO campaign. But, there might be expenses related to content production and optimization.
The difference between the time taken to deliver results is massive. SEM campaigns provide results as soon as you make the campaign live. On the other hand, SEO campaigns might take up to a few weeks or months to start showing results.
SEM campaigns run only till your ad budget doesn’t run. Pull the plug off of the ad budget, and your SEM results will begin to dry up. SEO campaigns might take time to deliver, but the results will last for years on end.
Lastly, it all comes down to the CTR you get through these campaigns. To be frank, SEO can give you better CTR than SEM if you can get your website to rank on the top of the first SERP. If your SEO results are not on the first page, SEM can deliver a better CTR.
There you have it. We have shared some of the most important factors that will help you make a better decision. If you are still confused and don’t know how to approach Search Engine Marketing, our friendly marketing professionals would love to help. At Giraffe Marketing, we value our customers and offer the marketing services that your small business needs. Connect with us today!