SEM, SEO, SERP; it is easy to get lost in all the different abbreviations. SEM is basically a form of digital marketing that promotes websites through paid advertising on various online platforms. In many ways Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the perfect compliment to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and vice versa. While SEO focuses on optimizing your website to generate as much organic traffic as possible, SEM shifts the focus away from your website.
The Advantages of SEM
The obvious advantage that everyone sees in SEM is that it is quick and effective. SEO requires time, effort and resources and it can often take weeks, if not months before you see a noticeable difference in the work you did. It can often be frustrating, especially for new businesses that want to hit the ground running.
SEM offers a lot more immediate options to those wanting to promote themselves online. The most famous proponent of SEM is Google Adwords. With its flexibility and practicality, it is now easier than ever before to promote your website on a Pay Per Click (PPC) basis.
SEM and SEO: Not Exclusive
Search Engine Optimization is changing and with this change comes the era of Search Engine Marketing. However it would be wrong to assume that the new age of SEM supposes and end to the age of SEO. SEM should not be considered a replacement for SEO, but rather a compliment to it. After all both marketing methods have a lot in common.
You often hear people say that there is never an easy way around or a shortcut that is worth it. There is always a catch. This is as true of SEM as it is of SEO. While SEM offers great opportunities to those who want to immediately promote themselves online, it still requires knowledge and work.
When you use PPC advertising services provided by search engines or social media platforms, you need to know exactly how you will target your ads. After all, you want to make sure you get the most out of your budget. On Google Adwords for example, your maximum bid, daily budget, choice of keyword, location targeting, and even the text in your ad will determine how well it performs. Your ad will never be the only one out there, so it is important to optimize it for maximum performance.
SEM and SEO compliment each other because they are in many ways dependent on similar factors, most notably keywords targeting. One is not a replacement for the other. While it is great to have paid, targeted ads, you also want to have a real online presence with good an optimized site and an organic following.
SEM is most efficient when used in conjunction with SEO. If you have a new project or business that you are eager to promote, your best bet would be to focus on both SEO and SEM. Optimize your website to get the best organic results whilst also promoting it via SEM to generate immediate traffic.