For starters, if you are not familiar with these acronyms, SEO = search engine optimization and SEM = search engine marketing. Are they the same thing? No.
If you buy Google Adwords for example, this is considered paid or sponsored advertising. These are the ads that appear along the top and the sides of the screen when you do a search. This is a form of search engine marketing.
All of the other listings that come up on the page each time you do a search (10 spots per page) are referred to as organic or natural search results. These results are achieved through search engine optimization or website optimization and are seen as more “trusted” than the paid results that come up. Companies that have SEO get better results overall if their website is optimized, rather than just relying on paid ads.
Paid ad campaigns are controlled by the advertiser. The advertiser decides how much they want to spend per day, when they want the ads to run, the maximum cost per click they are willing to spend, and the keywords they want to target (keywords that they want their ads to pop up when someone types them into a search engine). Paid ads can be beneficial to those who have not invested in SEO…or if they just began optimizing their website. They can help increase your traffic and visibility…but depending on which industry you are in and how competitive the phrases are that you are targeting, it can become very expensive. Plus, when you stop running these ads, your traffic and visibility will disappear as well.
In my opinion, every SEM campaign needs to also have SEO. Paid ads should be used to compliment SEO – not be the sole way of marketing your business online. Bottom line, if you are going to fork out a bunch of money for a paid campaign, don’t ignore SEO. SEO should be the first priority in promoting your website. Then, if you want to add SEM into the mix, they can work hand in hand together, and you can choose to run paid campaigns whenever you want and not have to worry about losing visibility every time your paid budget runs dry.
Questions about SEO or SEM? Our Vancouver website marketing company is here to help! We also provide FREE website consultations as to how we can promote your website and get you the targeted traffic you desire. Contact our Vancouver SEO company now!