Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a key component of your digital marketing toolkit. Let’s take a closer look that this tool that has the potential to super-charge the growth of your small business.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
Let’s begin our journey with a term you may be familiar with. As you probably remember from a previous post, Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is a set of techniques you can apply to make your website more attractive to search engines. An optimized website ranks higher on search results, which results in more visibility (and sales) for your business.
Unlike SEO, Search Engine Marketing (or SEM for short), doesn’t enhance your visibility through techniques you apply to your website, but by paying search engines to appear in relevant searches. For example, if you sell sci-fi books you can pay Google to show ads promoting your bookstore whenever people search for terms like “sci-fi novels,” or “sci-fi books near me.”
It’s worth noting that search engines label SEM results as ads to allow users to differentiate them from the actual results of a given search (also called organic results), which are ranked according to their intrinsic SEO value.
SEO vs. SEM: Pros and Cons
In short, SEO and SEM are the two main ways of promoting your business through search engines. But which one is best?
The answer is “it depends.” SEO is a long game that requires patience and pays off in the medium and long term. The upside is that you pay for it once and you enjoy the benefits for a relatively long time.
For example, if you get your website ranking among the first results for the term “used sci-fi books,” you will reap the rewards for as long as your website stays there organically, without having to pay every time someone clicks on the link that takes to your website.
SEM, on the other hand, delivers fast and dramatic results. Because you pay, your ad is displayed prominently on relevant searches, ensuring that people interested in your products or services notice your business without having to do SEO work that may take months.
The disadvantage of SEM is that you are paying every time a user clicks on your website, and you can only pay so much. This also means that your results will show only while you are paying, a concern you don’t have with SEO results.
A digital marketing professional can help you choose the right combination of SEM, SEO, and other tools to take your sales to the next level.
Contact the Experts in Digital Marketing!
Looking for more great digital marketing ideas? Our experts at Uniko Biz Solutions will help you find the right marketing mix to connect with your audience and achieve the goals you have set for your business.