If you are not quite familiar with search engine optimization, or SEM, here is an overview. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process through which a site is enhanced so that it is ranked higher in search results for targeted keyword or phrases. For instance, a business that wishes to increase its ranking for handbags might write rich content descriptions containing this term, rewrite its web pages to include this text, insert it into other keywords/phrases used on the site, or make other changes that optimize its site to achieve a high search result ranking. All of these tactics work towards achieving the ultimate objective of increasing a site’s traffic and search result ranking.
SEM consists of many elements including keyword analysis, link building and advertising. Link building refers to the process of providing inbound links from other websites with related products and services, and advertising is the creation of written materials to increase a sites traffic ranking and ultimately, sales. Search Engine Optimization is essential in the online marketing of any business. It cannot be overemphasized how critical this factor is in any type of marketing campaign, because if a business is not highly ranked, there are many less likely customers to purchase its goods or services.
Keyword analysis is a vital element of SEO.
This phase of the optimization process begins with an in depth study of a particular company’s competitors. The purpose of this step is to identify key words or phrases that a business considers to be “trending”. The next step involves creating or purchasing keyword lists. These lists are designed to identify targeted terms that a business believes will be soon be found in competitive searches. Keyword analysis, when combined with other optimization factors such as link building, will ensure a high ranking in the search engines.
Once a keyword list is established, it is necessary to begin the process of optimizing the site. Link building can occur in a number of ways. These methods include reciprocal links (paying for a link in exchange for a link to another website) or paid placements, in which the advertiser pays the host site every time a visitor clicks through to their site. Search engine optimization techniques must be utilized to get a site on the first page of major search engines.
Pay per click advertising is one of the most common forms of SEM used today.
This type of SEM involves placing a small “buying basket” on a website. Each time a visitor clicks through to the site, the advertiser (the company who placed the basket) will pay the host site for a small fee. In short, this type of SEM pays for each click.
When compared to traditional paid search platforms, the format of the ads, and the method of converting visitors into paying customers can vary greatly. PPC is very good at delivering targeted traffic to sites. Pay per click ads generally take less time to load and are more likely to generate a response due to their highly targeted nature. Another benefit of this form of SEM is that many times companies who advertise on these platforms have their own in-house ad creative team, which allows the creation of highly personalized ads for each individual campaign.
Search engine optimization and pay per click marketing can work hand in promoting a website by increasing the site’s ranking and visibility in the Search Engine results. Both techniques can greatly increase a site’s traffic, and ultimately sales. SEM works hand in hand with SEO in providing advertisers with targeted traffic to generate leads, and eventually sales. By having both SEO and SEM working in cooperation, any online business can achieve real success and reap the benefits of both.
Both SEO and SEM have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the business owner to determine which system is best for their website. The choice between SEO and paid search platforms comes down to the owner’s goals for their site.
- SEO places emphasis on backlinks and quality score to SEM focus on cost per click through rates.
- Both are effective when used in conjunction with one another.
- Business owners should be aware of the pros and cons of both and choose what will work best for their business.