Bountiful Utah SEM – Search Engine Marketing
Nearly all small businesses owners know something about or have heard of SEO (search engine optimization) and the different strategies to help your website rank well in organic search engine results. Another important strategy for Internet marketing is SEM (search engine marketing) which includes strategies such as search engine optimization, paid listings (pay-per-click or similar) and other search-engine related services.
While the two phrases are similar and sometimes used interchangeably, SEO and SEM are similar but different.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Many businesses start with a good website and some of them invest in SEO and that’s all. Those same businesses don’t necessarily follow through with another very important Utah online marketing component; and that is search engine marketing.
SEM is a broader term than SEO and is used to encompass various online marketing strategies available to use a search engine’s technology, including paid ads (PPC) from companies including Google, Yelp, Bing, and more. SEM is used to describe activities associated with researching, submitting and positioning a website within search engines. SEM includes internet marketing services such as search engine optimization, Google Adwords, other paid listing services, and other search-engine related services, and functions that will increase exposure and customers to your website.
SEM offers you the potential to pay based on clicks (you pay only for each click through from the advertisement to your website). Ads in a successful SEM campaign will be shown to those consumers specifically looking for your products or services and only in the geographic area you specify, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
The Difference Between SEM and SEO
SEM is a broader term than SEO. Where SEO targets to provide first page organic search results, SEM uses the search engines to advertise your website and business to Internet customers and send targeted traffic to your website.
For example, when people use a search engine to query “new water heater”, the organic search engine results is where most consumers choose from and SEO strategies can assist your website in being more visible on the search engine’s first page. 92% of all consumers never go past the first page. Paid text and display advertising or sponsored ad links are the ones prominently displayed above, beside, and/or below the organic search results is a product of SEM.
SEO and SEM are not competing services rather complimentary to each other. SEO is considered a subset of SEM services. If you want to to maximize your business on the Internet, you should to be visible in both organic and advertised listings, which means you need both SEO and SEM.
Comparison with SEO
SEM is the wider discipline that incorporates SEO. SEM includes both paid search results (using services like Google Adwords or Bing Ads or Yelp) and organic search results (SEO). SEM uses paid advertising with Google AdWords or Bing Ads, pay per click (particularly beneficial for local providers as it enables potential consumers to contact a company directly with one click), article submissions, advertising and making sure SEO has been done. A keyword analysis is performed for both SEO and SEM, but not necessarily at the same time. SEM and SEO both need to be monitored and updated frequently to reflect evolving best practices.
In some contexts, the term SEM is used exclusively to mean pay per click advertising, particularly in the commercial advertising and marketing communities which have a vested interest in this narrow definition.
Another part of SEM is social media marketing (SMM). SMM is a type of marketing that involves using social media to influence consumers that your company’s products and/or services are valuable. Some of the latest advances include search engine marketing management (SEMM). SEMM relates to activities including SEO but focuses on return on investment (ROI) management instead of relevant traffic building (as is the case of mainstream SEO). SEMM also includes organic SEO, trying to achieve top ranking without using paid means to achieve it, and pay per click SEO. For example, some of the attention is placed on the web page layout design and how content and information is displayed to the website visitor. SEO & SEM are two pillars of one marketing job and they both run side by side to produce much better results than focusing on only one pillar.