There have been rising arguments about the best form of strategic campaign for online marketing – if it is SEO or SEM. Amidst these arguments of SEO vs. SEM, Fairleigh Dickinson University lends out its voice to educate people about the importance of both marketing strategies and the differences.
In a published infographic on the institution’s website, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is said to be a form of paid search that aims to increase revenue, while Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more inclined to attract website traffic through keywords and back-end links. Both are considered important and fundamental when it comes to online marketing.
To show the extent of the invaluableness of SEO vs. SEM marketing strategies, a statistical report was presented stating that $2 is returned to companies’ revenue for every $1 spent on AdWords, which is a form of SEM. Whereas, among B2B marketers, SEO has proven to be the most effective revenue-generating marketing strategy, more than other forms.
The academic institution further shares insight on SEM for beginners by declaring Google AdWords as the most preferred paid-search platform, because 91% of all searches conducted are done using the Google search engine. Other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo, also host ads so that marketers can have their websites and content delivered to those making related search queries. These ads are paid for based on keywords and phrases. These paid search ads are shown on search engine result pages, known as SERPs. This maximizes their visibility and the chance of an increased click.
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In SEM, there is pay-per-click – an instance when a business would have to pay a fee every time that one of its business ads is clicked. It is the alternative way of getting or buying visits, rather than generating organic leads. According to the publication, the types of PPC ads include text-based, shopping, retargeting, affiliate marketing and price comparison ads. An advantage of SEM is that it provides exact products and services in SERPs where target customers can easily find them.
In the SEO vs. SEM comparison, Fairleigh Dickinson University explains that SEO is more strategic in its approach to attracting visitors. It is not as expensive as SEM because the traffic is basically free and not bought. There is the on-site SEO marketing that allows a company to use rules and tactics on its own website or blog to promote its traffic, and there is the off-site SEO marketing where back-links to a company’s blog are created from other websites. An SEO marketing campaign can greatly boost the ROI of SEM and PPC. Hence, it is highly valuable.
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In the end, the pros and cons of both SEO vs. SEM are given thus: SEO increases brand awareness, gives organic traffic, better ROI, has long-term value and is cost efficient; whereas, SEM has higher SERP rankings, provides increased visibility, gives quick deliveries and measurable results. However, while SEO is highly competitive, demanding quality and multiple back-linking, and time-consuming, SEM can also be very costly with initial and ongoing investments and allows competitors to track a business’ campaign.
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