SEO and SEM strategies
Digital Marketing

Why You Should Have an SEO and SEM Strategies That Work Together

I’ve heard many times people talking about these two terms and saying they want to focus on either SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or SEM (Search Engine Marketing), and conversations like these are scary to listen to. In my experience, to have a good digital marketing strategy you need to do both, ideally simultaneously.

First, let’s define each one. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process that involves different techniques to improve your website’s rank within search engines. It is not a one-time task and involves continuous work to always be on top of the algorithm’s requirements (focusing con Google). Then SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, and these are strategies based primarily on pay per click advertising or search campaign ads, which allow you to use different techniques to bid on keywords that you want to be associated with you, so that way your brand and products appear as the top options when consumers search for those terms. So, in theory, SEO and SEM can exist separately but it would never be something I (and probably any digital marketing expert) would recommend.

In the article How SEO and SEM Work Together for Better Results, Amy Copadis mentions: “As we’ve seen above, SEO and SEM work best when they’re put to use together. Each can fill the gaps that the other leaves, giving you a well-rounded search engine marketing strategy through organic and paid results.”

Here are a few reasons why I wouldn’t recommend separating SEO and SEM strategies:

  1. Together They Increase Brand Awareness

By having both, SEO and SEM strategies you can make sure your brand is covering the space in search results for your type of products or services and blocking out your competitors (this can’t be a guarantee, but it is a step!).

2. They Help Each Other Get Better Results

Relying only on one of the two strategies can leave a lot on the table. If you focus only on doing SEO, you will be spending much of your time optimizing constantly, and over time you will see the results, but I can almost guarantee that you are leaving room for your competitors to appear first on the search results for the keywords that matter to you because they will probably be doing SEM. And if you only focus con SEM it can become very expensive. Relying only on paid search advertising for your keywords and brand will make you focus a good amount of your budget to bid higher.

Having a strategy for both will give you more room to play around with where you want to focus your time and money. If you have a good SEO strategy and do the constant work that it requires, you can improve your organic search results for the core keywords you want your brand associated with.  And mixing this SEO strategy with SEM will help you stay on top, fight the competition, and also cover secondary keywords that your SEO might not be optimized for.

3. In the Long Run, It Can Save You Money

Like I mentioned before SEM without SEO can become very expensive, since there is a bigger chance you have to bid higher to appear first because Google might not give you a good quality score. So, investing in both strategies simultaneously can generate lower bids for keywords that are well positioned with your organic efforts. It is always a good practice to be looking at the traffic generated by Organic Search on your Google Analytics data, and see which keywords are generating that traffic. This way you won’t bid too much on the keywords you have great positioning and you can optimize your budget on those that more competitors are after.

In conclusion, having SEO and SEM strategies that work together will be a great way to increase brand awareness, bring high-quality traffic to your website consistently, and help you have a healthier budget since the two strategies complement each other.

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