Defining SEO and SEM
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing
web pages’ positions in the organic search engine results for specific keyword
searches. The effects of search
engine optimization are seen in the main body of the search engine results
pages (SERPs). Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the management of a paid
search engine advertising campaigns.
SEM and SEO are used to bring more traffic to your website, generally
for the purpose of attracting customers, generating sales leads, or closing
online sales (e-commerce). These
two Internet marketing disciplines are highly complementary; and most businesses
utilize both in conjunction with email marketing, social marketing as part of
an integrated online marketing program.
A SEO company improves your Google search engine ranking by
making enhancements to your website structure, keywords, content, meta tags,
inbound and outbound links (to and from your website). This same methodology also applies to
improving search engine results on the other major search engines: Yahoo!, Bing
and Ask. It is extremely important
for your web pages’ listings to appear on Page One of the Google search
results, because most people find what they’re looking for on the first page of
the organic search results.
SEM services entail the creation and management of
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns including bid and budget management, keyword selection
and grouping, identification and application of negative keywords, and
continuous monitoring and optimization of the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). PPC ads are found at the top and right
margins (‘sponsored results’) of the SERPs; and every time someone clicks on
your ad, you owe Google (or Bing, Yahoo! or Ask) the pay-per-click fee.
SEO and SEM
A conversion is a specific action you want your website
visitors to take, and the Conversion Rate (also known as Click Thru Rate or
CTR) is the percentage of visitors which take this action when given the
opportunity. Typically online
marketing programs identify a series of conversion actions which correspond to
the steps in the sales cycle.
Examples of typical conversion actions would include:
on your web page’s entry in the organic search results
on your PPC ad (link to your website) in the sponsored results
to a specific page on your website
more product information
up for a newsletter or email offers
and submitting a Contact Form
at an online video or product demo
a call from a salesperson
an online purchase
An SEO company or SEM services organization tracks these
conversions to identify weaknesses in the online marketing process, and make
search engine optimization enhancements or PPC campaign changes to increase the
amount of website traffic, conversions and CTR.
Optimization – Advantages and Disadvantages SEO Benefits:
a more lasting effect than SEM
rankings on all search engines
take months to have an effect on organic search results
guarantee of Page One Google search engine ranking
require significant (and costly) changes to website structure and content
Marketing – Plusses and Minuses SEM Benefits:
effect – PPC ad can generate traffic the first day
to calculate ROI and manage costs
not require changes to website
does not persist when ads stop
can be high, especially for highly competitive keywords
separate program for each major search engine
SEO and SEM
We recommend combining search engine marketing and search
engine optimization in an integrated online marketing program – along with
social marketing and email marketing.
Calculating the value of your key conversion actions (and accurately
measuring the costs of SEO and SEM) enables you to allocate your marketing
budget to the activities that give the best ROI.
Visit the Semantic Advantage website for more information on
our Austin social marketing strategies,
SEM program management, and Austin SEO services.