If you are new to digital marketing, you may be wondering – what is the difference between SEO and SEM? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves using specific techniques to bring in organic traffic to your website through search engine results. For example, if you sell vegan makeup products in Singapore, you should use SEO tactics to rank high in the search results when one searches ‘vegan makeup products Singapore’ in Google, or other search engines.
SEM is Search Engine Marketing and it involves using paid tactics to bring eyes to your page through paid search. This is most often done through Google Ads, but Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines have their own advertising platforms that may be beneficial to your business.
When you google something, you may notice the first results that come up at the very top are sponsored (advertisements).
Those advertisements are a result of SEM strategy. The organic search results after those are showing up near the top due to good SEO techniques.
As a business owner, tapping into SEO and SEM in a combined plan can result in more traffic to your page, and if you’re selling something, it can result in more sales. There are amazing and innovative digital marketing consultants in Singapore that can help you maximize both SEO and SEM in your business. We will get to that soon.
First, let’s begin with 4 things you need to know when considering SEO vs. SEM.
1. Both SEO and SEM require you to know your target audience well.
A quality Search Engine Marketing campaign will include SEO strategy in addition to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. It’s important to create a comprehensive marketing plan that will organically bring traffic to your website while using PPC methods to bring in traffic through google ads or other search engine advertising opportunities.
A good strategy will include both SEO and SEM. For the strategy to work effectively, you need to really narrow down your target audience. Get to know your customer, demographic, location, and what they are looking for when they search. When it comes to SEM, your target audience and ability to identify them accurately, will determine the success of your campaign. The more targeted your SEM campaign, the better the results. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your target audience and customer, take the time to meet with a digital marketing consultant in Singapore.
They will help narrow your target audience to ensure both SEO and SEM tactics are reaching your target audience – the ones likely to buy or stay on your website.
2. SEM costs money – SEO is free.
This is an obvious differentiator between SEO and SEM. SEO is completely free. There are hundreds of free techniques you can use to improve your organic traffic through search engine results. Typically, SEO techniques are grouped into 3 categories:
- On-page SEO (optimizing web pages to improve search results – involves tactics including HTML tags, headlines, publishing high-quality informative content)
- Technical SEO (improving the technical aspects of your page so it performs well – faster website ranks higher)
- Off-Page SEO (what happens off your website to improve ranking – link building is an example)
By incorporating all 3 categories into your SEO strategy, you can see results over time that do not cost you anything. When done correctly, your organic traffic will increase, and your website can slowly rank higher in search engine results without spending a dollar on advertising – that’s a pretty great strategy!
SEM on the other hand, requires an advertising budget. SEM is usually Pay-Per-Click, which means you only pay when someone is interested and clicks on your link. Traditional marketing/advertising techniques would mean you pay for anyone who hears or sees your ad (such as radio or television), and not just those that are interested.
This is why SEM is such an effective strategy that all businesses can benefit from, even with a small budget. Only those interested will click on your link, reducing your overall spend.
Businesses small and large can benefit from working with a digital marketing company in Singapore that will work with you and the budget available to create a comprehensive strategy that includes both SEO and SEM.
3. SEM can bring results quickly – SEO takes more time.
SEO is a long-term strategy that takes time, consistency, and effort. It is not an overnight solution to drive traffic to your website. SEM is an option if you’re looking for fast-results and a way to drive traffic.
A successful SEM campaign can result in an increase in traffic nearly immediately. To create a comprehensive SEM strategy that will drive traffic, and ultimately increase sales, we recommend that you consult with a digital marketing company in Singapore. A digital marketing consultant Singapore firm will meet with you to understand your website, product, and customer and create an amazing campaign that is cost-effective and produces the results you are looking for.
4. SEM can be time-consuming and your SEO may suffer
Search Engine Marketing strategies can be time-consuming. You need to thoroughly research, test, and evaluate your campaigns. When you are paying for advertising, watching your campaigns closely and adjusting accordingly is important when looking to achieve amazing results with little spending.
If you are running SEM campaigns, it can take away time and resources from your SEO strategy. This is important because SEO contributes to the long-term success of businesses by providing organic traffic for years to come without requiring an advertising budget. By hiring a digital marketing company in Singapore, you will have the necessary support and resources to ensure both SEO and SEM strategies are maintained for short-term and long-term success.
The important thing to take away is SEM and SEO should be a combined effort. Both strategies bring value and can be leveraged to provide immediate, paid traffic and long-term, organic traffic to your website.
By hiring a digital marketing company in Singapore, you will make the most of your time and advertising budget. Too often businesses seek out immediate results through SEM, while forgetting the long-term and free benefits of SEO. Hiring a professional digital marketing consultant in Singapore will provide you with resources and the know-how, leading to better results, more targeted campaigns, and can ultimately improve the success of your marketing strategy.
Digital Solutions is a full-service digital marketing company in Singapore. Set up a free meeting with their digital marketing experts to understand how they can help you create a working strategy that will bring your business to the next level. They are committed to delivering data-driven results to their customers by using SEO, SEM, and social media marketing.
By working with Digital Solutions, you can expect to work with talented digital marketing consultant Singapore specialists that take the time to understand your business. They are there to support you and your business every step of the way. If you’re ready to grow your business through effective marketing strategies, contact us today for more information!