SEO and SEM are two separate types of marketing efforts, but it’s important that they work together. Mastering this balance is essential, because you can’t afford to leave the online market to chance. SEO and SEM working in tandem will boost your online visibility and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
SEO and SEM: What’s the Difference?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and puts emphasis toward boosting your (website) rankings
SEM stands for “search engine marketing.” It encompasses leveraging digital advertising to market and re-market goods and services through boosted search rankings.
SEO efforts typically take longer to produce results, but the elevated rankings last once you have them. SEM will give you quicker results, but you lose the rankings as soon as you stop paying for them.
Setting an SEM Campaign Objective
SEM campaigns are pay-per-click (PPC) and set up through digital advertising platforms like Google Ads, Meta Business Manager, and TikTok Ads Manager to entice action among the target audience. When setting a goal for your campaign, make sure it’s SMART:
Clearly defining the goals of your campaign will allow you to better measure its performance. It will also help you use your budget in the most effective way possible. Because you’ll be able to strategize and plan the campaign around a very specific target.
Marrying SEO and SEM Objectives to Saturate Messaging Among a Target Audience
Even though SEO and SEM don’t overlap much, it’s important to have an overarching strategy that uses them together.
LuckyTamm President, Tammy Valentine said, “There’s a debate about the ‘right’ way to go about this, but for us, the most effective way has been making sure SEO keywords and SEM campaigns are in alignment when it comes to messaging.”
Google search results pages have both paid and organic rankings. Targeting the same keywords with both SEO and SEM will help you show up in both places, enhancing top-of-mind awareness. The more digital real estate you have on that page, the more likely people are to click.
Since you see results more quickly from SEM campaigns, you can use that quickly get in front of target users if you’re running a quick sprint campaign, a flash sale, or year-end deal.
Optimizing Your SEO and SEM
There are a lot of different performance metrics for both SEO and SEM. It can be difficult to know which ones to pay attention to. While click-through rates call-to-action (CTA) and cost-per-click (CPC) are important to watch, they don’t automatically define a successful campaign. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be something you decide beforehand when you define your campaign goals.
Optimizing your campaign should be focused on improving your KPIs. But the way you refine and experiment should be informed by other performance metrics as well. For example, if you have a low CTR, you may need to try different keywords or variations on your ad. High CTR but low conversion rate might mean misleading ad copy or a poor landing page CTA.
Aligning SEO and SEM Initiatives
You want to make sure your SEO and SEM are in alignment with each other. This is more than just focusing on the same keywords. Look at the other areas of your efforts to make sure they’re consistent:
- Timing. Sometimes certain keywords can peak at certain times of year. Time your SEM and SEO so they’re focused on the same thing at the same time. That way you maximize your visibility in search results.
- Landing pages. Make sure these are simple, visually appealing, and have clear calls-to-action (CTAs). Your CTAs should be relevant to your current campaign focus. And don’t forget to make sure the pages load well on mobile devices.
- Lead-nurturing funnels. Once you get leads to your site, have a plan in place to get them to convert. Create a clear strategy to move them through the buyer’s journey once they’ve found you. By setting up automated drip campaigns, this helps influence users and build trust as they get to know you.
- Messaging. This should be consistent between your SEO and SEM campaigns. And it should be relevant to what people are searching for when they find you.
Work With Us
The LuckyTamm philosophy is that all your media should work in concert. If you’re struggling with your SEO and SEM strategies, we’re here for you! We’d love to talk about how we can help you optimize your online visibility and boost your conversions. Contact us today!