A comprehensive marketing strategy is essential to find success in the digital landscape. Small businesses to have noticeable performance in the digital market should be carrying out strong campaigning front keeping either SEO or SEM as the foundation.
It would not any harm if they keep hybrid marketing model involving both SEO and SEM. Using the combination of both can give effective results, for the only impediment is you have to invest greatly in terms of time and money.
If it happens then a substantial digital growth is guaranteed for your small business. In this post, we will learn how SEO and SEM can be of benefit. But first off, let’s interpret each of these terms and their values in the digital market.
Learning about SEO & SEM
Search engine optimization is a practice that involves suitable work on on-site and off-site elements of a website for attracting quality and quantity traffic.
Different tactics are involved in the search engine optimization process and carrying out which your website would rank organically in the search engine result page.
Now, this is something you should know about.
The technique that involves ranking a website high on the search engine result page (SERP) without any means of payment (Paid ads), but through algorithm-driven results is organic search.
As opposed to paid search, where ads are involved, organic search involves keywords, keyword analysis, link building, backlinking to improve the relevancy of content for the reader.
Google, Yahoo, Bing, all the major search engines favor organic search results as they greatly acknowledge consumer needs and convenience.
Small businesses can greatly benefit from search engine optimization; this point will be accounted for in the further sections with some good explanation.
Basically, there are two sides of search marketing, ‘PAID’ and ‘UNPAID’; SEM focuses on paid advertising model like PPC, CPC, and geo-targeting.
The term SEM was coined by Danny Sullivan of searchengineland.
SEM is a method of acquiring website traffic through sponsored links that are displayed on the search engine result page without any efforts.
Through SEM, small businesses can level their field with large brands in a very less time. Now coming to the relation between SEO and SEM, the former is the subset of latter. And the most common practices followed under SEM are listed below.
- Keyword Analysis.
- Building geo-targeted ads and content for local listings.
- PPC Ad Campaigns.
SEO Vs SEM
Through SEO, you can increase website traffic organically, while under SEM you will be paying for the traffic. Two dynamic marketing models, two different yet efficient options, small businesses can expect greater results if they use hybrid marketing model involving both SEO and SEM.
How can SEO help Small Businesses?
Small business organizations of any size can efficiently benefit from search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re a small business owner looking forward to survive and thrive in the digital market, SEO is your good bet, because,
- Build Brand Awareness
- There are a lot of effective SEO practices that can help boost brand awareness. Content development, if you develop some excellent content optimized for right keywords, your brand will automatically get an image boost. The content developed should have good backlinks, so your brand is recognized across maximum platforms.
- Long-tailed SEO keywords allow the brand to reach the specific set of the audience; by making yourself known to the local community you can gradually make it to the global market.
- Level-Up the Competition
- With strong web presence, you can easily compete with big brands. You need not spend more or bother about being new to the game. Just by utilizing strategies and making your website or a single web page relevant to web users you will gain good search ranking and improve your brand value.
- Better Conversion Rates
- When you have good search ranking it’s easier to generate good leads and nurture them to convert. Search engine optimized websites are always favored with good visibility and that promises better conversion rates.
- Huge Cost Advantage
- Unlike traditional marketing campaign, you need not spend heavily on your marketing campaign. SEO is cost-effective and guarantees better results if carried out in a right way.
How can SEM help Small Businesses?
You will get the same benefits here; nothing is different, except you will be investing more in terms of money. Now, let’s see the benefits of SEM marketing in detail.
- Less time to reach the Top of SERP
- Increased traffic is equal to improved visibility. PPC ad campaign guarantees faster inflow of website traffic. Unlike organic SEO, you need not work your way to the top of the search result page.
- Since Ads are placed at the top of the search result page, visitors will gain access to the product they need and will complete a deal in less time.
- Campaigning is Flexible
- Flexibility implies you get the complete control over the campaign settings. From how you research your target audience, what keywords you use, and how much you want to spend, everything you get to decide.
- You can tweak your campaign till it works better for your business.
- More Transparent than Traditional Marketing
- How do you know what to tweak or where to tweak? You will not get such apprehensions in PPC ad campaigning, as the process is completely transparent.
- Since you will get a detailed report on the number of ad impressions, click-through rates, and the conversion rate, you will have a better insight on which ad is working and which is not.
- If an ad is giving you zero conversion rates, you can either make changes or bid for a new one.
- They say SEM is in-expensive, but over time the costs add up. If you have a small business running on a tight budget, you might feel difficult to fund your paid marketing campaign until you are ready to give up. You might gain traffic in less time but only at a huge cost.
SEO is time-consuming, but practically, you reap long-term benefits without breaking the bank.