16 Oct Social Media Optimisation versus Social Media marketing
SEO? SEM? What do I really need [and what does it all mean]?
By now the internet has more or less come to grips with the idea of Search Engine Optimisation – the intent to make your website or advertising platform as attractive to Google and other online game changers as possible. It’s easy to confuse this, however, with Search Engine Marketing, as on paper the two concepts look pretty similar. In reality, however, they’re two different approaches to getting your brand out there, and need a proper understanding of each to make the most of your advertising message.
SEO vs SEM
It can be a little difficult to grasp the difference at first glance, especially as SEO can actually be viewed as a critical part of SEM. In short, however, SEO is the strategies you will use to make your website or blog attractive to search engines- using clean and clear quality text, good practice coding, fast load times and more. SEM is the marketing strategy you employ to drive consumer attention to your web presence, embracing such things as social media marketing, pay per click advertising, content marketing and, of course, your organic reach.
Good SEO hinges around the correct use of keywords, using meaningful and relevant, well written content, optimizing the user experience of your page, quality navigation, and keeping the user on your site longer and interacting with your content.
Good SEM, on the other hand, spreads a wider net. It helps you maximise your natural SEO, develop pages that optimize your leads and sales, creates meaningful advertising and paid link/click opportunities, takes onboard your email and newsletter marketing efforts, and assesses the impact you have on mainstream and niche sites in your genre.
So, which matters most?
Putting it loosely, your SEO affects your online presence, and your SEM rallies all the strategies needed to drive user attention to that presence. Neither practice is ‘more important’ than the other- it’s all part of a holistic whole that helps you get your brand attention in a saturated marketplace.
There are, of course, some occasions where focusing on one or the other becomes more important. Sites new to the online environment often need to get good SEO in place before tackling their SEM. Likewise, if you’re seeing poor conversion rates despite good incoming traffic, SEO may be the issue. SEM is the strategy to turn to if you’re converting well, but not seeing much traffic. Overall, however, it’s always best to view both as critical parts of your overall marketing efforts, and maximise both to ensure your brand keeps a steady presence in the eye of your consumers.