Many small business owners understand that there’s great value in marketing, that it’s essential to ensure their products and services are in the eyes of potential new customers. However, the world of marketing is an absolute beast and many don’t know where to start. 

As a creative communications and marketing agency, it’s our job to deep dive into the world of SEM and SEO. No doubt you’ve seen these acronyms floating around? There’s quite a lot of misconception and confusion between the two terms so sit back and relax as we dive into the differences… 

SEM (aka Search Engine Marketing) is a form of internet marketing that is used to increase the visibility of a website by using paid strategies to appear in a Google search.

SEO (aka Search Engine Optimisation) is an organic way to get your website higher up the ranks on Google, to increase the amount of website visitors. SEO is all about your website and is based around the way you organise your coding, structure, content and credibility through backlinks. Since most people don’t go past the first page on Google when searching for something, it is importantl for a business to appear on this first page.

SEO is vital for businesses, however, it’s something that can be extremely time consuming. Many people build up their SEO through a range of tactics including the use of keywords throughout their website via meta descriptions, image descriptions, within page content and more. People often make use of backlinks from other websites, ultimately adding further credibility to their own website.

A brand must continue to work on and build up its SEO frequently, in order to stay relevant and compete with similar brands.

This is where paid SEM tactics come into play. 

Google has created opportunities for brands to be positioned above the highest ranked SEO websites from a Google search through ‘sponsored’ ads. With SEM you can bid against other companies in order to cut through noise and receive a competitive advantage on those businesses selling similar products or services to your own.

There are various forms of paid SEM that can be purchased to suit your company needs, whether you’re looking to create a simple text or image ads, app promotions, In-stream videos (like the ones you see before watching a YouTube video), product shopping ads and more.

Essentially both SEO and paid SEM techniques are just as important as each other. Both are means to get people to land on your website and both are extremely beneficial marketing tactics that most businesses should consider using.

If you’re struggling to get your business in front of the right target audiences, we recommend exploring SEO and SEM strategies to give your website a visibility boost on Google.

Still not sure where to start? We’d love to help! We can tailor SEO and SEM strategies to align with your budget, industry and branding. Go on, get in touch!