SEO vs. SEM: Understanding the Differences and How They Benefit Your Business

KPI and CRM and ROI, oh my! The world of marketing can sometimes feel like a never-ending ocean of acronyms. Not only does this industry jargon make it difficult to understand marketing, but it can keep you from making informed decisions about next step and new ideas.

SEO and SEM are two of the most common of these. While they both sound the same (and have two of the same letters), they are two different terms with entirely different meanings.

Let’s take a closer look at SEO vs. SEM, explaining what they are, how they work, and how Autumn Consulting can leverage both to your advantage.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization,’ which is the process of optimizing your digital footprint for both human readers and search engine bots. This process may involve creating webpages and blog posts, or updating your title tags and meta descriptions for greater value.

It’s important to note that SEO is a long-term and slow-moving process. It can take weeks if not months to update content, find and implement keywords, or index your website on Google and other search engines. There’s no way to rush the creation of valuable content; and doing so could actually harm rather than help your rankings.

A few examples of SEO work include:

  • Getting backlinks from reputable websites to boost your online rankings.
  • Adding keywords to important webpages and interlinking your most valuable blog posts.
  • Developing organic content and resources like blog posts, podcasts, videos, and more.

What Is SEM?

SEM stands for ‘search engine marketing,’ which is the process of leveraging specific digital assets to market your business through SEO. Unlike pure SEO, the focus isn’t necessarily on creating or optimizing content. Instead, it’s about leveraging pre-established collateral already imbued with best practices to get greater visibility in online searches.

SEM is a much faster moving process than SEO alone. Ad campaigns, video spots, and display banners can create quick wins by funneling leads to specific webpages or products. Just keep in mind SEM cannot work its magic without SEO. Think of SEO as the foundation of your marketing ‘home,’ while SEM acts as the rest of its floors. You might live in one area more than another, but that doesn’t make the unseen parts (SEO) less important.

Some of the most common examples of SEM campaigns include:

  • Establishing a Google Ads campaign to get your services to the top of Google’s search results.
  • Building a display ad that retargets past website visitors with the hopes of converting them into paying customers.
  • Managing budgets for paid per click (PPC) campaigns to bring in traffic and qualified leads.

How Autumn Consulting Can Help You Manage SEO And SEM

A great marketing strategy requires a careful balance between SEO and SEM. However, you don’t need to be an expert in both to get started. Instead, you can rely on Autumn Consulting, a Google search marketing firm, to bring your plan to life.

Autumn Consulting relies on time-tested strategy to deliver real results for your brand. We pride ourselves on developing a long-term marketing strategy that compliments your existing approach. In addition to establishing rankings and building authority, we also follow best EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) practices to create meaningful copy. We can design an SEM approach for your brand that truly lasts the test of time.

Here’s what you can expect from our process:

  • Targeted SEO research that informs the direction of your SEM approach.
  • Best SEM practices that leave room for SEO testing, development, and optimization.
  • Quick wins from SEM tempered by sustainable, long-term benefits from SEO.

Position your business to take advantage of SEO and SEM with a search marketing firm known for WOW moments and genuine results. Contact Autumn Consulting at (813) 618-7554 to discuss the solutions available to your brand.

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