Advertising and Augmentation: Why SEO and SEM Efforts Are Better Together

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Targeting consumer segments with different techniques can increase conversions by reaching more customers.

One example of complementary cross-marketing is the combination of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).

Understanding SEO

SEO is a marketing practice that aims to organically grow the visibility of web pages, listings, videos, or other content in the results of major search engines, such as Google and Bing.

SEO is determined by a number of factors: the keywords in your content, tags, how other sites link to your webpages, and the structural design of your website, among others.

Understanding SEM

Much like SEO, SEM aims to increase your ranking among search results. Where they differ is that SEM is paid marketing, not organic.

Pay-per-click advertising, such as Google AdWords, is probably the most well-known form of SEM, although other forms do exist. Additional SEM options include pay-for-placement (PFP) advertising, sponsorship, and paid submission.

Using SEO and SEM Together

Combining the efforts of SEO and SEM offers multiple advantages.

First, you'll be able to attract larger groups of consumers. Just think about customers who don't find you organically because they aren't using the "right" search terms, or don't even know what the product or service is that will provide a solution to their problems. While SEO may be a roll of the dice in terms of reach, with SEM, you can choose where to show up.

With a marketing plan that includes both SEO and SEM, brands may appear in search engine result pages multiple times, organically and as a paid ad. This not only builds brand awareness, but also inspires trust in consumers, who recognize that the brand is showing up as a response to their queries.

Finally, a well-rounded marketing plan that includes multiple efforts to target consumers allows you to better see what strategies and keywords are working. Once you determine where there's room for improvement, you can make adjustments to streamline your campaign.