Search engine marketing or SEM is the process of using paid advertising campaigns to increase search visibility. This can include all avenues of online advertising including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, etc. So basically if it’s a form of advertising and it operates on the web, then it falls under SEM. At Matchbox, we focus primarily on Google AdWords (also known as a PPC campaign) and social media advertising. We feel that those advertising platforms offer the best return on investment (ROI). We will set up your campaign so that you’re targeting the right keywords and audience to ensure that your advertising dollars are being fully utilized.
What Is The Difference Between SEO And SEM?
These two digital marketing acronyms are notorious for getting mixed up and it’s no surprise seeing as they only differ by one letter. They also both exist in the same realm of digital marketing meaning that they’re interrelated. To help clear things up, we’ll define each and explain how they differ.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
The whole idea behind SEO is that you’re making changes directly to your website in order to garner traffic from search engines. This includes a series of granular tasks that are often categorized as on-page, off-page, and technical fixes. Each one is a crucial step in making sure that your site is functional and crawlable by search engines. The key difference here is that you’re looking to increase organic traffic as opposed to paid traffic.
SEM – Search Engine Marketing
Technically SEM can be seen as a sub-part of SEO since its goal is to help drive more traffic to your site. Although instead of driving organic traffic, this strategy helps to increase paid traffic, a.k.a. traffic that is driven to your site via an online advertising campaign. If done right, a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign will give you a big boost in traffic much quicker than SEO fixes, the only caveat is that you’ll need to spend some money to get the results you want.
Which One Do I Choose?
This is actually kind of a trick question because the answer is both! SEO is a slow game since it can take up to 6 months for you to actually start seeing results, but it’s arguably more impactful. SEM may give you a quick boost of traffic but it’s not always sustainable or affordable. Our advice is to get started with SEO services and run a few online advertising campaigns simultaneously during those first few months. This is the only time where a good PPC campaign can take precedence over SEO in order to supplement the traffic that is slowly being built from SEO efforts.
Our St. Louis Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Services
So now that you know the difference between SEO and SEM, it’s time to decide if you’re ready to invest in an online advertising campaign. Two things that should be decided right away are the type of campaign you want to invest in and how much you’re able to spend. If you’re not entirely sure about either one, that’s not a problem, our SEO team is experienced in setting up online advertising campaigns and can help guide you through the process.
Google Ads functions a lot like an auction where businesses bid for space based on the maximum amount they’re willing to pay per click. It may seem pretty simple, although there are a lot of factors that come into play such as the type of ad, the keywords you’re targeting, and the audience you’re trying to reach. In order to run a successful AdWords campaign, all of these factors need to be properly accounted for and set up in a way that will give you the highest return on your investment.
At Matchbox, we’ll work with you to set realistic goals for both advertising spend and ROI. We’ll then set up your campaign to ensure that you’re getting the most for your money. The decisions we make for your campaign will rely heavily on our own research to ensure that your ads will perform and stand out from the competition. Our goal is to give your site a much-needed boost of traffic while we work to implement technical SEO fixes on the back end of your website.
Social Media Advertising
Another form of online advertising that we often recommend to our clients is social media ads. These types of ads are a great option for those who can’t afford Google Ads or want to supplement their Google campaign with another form of online advertising. Specifically, we’ll often recommend investing in Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter since those are the most popular and influential platforms.
Although AdWords is seen as the most effective avenue for online advertising, there’s still great value in social ads, especially if you have a large following. You’ll be reaching a different audience on your social platforms than you would on Google and you have more control over when and how your ads are served. We’ll help you decide which platforms are worth investing in and will set up your campaigns for you to ensure the highest probability for success.
We’re Here To Help!
Online advertising is one of those things that all businesses can benefit from, whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop or a big B2B distributor. The key is making sure that you’re spending the right amount and setting up your campaign effectively. Instead of throwing hours of time you don’t have into the Google Skillshop, just reach out to us and we can help set you up for success!