SEM SEO marketing: what it is and how to implement in a company to generate leads and grow business

SEM SEO marketing is an integrated online promotion strategy that combines paid advertising efforts and search engine optimization to maximize a company’s online visibility and achieve a positive return on investment through effective lead generation and increased sales.

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SEM SEO marketing - what is it?

SEM SEO marketing is an online promotion strategy that uses both paid (Search Engine Marketing) and non-paid (Search Engine Optimization) methods to increase a site’s visibility in search engines. SEM includes paid advertising in search results, while SEO focuses on optimizing a site’s content and structure for better ranking in natural search results. Their integration helps increase internet marketing effectiveness, offering quick display through SEM and long-term value through SEO.

What are the benefits of combining SEO and SEM?

Combining SEO and SEM brings a number of benefits to any company looking to increase its online presence. Here are the key benefits of combining the two approaches:

  • Increased display in search results, which translates into increased website traffic.
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) cost optimization: through lower cost-per-click due to better organic ranking, which influences lower rates in paid campaigns.
  • Effective testing: SEM enables quick testing of keyword effectiveness, which can be used to optimize content, minimizing costs and increasing effectiveness.
  • Immediate results with long-term benefits: Paid ads provide quick reach to the target audience, plus presence is enhanced by the lasting effects of SEO.
  • Increased number of leads: A combination of short- and long-term promotion strategies increases the number of leads generated, maximizing the effectiveness of efforts.
  • Better return on investment (ROI) due to the synergy of ads with the long-term value of SEO optimization efforts.

What is the goal of SEM SEO marketing?

The overarching goal of SEM SEO marketing is to increase a company’s visibility on search engines such as Google and Bing, leading to generating more leads and achieving a positive return on investment (ROI). By strategically combining paid advertising and search engine optimization of content, the strategy attracts potential customers, which directly translates into increased sales and improved financial performance for the company. In practice, the effective use of these two methods allows companies not only to achieve a better position in search results, but also to build long-term brand value in the minds of consumers, which is crucial for sustained success in an increasingly competitive market.

What role do SEM and SEO play in a company's marketing strategy?

SEM and SEO play a key role in a company’s marketing strategy, being essential elements for both B2B lead generation and online sales through e-commerce. The two methods work together to increase a brand’s display on search engines, which directly translates into better financial performance and business growth in the digital environment.

SEO accomplishes the long-term goal of building visibility by optimizing the content and structure of the site for search engine algorithms. This is a process that takes time, but offers lasting benefits in the form of organic traffic. SEM, on the other hand, achieves short-term goals through advertising campaigns such as PPC (pay-per-click), which is particularly valuable for go-to-market strategies and product innovation launches. The combination of these methods allows companies to successfully achieve short- and long-term goals.

What are the differences between SEO and SEM?

The main differences between SEO and SEM include:

  • The nature of the activities: SEO focuses on the long-term optimization of a website and content to improve its position in organic search results, a process that is less predictable and dependent on search engine algorithms. SEM, which includes strategies such as PPC, provides quick results and the ability to precisely control campaigns but requires ongoing funding.
  • Results and longevity: Positioning contributes to a long-term organic presence and generates visits to a company’s website. In contrast, PPC advertising offers an immediate boost in traffic, but its effects are temporary and only last while the campaign lasts.
  • Effort and updates: SEO requires constant creation of valuable content and updates, which is the key to long-term success. SEM focuses on ongoing updates to ad campaigns and allows for advanced audience targeting.
  • Costs: With SEO, investments tend to be higher in the beginning, but the cost of acquiring a lead decreases over time, thanks to building organic traffic. In SEM, costs can increase with competition for ad space, requiring an ongoing ad budget.

How to implement SEO SEM marketing in a company?

Implementing a company’s SEO and SEM marketing strategy starts with securing adequate resources and hiring experts with deep knowledge of both techniques. These experts should have the interdisciplinary skills to use both SEO and SEM in a complementary manner, which is key to maximizing the effectiveness of online efforts. Each business, due to its specific industry, requires a customized plan, which emphasizes the importance of internal knowledge and experience gained through market and competitive analysis.

Companies can choose between full internal control or working with external agencies, depending on their own resources, budget, and strategic goals. Regardless of the path chosen, it is important to conduct a detailed analysis of a company’s needs and capabilities to tailor SEO and SEM efforts to meet unique business requirements. Effective integration of these strategies can significantly increase your online presence, attract more traffic to your site and improve conversions, resulting in better business results.

SEO or SEM: where to start?

When embarking on an SEM SEO strategy, a key step is to develop a plan for the structure of a company’s website that takes into account the different goals and intentions of users:

  • For advertising-focused sites, the design aims to respond directly to users’ commercial and transactional intent. Such pages are generally shorter, with clear calls to action (CTAs) to effectively promote a product or service and lead the user to take a specific action, such as buying a product or signing up for a service.
  • SEO-optimized sites are designed to cater mainly to the educational intent of users, offering more elaborate content that is designed not only to inform but also to engage the reader for longer. Although they are longer, they also need to include clearly defined CTAs directing users to commercial pages.

This approach comes from practical experience and observation of the effectiveness of both techniques in real business conditions. By understanding and applying this knowledge to planning the structure of a website, content can be better tailored to users’ expectations and needs, resulting in higher effectiveness.

Is it worth hiring an SEO SEM agency?

Hiring an SEO SEM agency is a valuable investment for companies at any stage of development. The expertise that agencies offer is crucial in effectively managing and optimizing online activities, especially in the context of constant changes in search engine algorithms and the complexity of advertising strategies. The benefits for the company include access to specialized knowledge, advanced tools, time savings, and innovative approaches to online marketing.

SEO and SEM tools

Here’s a list of key SEO and SEM tools that companies need to effectively manage their online presence:

  • SEMrush: An integrated platform that offers features for keyword analysis, competitive monitoring, auditing and content analysis. This tool is valued for its versatility and ability to provide detailed data to support marketing strategies.
  • Google Ads: Google’s official platform for managing PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising campaigns. Enables precise ad targeting, budget planning and campaign performance analysis, which is crucial for effective SEM efforts.
  • Google Analytics: An analytics tool that provides rich data on site visits, user behavior and conversion efficiency.
  • Google Search Console: A tool that provides information on how a site is seen and indexed by Google. It offers SEO analysis, identification of errors on the site and insight into linking effectiveness.

How to choose keywords for PPC and SEO ads?

Selecting keywords for PPC and SEO ads is a key part of your marketing strategy that affects your brand’s online position and the effectiveness of your campaigns. Here are tips on how to approach the process:

  • Analyze search volume: The chosen keywords must be popular enough, that is, have a high enough demand, preferably above 50 searches per month. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush can help identify search frequency for specific queries.
  • Understanding user intent: Understanding what a user is looking for when typing a phrase into a search engine is crucial. Analyzing the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for a given query can provide clues to intent – whether it is informational, transactional, or navigational intent. For example, the dominance of e-commerce pages in search results usually indicates commercial intent.
  • Appropriate match to the type of business: Targeted words should be closely related to the products or services offered. It is important that the phrases reflect the specifics of the industry and correlate with the language used by potential customers.
  • Use of competitive analysis tools: Tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush can help you understand what keyword phrases your competitors are using and how they rank in search results. Competitor analysis allows you to identify gaps in the market and use phrases that can bring a competitive advantage.
  • Testing and optimization: In both SEO and PPC techniques, it’s important to monitor results and adjust strategies according to the results achieved. Testing different keyword combinations and analyzing their impact on traffic and conversions is the way to increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

How to set up campaigns in Google Ads?

To set up Google Ads campaigns with a focus on cost per conversion, customer acquisition, and ROI, it is recommended to use AI-based portfolio strategies. The first step is to set business goals and select bids, such as CPA (cost per action) or ROAS (return on ad spend), which automatically adjust bids to achieve results. It’s also important to precisely set up conversion tracking to provide accurate campaign performance data.

It is also crucial to use target group segmentation, select relevant keywords, and build landing pages. Using AI allows for effective budget management, maximizing ROI, and minimizing the cost of customer acquisition. This approach enables better business results while optimizing advertising spending.

Where to start with Google search engine positioning?

When beginning the process of positioning websites in Google search, the first and fundamental step is to create valuable content. This content should be tailored to the needs and interests of the target audience, and the amount of content – the recommended minimum is 30 pages – is intended to provide a sufficient information base to attract both users and search engines. High-quality content, rich in key phrases and useful information, is the foundation for effective SEO.

Once a solid content base is established, the next step is to promote that content, which can be done effectively through social media and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns. Social media offers the opportunity to reach a wide audience and engage them in interactions, which can significantly increase a site’s position and traffic. PPC, on the other hand, allows you to quickly generate traffic to new content by driving targeted audiences directly to your site.

How long do SEM and SEO efforts take?

SEM SEO activities are continuous processes that require constant commitment and updates to maintain and increase the visibility of a company’s website in search results. Stopping activities in any of these areas leads to a loss of previous results and a decrease in site visits.

The effects of integration are usually visible in about 3 months after the start of activities. In the case of SEM campaigns, the effects may be visible almost immediately after the launch of advertising campaigns, but their durability is closely related to the continuation of campaign funding. In contrast, in an SEO strategy, the first significant improvements in ranking and organic traffic usually take more time, as ranking a site and building valuable content are long-term processes.

The cost of SEM SEO marketing should be evaluated as a strategic investment to grow the business. Optimizing costs and focusing on ROI are key to success in this area. Companies should carefully analyze their online activities, adjusting strategies and budgets to achieve the best possible results. In this context, SEM SEO marketing expenditures are often analyzed as a percentage of the final price of a product or service to assess the effectiveness of the investment.

Monitoring a company’s website in search results is key to evaluating the effectiveness of SEO and SEM efforts. Several tools that offer a variety of analytical and comparison functions can be used for this purpose.

  • Google Search Console: This free tool from Google allows you to monitor how your site is seen by Google’s search engine. It allows you to see which key phrases are generating the most impressions and clicks, as well as identify technical issues that may be affecting your site’s indexing and ranking. It also provides information about what pages are linking to your site, which is valuable for link building.
  • Google Ads: For paid campaigns, Google Ads offers detailed reports on ad performance, including information on CTR (click-through rate), conversions, and cost-per-click. It allows you to react quickly and adjust your campaigns to maximize ROI.
  • SEMrush: This is a paid, advanced SEO and SEM analysis tool that offers rich comparisons with competitors. It allows detailed analysis of keywords, backlinks, ranking positions and competitor ads. SEMrush is particularly useful for companies that want to understand their market position and identify growth opportunities by analyzing competitors’ activities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Conducting SEO and SEM activities simultaneously increases traffic to a company’s website through the quick results of paid advertising, and the long-term presence of the site in search results.
  2. Integrating these methods brings a number of benefits, such as better search engine rankings, minimized ad costs, effective testing, immediate results with long-term benefits, more leads generated, and better return on investment (ROI).
  3. The main goal is to position the company well in search engines, which leads to generating more leads and achieving a positive ROI. Both techniques help to effectively reach potential customers, increasing sales and improving the company’s bottom line.
  4. Both methods play a key role in digital marketing, supporting both B2B lead generation and online sales through e-commerce. They allow a brand to build a long-term online presence and respond quickly to current sales targets.
  5. The differences between SEM and SEO relate to the nature of the activities (long-term actions vs. quick results from ads), the sustainability of the results (long-term effects vs. temporary effects), effort and updates (continuous content updates vs. ongoing campaign adjustments), and cost (initial investment vs. ongoing expenses).
  6. Implementing SEO SEM marketing requires building a comprehensive strategy, hiring specialists or working with agencies that understand both disciplines and can integrate them effectively to match a company’s business goals.
  7. The choice between SEO or SEM should be dictated by business goals and available budget. Ideally, the two methods should be combined to take advantage of their synergistic potential and maximize the effectiveness of online marketing efforts.

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