If you’ve been considering ways to promote your business online, there are two things that you’ll constantly read about: search engine optimization and search engine marketing. While they both deal with similar things, they’re both separate entities and it’s worth knowing a little bit about each of them before deciding what path you’ll go down. Here, we take a look at both and help you to establish what’s best for your business.
So, what’s the difference?
SEO is essentially one part of SEM. SEO is all about ranking your website on the pages of Google, whilst SEM looks at the bigger picture, and includes things such as the acquisition of paid links, pay-per-click advertising, and increasingly, social media management.
Which offers the best results?
Though this is the question that every business owner will want to know, there is of course no uniform answer that can apply to every business. Success has been achieved with both approaches, and there are of course companies out there that have wasted big sums of money on both. A good starting point is to hone your objectives then work backwards to establish which approach will help you meet them.
Which is cheaper?
In basic terms, a skilled individual can run their own SEO campaign with only time as a cost. It is however worth noting that it’s a complex field, and a total beginner will have a lot to learn before they can start reaping the results. With algorithm changes happening all the time, it’s worth bearing in mind that you can sometimes do more harm than good if you manage your own campaign without the necessary knowledge. A professional SEO company is probably your best bet if you don’t have the expertise in-house.
With SEM, the very premise of the tools mean that you’ll have to make an investment. It’s up to you how much you spend on the pay-per-click advertising and similar methods, and the amount required to see results will vary hugely depending on the nature of your business. Again, it’s worth calling in the experts if you don’t have any previous experience in the field. Companies exist that are solely dedicated to making your investment go further and managing your paid campaigns for you.
Which one should I choose?
As you can see, there are pros and cons of each approach, and there isn’t a definitive answer for each and every business. When making your decision, carefully work out what resources you have available in terms of both time and money, and consider what your goals and objectives are. Reputable companies will be more than happy to talk you through your options and help you find the right approach for you.
This article was brought to you by Ruth Richards on behalf of WebSearch SEO. WebSearch SEO offers SEO services from London to businesses across the globe.