Almost everyone has heard of SEO at some point and knows exactly what it is, but what is SEM, how is it different from SEO?
what is SEM?
To begin with, the acronym SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, this refers to the advertising that is done on search engines, that is, SEO is the organic positioning on search engines and SEM is exactly the same but with paid advertising, instead of spending hours and hours optimising your website, you invest some money and your ad will be the first on search engines, it's as simple as that.
This aims to capture as much traffic as possible and increase the visibility of your business.
Normally for SEM strategies, the most used tool is none other than Google Ads, as Google is the main search engine and the most used by internet users, so it will be worth investing in the search engine from which we reach more people.
In Google Ads, every time a user performs a search there is a keyword bidding system, which means that if there is a lot of competition for a particular keyword, advertising will be more expensive than if the keyword has almost no users searching for it. The good thing about this system is the PPC campaigns (pay per click) in which we not only set how much we pay for each click, but only and exclusively we will pay if the user clicks on our ad.
These SEM ads will always be above the organic search ads, and will be differentiated from them because they have the word "Ad" in truth indicating that it is a SEM campaign and is not organic positioning.
Advantages of SEM
Search engine marketing has a lot of benefits over SEO campaigns.
This is the main advantage of SEM, you will not have to wait months for your efforts to bear fruit, at the time you want (and above all that you pay), you can be in the top positions of google. This strategy is very good in periods where it is consumed more as in Christmas or valentine's day.
2. Increased user traffic
This is the main reason why companies decide to invest in SEM, the increase of users who enter the website, serves to get visits on the web, to increase purchases and to enhance our brand image thus making us known. All this achieved in the short term, which is an incredible time saver.
Segmentation is key in our SEM campaigns, so we can reach all our target audience and get our message in the right way. To do this we have to know our audience well and choose well the characteristics by which we are going to classify them, as well as the days of the week and times of day. This way we get our ad to appear to those who are looking for us.
4. Choosing the budget
In SEM we set the budget we are willing to pay, we have the possibility to control it and adjust it at any time. We can decide from what is the maximum budget we are willing to pay to how much we are going to pay per day or per click. Returning to the previously mentioned advantage of only paying if the user clicks on our ad. Being able to stop the campaign at any time if we were short of budget.
The SEM is completely customisable by whoever hires it. As we have already said, we can stop a campaign at any time, as well as decrease or increase the bids or vary the segmentation to our liking. This allows us to optimise our strategy to the maximum and get a great benefit as we can easily adapt to the needs of the market and our own.
Disadvantages of SEM positioning
As in all cases, not everything could be good, so in this post we are going to tell you which points of SEM positioning are not as beneficial as the previous ones.
1. No money, no success
It is true as we said in the advantages that you can abandon a campaign whenever you want and with that, you will stop paying, but the moment you stop paying you will stop being among the first positions in Google.
SEM campaigns are being used mainly in sectors where there is a lot of competition and it is very difficult to be positioned organically, so there are many companies competing to position themselves with the best keywords. It also means that the cost per click increases dramatically and consequently there is a decrease in ROI (return on investment)
3. SEM vs. SEO
Differentiating organic positioning from paid positioning is no longer something that only experts understand, more and more users recognise what SEM positioning is, and understand that a page that has managed to be in the top positions organically has a lot more work behind it than a company that invests in SEM, so in this case, for users, a web page that has achieved positioning through its own means and effort generates more confidence than one that has achieved it through economic means.
4. Intrusiveness and saturation
We have to avoid being too intrusive with users because if we show the same ad too many times, the user will perceive it negatively and this greatly affects the image of the brand. For this reason, you have to know when to show your ads and when not to show them, calculate the frequency and do not overdo it.
In short, SEM can be a great tool if you know how to use it, if you need instant positioning and high user traffic, this is the best strategy you can follow, if you do not have so many economic means and you have time, you will have to evaluate whether it is better to invest your time in an SEO positioning strategy. Whatever you decide, in this post you have all the pros and cons of SEM positioning. Cheer up and appear in the top positions!