SEO and SEM: what they are and why are they useful
Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the most important digital marketing techniques for customer acquisition. In fact, normally every user goes on the internet to search for new products, services and entertainment and he/she is faced with a list of links that might relate to what typed in the search bar.
There are two main disciplines of SEM that are SEO (search engine optimization) and “paid search marketing” (PSM) or “Pay-per-Click” (PPC).
Thanks to SEM, a company can gain more visibility and more clicks on its site than others that are on the same page on the search engine results pages (SERP). For example, thanks to search engine marketing the Click through rate (percentage of clicks on a link) can go from 30% of the first result that appears, to 10% of the result in third place. This is why it is very important and fundamental to attract new customers to your site and subsequently increase the people who make purchases. In this regard, it is very important to have a successful landing page, so that potential customers once clicked on the link are faced with a clear and easy to understand page.
Through SEO companies manage to reach the highest positions in the natural or organic list of SERP once users type specific keyword into the search bar. The organic location or ranking depends on algorithms used by each search engine: Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
In summary, the goal of SEO is to achieve a certain relevance of the key phrase by going to work on organic growth and not on the sponsored one.
To implement a SEO strategy it is important to understand how SERP are generated and ordered, a process that covers 4 steps: crawling, indexing, ranking and query request & result serving.
The SEO strategy faces a big challenge in fact there are several ranking factors that change all the time among different search engines. As part of the SEO strategy there are 4 main factors that can be managed: on-page optimization (number of times the phrase appears on the page); external linking or off-site optimization; internal link structure and user behavior signals.
Paid search marketing (PSM) or Pay-per-Click (PPC) uses sponsored ads. Since to sponsored ads you have to pay for every click, they are found on the top of SERP and above all organic ads. Search engines gain through PSM and PPC and allow companies that use them to have greater visibility.
They’re useful because...?
Thanks to SEM and in particular to PSM and PPC it is possible to segment the customers and to make own site to appear only to those who re-enter in own target. In this way the costs of this type of campaigns are addressed to potential customers and are not wasted with targets that would not buy products and/or would not benefit from services offered.
In addition, you can insert cookies that allow you to implement a remarketing strategy. What does it consist of? In short, it works by inserting a small code into the website that is imperceptible to visitors and is generated when you activate a campaign. Each time a potential customer visits the site, the code releases to the browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox etc.) an anonymous cookie. This, in the future, will allow your website to be shown on other pages or on social networks to people who have viewed it in the past.