When a business owner decides to begin an internet marketing strategy, many of them start with the same question. Clients are consistently asking, “Do I start with paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM) through a site like Google Adwords, or do I start with organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO).” Our answer is usually the same.
The answer ultimately depends on the individual marketing goal, but in most cases the answer is “Both.”
An overall internet marketing strategy can entail many different pieces. When looking at the two pieces SEM and SEO in particular many clients believe they should do one or the other, or just one at a time. For most businesses, using both strategies to start is the best answer. The key is using them effectively and having patience while they are worked through their processes.
An SEM campaign will get your business noticed instantly. Once the campaign is kicked-off, you will begin to see your company in the search results. Where it is seen and how often depends on the time that is invested in setting up a campaign with good keywords, effective ads, and a strong landing page. Pay Per Click (PPC) is however, a process. It will get your business noticed right away, but the response you get from the public may not instantly improve.
A good PPC campaign will be constantly monitored, tweaked, and improved over time as data comes in and research is completed. The key to running a successful PPC campaign is patience as the process is fine-tuned and dedication to observation and adjustment as time progresses. It can prove to be more costly for the long term which is why most companies use it only for a limited time.
While this process is getting up and running, it is beneficial to most companies to launch an SEO strategy as well. Most industry insiders agree that natural search results are much more beneficial to a site owner than paid search for long term growth and brand building.
The process of making your site SEO friendly is just that…a process. It cannot happen overnight. In fact, if it does happen overnight-it will certainly end in disaster and becoming lost in the search engine abyss. Of course optimizing your website for SEO can be done in a fairly small amount of time, the long term goal of ranking high and staying there has to be a slow and steady process.
So the bottom line is this, SEO efforts are an effective long term option while at the same time SEM can get you instant traffic that is relevant to your site as long as you are willing to pay for it. It is important to remember that neither SEO nor SEM are one time actions that will cause you to be forever “found” online. In order to continue to build your brand, increase site traffic, and build your business these strategies should be ongoing and continually adjusted to keep you up to date and on top of the heap in your industry.