Promotion is one of the pillars that upholds the profitability of a business. However, something that not too many people know, is the various ways in which they can go about promoting their business. Broadly speaking, you can either pay for your business to be promoted, or have it go up Google's favorable books by catering to its demands and preferences. The former is called Search Engine Marketing, and the latter is called Search Engine Optimization.
If it's a website that is in question, a free website audit will tell you exactly how your website is performing in accordance to Google's SERP preference. Here's the key differences you should bear in mind when deciding a business promotion strategy, and where to implement what type of promotion.
This is the most elementary way to differentiate the two techniques. SEM requires investment, and SEO is free of cost. This is because SEM is essentially advertising, that is, paying Google or other services to advertise a business or product on another website. This payment is carried out on pay-per-click or pay-per-view basis. SEO on the other hand, is executed through content strategy and upgrading based keywords provided by a free SEO checker, and also earning backlinks and using imagery so that Google's spiders can crawl and access information easily, putting it high on its SERPs.
Let's talk about the results of implementation on SERP positioning! Search Engine Marketing results in a paid advertisement, which is depicted very blatantly on the SERPs. You'll know exactly when a business or service has been paying for its ads. This is not the case in SEO, which is completely organic. If a page is on top of an SERP for a search, you can be sure that it has top level SEO execution and strategy.
Time is of the essence, with business promotion. However, there are pros and cons to each strategy, which one must weigh up before settling on one. SEM delivers instant results and high reach through ads. However, it doesn't have long term benefits and the reach will disappear as soon as you stop paying for the ads. SEO is organic, permanent and concrete. Rome wasn't built in a day, and SEO takes a while to become effective. It is a process that has to be seeded in, but bears great fruit in the long run.
Search Engine Marketing allows you to carefully segment your target market and choose the perfect niche audience. This can be achieved by telling your SEM service the right keywords. You can also feed the demographic information, search trends etc to find the ideal target audience. While this level of segmentation is not possible with SEO, the implemented techniques are useful on all users, as it directly influences SERP results.
Now that you're aware of the differences, you are well equipped to decide where to use each strategy for optimum effectiveness. A business promotion strategy is dependent both on SEM and SEO, and the more one understands and learns the craft, the wiser you'll be with your expenditure.