Aligning SEO and SEM


Published: August 28, 2017 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
Aligning SEO and SEM

Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization might be separate strategies for getting more people to your website, but they are not independent of each other. If you want to make the most of your SEM efforts, aligning SEO and SEM will help you cover more bases. Here’s how.

More Visibility

When it comes to getting traffic from search, the more exposure you get, the better your results. If you can boost your SEO so you rank in the top 3 organic results and have an entry in the paid results, that’s more real estate on the search results page. Plus, the added visibility lends your company extra credibility as you’ll appear as an established and dominating presence in your market.

Extra Feedback

Because both SEM and SEO are long strategies--meaning results come after incremental improvements over time--the more feedback you can get to make those changes, the better all your efforts will be. Google Analytics provides a wealth of information from SEO and SEM efforts including which keywords are having the highest success rates. When you use the success of one to inform the other, all your strategies are stronger.

Fast Feedback vs. The Long Wait

When you run an SEM campaign, the feedback that you get from Google or the Yahoo/Bing advertising network is immediate. In contrast, you get very little direct feedback from SEO efforts and often have to rely on long-term data analysis to get an idea of what’s working.

While everything that works for SEM won’t always directly convert to SEO efforts, you will get a good idea of what kind of information to include in your SEO optimization for areas such as titles, meta descriptions, alt tags, and page content from what people are responding to in your ads.

Aligning SEO and SEM

Aside from the benefits of using SEM to inform your SEO efforts, it’s also important for the two operations to be aligned so that consumer expectations are met. For example, if you’re running an ad campaign with the words “greenest fabric softener on the market,” then you need to have lots of correlating information on your website for anyone responding to your ads.

Specifically, you should have pages with those keywords in the title, alt tags, image names, and text content on the page. When you have all that together, your ads will not only be a good match for your pages--which meets consumer expectations and will boost conversion rates--but you’ll also have a page that’s highly SEO optimized with an excellent AdWords quality rating. A win-win for you and for consumers.

A Holistic Approach

Focusing on different avenues of marketing such as branding, SEO, and SEM and the different activities that each entails can sometimes lead to treating each as a separate line item rather than a holistic approach to giving your customers what they are looking for.

When you look at your website as one piece of the branding, advertising, and marketing puzzle, it becomes easier to see how it must be just the right shape to fit in with the rest. Each piece must dig a little into the others so it all comes together to create a single picture.

SEM is the right method to get people interested in your products and services and to get feedback on how your readers are searching for your solutions. To maximize the full potential of your SEM campaigns, make sure you have a solid branding foundation and an optimized website to support your efforts. That way, you’ll be sure to get the best return on your advertising investment.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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