Read How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Should Work Together

There are basically two sides to Internet marketing – organic and paid. Organic Internet marketing is another way to describe Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which uses organic factors such as on-site content, navigation and usability features along with natural link building. Paid Internet marketing is usually called Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and has several facets to it, including Pay Per Click (PPC), media buying, paid social media marketing and so on. Many companies prefer paid Internet marketing because the results are more immediate.However, any good Internet marketing plan should use both.

Why is this? Because any good Internet marketing plan should focus on both short term and long term results and that is what paid and organic marketing does. Paid Internet marketing gives short term results. You create your campaign, bid on words, post banners and so on, then you watch the leads and customers flow in from your advertisements. Most paid SEM involves text-based campaigns using services like Google AdWords, and relies on clients bidding for the placement of their keywords. More competitive keywords require more money. This is the very nature of SEM, which now includes Social Media Marketing (SMM) as well. This is similar to Google AdWords, but applies to social networks like Facebook.

While many think having a paid SEM campaign is enough, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. While a good SEM campaign will bring in short-term revenue while it’s running, a business should simultaneously be building out its SEO strategy in order to cement its long-term goals. Sadly, SEO doesn’t yield instantaneous results like SEM does, which is why it can be eyed with suspicion by many. SEO is basically a game of making changes that conform to the best SEO practices, and waiting to see the results. These results can take weeks or even months to become evident, and if a good job was done with your SEO campaign, you’ll see positive results. If the results aren’t so positive, one then reassesses the situation and tries again. However, if the results go the way one hopes, the targeted keywords will rise up to the first page of the search engines, bringing in amazing amounts of traffic for a fraction of the overall cost of an ongoing PPC campaign.

In the short term, both SEO and SEM efforts should be ongoing, but in the long term, the ideal situation is that the organic SEO brings in more than enough revenue to offset the higher costs of SEM. That money can then be toned down to save money, or targeted at a whole new set of keywords. By employing both forms of Internet marketing, you’re looking out for your profits today as well as your profits in the future.

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