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SEO vs SEM: How They Influence Content Strategy

May 03, 2021

Written by Casey Bjorkdahl

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Casey Bjorkdahl is one of the pioneering thought leaders in the SEO community. In 2010, Casey co-founded Vazoola after working for a Digital Marketing Agency for five years in New York City. Vazoola is now one of the fastest growing and most widely recognized SEO marketing firms in the country.

SEO vs SEM: How They Influence Content Strategy

With lots of companies trying to gain eyeballs in a competitive marketplace, you need to pull out all the stops to stand out. That means coming up with different ways of getting the attention of your core audience while figuring out how you can expand into new market spaces. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) both play an important role in helping businesses improve how customers and site visitors perceive them.

A lot of material devoted to digital marketing on the internet uses the terms SEO and SEM interchangeably, making it harder to understand the differences between the two. Let’s look at what distinguishes SEO from SEM marketing and how you can use them to enhance your overall content strategy.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is the process of helping your site improve its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). When users enter search terms corresponding to your business, you want to make sure your page is one of the first to come up. The higher a page ranks in SERPs, the more likely it is to attract clicks from visitors.

Popular search engines like Bing and Google rely on crawler bots that collect information from web pages, analyze the information they contain, and place the pages into an index. Search engine algorithms, formulas that store and retrieve meaningful information, evaluate the pages in different indexes, and comes up with a score that signals where it should rank in the results presented to users.

While search engines periodically update the factors that matter to algorithms, some remain consistent when it comes to evaluating the quality of a site in relation to a user’s search, including:

  • Keyword research
  • Content quality
  • Webpage accessibility
  • User experience
  • Linking
  • Page peed
  • Mobile readiness

What is Content Strategy?

Content is the information you present on your web page and other media channels. Ideally, your content gives visitors a sense of what your brand represents to the world. There should be consistency in messaging and clarity regarding the context of the information presented to readers. That should be true whether your content is a blog post or a how-to video describing how to use one of your products.  

Every piece of content presented by your business should benefit a larger overall business goal. There shouldn’t be anything there that doesn’t align with what you want to accomplish. If the content doesn’t highlight a specific aspect of your company, then it provides no relevance to visitors.

Content matters more than ever. Putting out fresh content regularly keeps visitors coming back to your essential media channels. You get to engage with current and potential customers on a deeper and more organic level. Good content provides solutions, opens people up to new ideas, and helps them solve their problems.

How you deliver content matters, which is where content strategy comes in. SEO and SEM play an important role in helping you craft an effective content strategy.

How Does SEO Help With Content Strategy?

SEO strategy typically involves coming up with key performance indicators (KPIs) that determine if the content succeeds in its objective. Effective SEO helps get your content seen by search engine bots. Enhancing your content with SEO tactics like tactical keyword placement and internal links helps establish your site as an authoritative domain. Over time, SEO can increase your website’s placement in SERP pages.

The importance of SEO to digital marketing can’t be understated. It helps direct visitors to products and services relevant to their search. Good SEO provides a clear response to a user’s question and improves a company’s site reputation over time.

What is SEM, SEM Meaning and SEM Marketing?

Search engine marketing involves using various marketing tactics to promote your website and increase its visibility in SERPs. At first, that may seem very similar to SEO, which is why so many people have trouble understanding the difference between SEO vs. SEM.

One SEM definition that may help you understand how they differ is to think of it as a broad category that encompasses SEO. Besides enhancing content found on websites, SEM involves using paid search strategies like pay-per-click (PPC) ads. You’re paying to attract the notice of visitors searching for products or services tied to your business.

For a better context of SEO meaning vs. SEM meaning, think in terms of organic vs. paid. SEO organically builds your site’s reputation over time while you’re paying for those same benefits with SEM. Working on improving your site speed or publishing new blogs each week are examples of SEO. The ads you see at the top or bottom of SERPs are an example of SEM.

How Can SEM Help Your Content Strategy?

If your content strategy involves attracting visitors interested in a specific product, you can start a Google Ads campaign for promotion. Most strategists conduct keyword research and make sure to include those terms in their paid ads. That assists you in getting the attention of your target audience and driving more traffic to a specific landing page.

Users see your ads in SERPs when they enter target keywords. You pay each time a visitor clicks on an ad. There’s a lot that goes into making sure your ads reflect the desires of the users so they remain on your site longer.

Good SEO and SEM marketing involve doing extensive keyword research to ensure you meet the needs of a user. They both help you attract more visibility to your website via higher placements in SERPs. You must understand what your audience needs and how they typically behave. That helps you create better content with SEO and expand your audience using SEM marketing.

Improve Your Digital Visibility With Vazoola

Understanding the intricacies of SEO and SEM marketing can be overwhelming for business owners. Vazoola can take care of the work involved in meeting your digital marketing media goals. Feel free to reach out and set up a consultation with us today for SEO or SEO reseller services.

See Similar Articles:  SEO Strategy

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