As businesses and entire corporations move online, it is extremely important for you to understand the importance of digital marketing through practices like SEM, or Search Engine Marketing. There are two very common approaches taken towards this, the first being Search Engine Optimization and the second being Google AdWords.

SEO: A Primer

The fundamental objective of Search Engine Optimization is to earn your webpage a better ranking and hence a better position on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. It is a long-drawn but a rewarding process, which begins with ensuring your site is friendly towards search engines, and then optimizing your content to get you better rankings. Social Media Integration and Marketing, Pay per Click and several other SEO extra features are worth mentioning, and eventually can be implemented to get you wider viewership and also more revenue.

There is a host of free as well as professional software which works on your website to build analytics and then optimize areas specifically towards the objective of SEO. The general rule is that your site is functional, your content is unique, the quality of content is good, and it does not contain too many unnecessary backlinks. Search engines factor in usability alongside site value. Each of these can be tweaked within the software. Some content management systems like WordPress have inbuilt SEO options and plugins too. Before experimenting on your site, it is a good idea to take a Strategic SEO Training Course which takes you through the entire SEO process from scratch.

A Quick Look at Google AdWords

Someone who is new to the world of digital marketing could well have heard terms like bids, campaigns, PPC, CPC and AdWords. This new jargon may seem confusing and intimidating, but it isn’t too difficult to get a hold of.

AdWords is a web-based advertising platform owned and maintained by Google. Using this platform, an advertiser or marketer can strategically place ads all across Google products, ranging from search results to Gmail ads, YouTube ads, Blog advertising under posts and several others. It is also integrated with AdSense, Google’s publishing service.

To start off, you need to choose a payment method. The first is Cost per Click, which means you pay for every click on your ad. The second is Cost per thousand Impressions, also called CPM, which means you pay every time your ad is seen on a site or page. Once this is done, and the ad is ready, it is put into a sort of virtual pool. And now this pool operates on an auction basis, such that you have to compete against thousands and millions of potential advertisers looking for a coveted spot on the cyberspace to promote their product or service.

AdWords is hence an extremely pricey prospect but very rewarding if executed properly.

The Comparison

SEO is reserved to search engines, while AdWords promotes your business on any page running or supporting AdSense. While AdWords is paid and rather expensive, the SEO traffic is largely free, other than what you may spend on a software suite.

Having paid for AdWords, you can see your ads right on top or the top-right of any Google Search page but there are several others vying for a spot when it comes to SEO, so it is a monumental task to land the first page, leave alone the first few results.

SEO is a gradual process, has a larger learning curve and builds the reputation of your page and site in time. AdWords on the other hand is rapid, relatively easy and immediate, as you can create a campaign and put it into effect in a matter of moments.

Another factor here is that if you stop the AdWords service, your traffic will mostly come to an abrupt halt, while SEO opens avenues for organic traffic, which is long term in nature. SEO focuses on a select few keywords, while AdWords can integrate a whole bunch of keywords and target them at a time.

The Last Word

To build reputation by showing instant effects, most SEM companies resort to AdWords and eventually back up their practices with SEO. If installed properly, AdWords will attract large amounts of traffic within moments. However, for the quicker results, a client will need to pay a formidable sum of money, as you pay for each visit. This may eventually pay off once your campaign establishes its value and generates a steady income.

It is vital to note that while it is easy and effective, AdWords may not work as expected if it is not configured, controlled and monitored properly. Content Writing and Marketing help a person build content for their site, and then supplementing it with SEO would allow the site to rise the ranks and finally generate a good deal of organic traffic with time.

The bottom line is that if you want instant results, you should go for AdWords and hire a trusted agency or adviser, but if you look at inexpensive, long-term options, SEO is the perfect thing for you. The two may also be used together to get you a perfect return on investment. Give your site a traffic boost using AdWords, and then follow up with good SEO practices.

Author: Michael Porter is a SEO and digital marketing coach. He provides several free articles on his blog alongside a full-fledged Strategic SEO Training Course.