Digital Marketing Strategy
What is the difference between SEO vs. SEM (GSN)? Which Comes First?
Before we start, let’s equate the terms first:
What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
Search Engine Marketing is a site marketing effort through search engines to offer site services and products through paid efforts or organic (unpaid) efforts.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Essentially, Search Engine Optimization is also included in the Search Engine Marketing section. SEO here plays a role in increasing the ranking of a website on search engine pages through organic search, namely by utilizing keywords on your website.
There are two primary components of SEO:
1. On-page Optimization
On-page SEO (or on-site SEO) are all the settings you apply directly to your site or blog to make it more search engine friendly. Its application includes using selected keywords in tags and meta descriptions, suitable URL formats, proper use of headings (H1, H2, etc.), image optimization, site loading speed, and much more.
2. Off-page Optimization
Off-page SEO is more directed to promotional activities outside your website that aim to raise your site’s reputation in search engines. Simply put, try to imagine this as a ranking system where the website with the most votes is in the highest position. Voting in this context is the number of links coming from outside to your site, both from other websites, social bookmarking, social sharing, and others.
I will use the term SERP in this article. This is short for the Search Engine Result Page for those who have just heard the word SERP, which means search engine results from the terms entered into the system.
How is it different from Google Search Network (GSN)? What is the difference between Google Ads and Adwords?
Google Adwords and Google Ads are the same things. Previously, this Google advertising platform was known as Google Adwords, but in mid-2018, Google rebranded it to become Google Ads. Google Ads has two advertising modes: Google Search Network (GSN) and Google Display Network (GDN). For ease of reading, I refer to the Google Search Network (GSN) as Google Ads in this article.
Which should be used first? SEO or GSN?
Well, now you know the difference between GSN and SEO. In more detail, I will explain one by one based on my experience.
Google Ads Ads = Fast, Organic SEO = Long Lasting
By using Google Ads, you only need to do the initial setup of a campaign, and the system will show your ad in less than 30 minutes. While with an SEO strategy, you need more time. When a new article or page is published on your site, maybe with a specific process, you can see it in the top 10 of Google in less than two months. Still, usually, a news article or page is stable in the top 10 of google within two months – 6 months, and it can take longer if you target keywords with a lot of competition.
Google Ads = Greater Reach, SEO = All pages are Landing Pages.
Thousands of keywords can be targeted simultaneously with Google Ads for certain pages (landing pages). Still, in SEO, all of your site’s pages are landing pages for your site, the more relevant and quality pages, the more potential customers you can get.
Google Ads = Relatively Easier to Learn, SEO = Non-standard and Full of Assumptions
Especially for those of you who want to do your own Google promotion. Studying Google Ads, Google provides a learning platform at the Academy for Ads, and even Google holds a certification program, a different condition from SEO. Their standard rules have never been published. Even Google only provides an on-page SEO guide on its website. To this day, Google has never clearly disclosed how the ranking algorithm method in the SERP works. All seo consultants practice what they think works at the time. Another challenge is that Google always makes updates to their algorithms to index relevant sites better while ‘fighting’ the seo consultants who use ‘rogue’ methods to exploit the previous algorithm. (a technique known as BlackHat SEO). You need to be more careful when using seo services by third parties.
Google Ads Ads are for Promotion, While Organic SEO is Trust
We can conclude that this is the same as Selling vs. Branding. This is the basis of an important distinction. With SEO, you are challenging to change your listing description, while this is very easy to do through PPC. Therefore, your fundamental goal of doing SEO is more focused on long-term branding. At the same time, with Google Ads, your focus is short-term selling or reaching new potential customers quickly (awareness). Statistically, Conversions from Organic visits (SEO)
Cheap or Expensive Which?
Many people choose to use SEO because getting into the top 10 is free, while Adwords is an advertising method that costs money. This is not entirely true because, with SEO, you still use costs such as seo services, article writing services, proxies, software, etc. If you do the entire SEO campaign alone, there are still ‘costs’ that you have to ‘pay,’ namely time and article creation. SEO practitioners must do site optimization with certain techniques (and subscribe to certain tools, too) consistently for some time until your site starts to ‘crawl’ towards the top 10.
How Google Ads and SEO are helping each other.
Your Google can help you test the performance of your site. This performance test is good at the beginning of the site launch, where you need data to see how the site is performing. And Google Ads can help you with that without having to wait months for visitors to enter through Organic.
Google Ads can also help you find relevant keywords on your site through the “Dynamic Search Ads” campaign, where the Google engine tries to find relevant words in search engine searches that match your site.
SEO can also help keywords that you can promote, one form of reporting on Google Ads
It’s all about probability in the SERPs…
If you expect a short answer from me about which one a business should choose, I tend to answer “try both” because each has advantages and disadvantages. Still, the goal is the same, namely “acquire” (read: fill) your prospect’s screen on the Google search page. The idea is simple the more their screens are full of information about your business, the more they will know you.
If on a regular search results page (without google ads), usually Google will only show the top 10 index results (this is what people often call Google Top 10)
In these circumstances, if you only use SEO, your potential traffic ratio is 1/10 (10%).
But through Google Ads (Adwords), you have the opportunity to increase this ratio. If a keyword you specify has no competition, then your ratio is 2/11 (18%), even if you use all Google Ads features such as Site Links and so on.. this ratio can be much higher. Imagine if this is a much smaller smartphone screen. Information about you can even look much longer.
Then what if budget constraints cause you to have to choose one?
Use SEO when:
- Your orientation is not for sales (sales) in the near term
- You choose not to depend on monthly fees all the time
- Your market is not easy to make transactions online. For example Forex
- Your product cannot or is difficult to promote through PPC such as food supplements, politics, MLM, and so on
Use PPC when:
- You want to get customer response quickly
- The company is focusing on sales
- A new product is being launched, and you want to do a market test.
- Your main competitor is using PPC. Yes! Because in terms of speed of results, PPC is the champion, the online market is a very fierce ‘fight’ arena where your target market is ‘bombed’ by various marketing messages. If your competitors have done PPC marketing, of course, you have to respond quickly because you and your competitors are looking at the same market.
So how? do you prefer SEO or Google Ads?