Let's connect! Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Guru Behance Angel List YouTube SlideShare Contact Annette Sage
Call: (310) 382-6326   •   Email: info@sagedesigngroup.biz  

Search Engine Marketing: Organic Search Results vs Paid Advertising

SEM | Search Engine MarketingAt times, the vocabulary, acronyms and lingo used in the marketing world can be a bit confusing. People who aren’t involved in marketing or new to search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) often confuse the two terms. We often see the two expressions used collectively, however they are different forms of search marketing.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM encompasses the full range of activities of search marketing from natural organic results (SEO) through paid advertising methods like pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) campaigns. SEM, the acronym for search engine marketing, is often associated with paying for desired search results.

The objective of any search marketing activity is to appear on the first page of search engines. Paid advertising can be costly but will get you on the first page of search results within ten minutes and bring immediate traffic to your website. Keep in mind that most people never go beyond the third page of search results.

Effective search marketing campaigns require keyword and competitor research, planning, conversion analysis, campaign optimization and landing pages that engage and convert. Some of the most common search engine marketing platforms are Google AdWords, Bing Ads and Yahoo Search Ads.

In the video below, Hal Varian, Google's chief economist presents an overview and insights into how bidding and ad auctions work for advertisers to get the most value out of the Google AdWords platform.


Other Forms of Paid Search Advertising

Retargeting and Remarketing: Retargeting and remarketing and are performance based advertising that use cookies and tracking pixels to display banners and ads to visitors who have already visited your website and expressed interest across the web. The terms retargeting and remarketing are basically the same. Remarketing is Google's version of retargeting within Adwords.

Mobile Marketing: This one is pretty self explanatory. Mobile marketing is any marketing activity that occurs on a mobile device through a wireless network. Mobile advertising can take place through targeted local advertising, QR codes, SMS text messaging and more.

Social Media Marketing (SMM): The goal of social media marketing is generally community engagement and building brand awareness. However, paid social advertising can be used to target the right audience, gain new customers and following, and increase traffic to your website.

Hyperlocal Online Advertising: We recently partnered with MaxPoint. MaxPoint Express helps advertisers move crowds of shoppers to local stores. We offer PPC, CPM and retargeting options for local businesses. Since most people in certain neighborhoods have similar buying patterns, you can target ads for certain neighborhoods within a certain mile radius.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a segment of SEM used to obtain high rankings in the search results of search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others organically and naturally. By organically, I mean unpaid search results, unless you are paying an agency or someone to perform the activities to help achieve the desired results. When properly implemented, this method of search marketing has the long term benefits of free traffic and may be more affordable but can take anywhere from three months to a year to reach high rankings. Below are factors that influence your SEO rankings:

On Page SEO

• Optimized url with keywords
• Optimized title tag with keywords
• Meta Tags
• Keywords and phrases in the content
• Original quality content
• Alt image tags
• Keyword density
• Keywords in hyperlinks
• Keywords in headings and bold tags
• Structured data
• Sitemap

Off Page SEO

• Number of inbound links
• Quality of sites linking to yours
• Relevant sites linking to yours
• Keywords in anchor text
• Search engine submissions
• Social media sharing and signals


The objective of search marketing is to rank high on search engines. The ultimate goal is to rank high on the first page. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a time intensive process but reaps long term benefits. If you have the budget and need the website traffic right away then paid search engine marketing (SEM) will get your there immediately. You can always ease out of paid advertising as your SEO efforts improve over time.


For more information on how Sage Design Group can help you with your search engine marketing campaigns and strategies, call (310) 382-6326 or email info@sagedesigngroup.biz.

Questions or Comments?