SEO versus SEM – What’s better for your business?

Every day we speak with business owners throughout South Florida with their marketing teams and always get the same question,

“What is the main difference between SEO and SEM”?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO or search engine optimization is the cornerstone of any business website that wants to get “found” on Google and other search engines. SEO is by far one of the hardest digital tactics to achieve as there are many factors including Google 200+ algorithms that take into account what gets ranked first on their search engine results pages (SERP).

There are many different tactics to build on that will help your websites overall organic SEO presence:

  • Local SEO
  • Onsite SEO / Technical SEO
  • Off Page SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Metadata / Snippets
  • Pagespeed Optimization
  • Corporate Blogging

One of the advantages to using a sound SEO marketing program for your Miami, South Florida business is that the search results are completely FREE.

Getting listed on the 1st page of Google brings a lot of credibility to your website because…


Picture this….

Just think about your daily searching habits are on Google:

  • Do you go past the 1st page of Google
  • Do you go past the 2nd page of Google
  • Do you even check the 3rd page of Google
  • Do you check (oh come on) the 4th page of Google

More than likely, you will search for your keyword and click on one of the top organic results, maybe you will dive a little deeper and go to page 2 and 3.

Are we right? Does this sound like you?

Getting good SEO results will help your business drive more sales in the Miami, South Florida area but also help keep your marketing costs down. The one disclaimer that you, the business owner should know is that SEO isn’t really FREE.

Yes, it is free to list your business on Google but getting on to the 1st page of Google takes time, know-how, an amazing website, what your competition is doing (or not) and one tactic that is always overlooked; content marketing that answers all your potential / existing customers questions.

Does your current website do that already?  

One of the easiest ways to get found online is through the use of utilizing keywords, phrases, and overall content on your website that connects your brand with what customers are searching for on Google.

Search Engine Marketing (Paid Ads)

SEM or search engine marketing is the quickest way to generate traffic, leads, and sales but it comes with a paid media cost to Google and other search engines.

Facebook Ads is considered to be SEM, as it is paid media but its advertisements are shown on the social media network, and not on search engines. It also has a network that allows for display advertising.

These days customers are busy looking for things online with the intent of purchasing your goods or services. Google AdWords displays ads that people are searching for. It’s really that simple.

Example – Let’s say we are looking for a pair of Nike’s, how about some Air Jordans:

As you can see Google is really in the business of “digital real estate” or pay to play. Using paid media dollars on Google can be very lucrative to the advertiser if your message is on point – from when the prospective client “clicks your” AdWords ad to when they become a paying client, as long as your marketing sales funnel is congruent and follows the bouncing ball, you’ll be fine.

So what does that mean exactly?

Just like organic SEO, Google has a set of strict guidelines for SEM that an advertiser has to conform to.

  • Is the landing page responsive
  • Is the ad copy strong enough to entice a click
  • Does your ad use the correct keyword strategy
  • Is your ad budget competitive to your industry and location
  • Etc…..

What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

It’s easy – SEM is paid media and Organic SEO is free media (earned).

Making sure your website gets found by both the search engines and consumers is the most critical element when it comes to lead generation for your Miami business.

They “Google it” !

We know your consumers are busy these days.  People are simply whipping out their mobile phones, searching for services / products, and making purchases; all with the touch of a button!

Making sure you are attracting the “right” traffic through search engine marketing – AdWords or Organic – is both an art and science to digital marketing!

At ilocal SEO we understand both. From how to build AdWords ads to local business listings to onsite SEO and more, we will help your Florida business stand out online!

We constantly pursue the latest white hat tactics for SEO and the proper techniques that will ensure your SEM campaign stays strong but is always maximizing your campaign’s ROI! If you’d like to learn more, please contact us today.