by Katy Treadwell
The digital landscape is changing every day. We see it in the form of new targeting restrictions from Facebook, new privacy restrictions across the entire web, and of course, new or updated search algorithms from Google and other search engines. The changes are also rampant among the products and services offered.
It wasn’t that long ago that services like display, search, and SEO ruled the internet marketing world. Then came social, and video, and mobile, and in-app, and now, even TV is a digital product that is 100% trackable and can show attribution. We’ve made a lot of progress in a very short period of time.
As with most everything, the newest, shiniest object gets the most attention. These days, the shiniest objects grabbing the most attention in the digital space are services like Performance TV, which can show second screen attribution and even provide foot traffic data after the impression. In-app and other forms of video advertising also draw a lot of attention and of course, money. But, no matter how fast things change, or how many new products and services become available, most successful campaigns STILL start with solid SEO and SEM.
So, of SEO and SEM which is most important?
The answer is both. SEO and SEM work best when they work together. You can’t have good SEM results without some really good SEO behind it. But, focus on SEO first. It lays the foundation for successful SEM.
Google and other search engines, don’t just award the top slot to the business that pays the most. They also take into consideration “Quality.” Without a good website, landing pages, and/or content such as blogs and links (SEO), SEM can fall flat due to what search engines call, “Poor Quality.” This means you could have had the winning bid, but because your website and its content weren’t up to snuff, you’d most likely lose out due to less than stellar SEO.
A lot of businesses dismiss the role that SEO plays because it’s not a “marketing tactic.” Sure, SEO is a managed service and an ongoing effort, day to day, week to week, and month to month. Keywords always need to be refreshed and content and links always need to be updated. It’s not like SEM where results are almost immediately noticed. SEO takes hard work and time. Lots of time. And, while it’s true that it is a managed service, it is ALSO, most definitely, an extremely valuable and necessary “marketing tactic.”
Organic SEO helps to establish Search or SEM credibility. With effective SEO efforts, you don’t need to have the highest bid to win a search. You could beat out the competition for a lower price simply because your site and its content are more relevant, and are of better quality than those of your competitors.