Article

Daniel Howard
Daniel Howard 9 January 2015

The SEO - SEM Conflict

Before you plan your SEO campaign, stop! Have you spoken to your SEM counterpart?

Before you plan your SEO campaign, stop. Have you spoken to your SEM counterpart (or, if it’s yourself, put your other hat on?)

Two of the more traditional tools in an online marketers toolbox are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM – or PPC, depending on your payment method). Whilst the premise for these remains visibility on the top of search rankings, the methods, timeframes and cost implications for either are very different – however, they shouldn’t be used as separate tools.

Of course, the history between SEO and SEM hasn’t always been idyllic – in many structures, separate budgets often result in internal competition and therefore conflict. However – what if the teams worked closer together?

With a new product launch, many organisations don’t have a wealth of data – with this in mind, SEM is a great way to run quick, low risk feeder campaign. A/B testing can be ran on these ad groups in order to test the variety of changes that can be made. One that I’m running at the moment is the same ad copy, but with different keywords. After this cycle, I’ll be running the different copy on the same keywords, to see if a congruent attitude has an effect on ROI.

Of course, SEMs don’t have to keep giving their data away. They can also work with the organic search teams to develop content marketing plans around seasonal trends and more specific long tail keywords/phrases. Of course, we all know that the best way to increase downloads is through highly targeted campaigns that our SEM teams can run with tailored keywords.

Seasonal trends are also a great way for SEO and SEM teams to work together. For a previous client (a sports club), paid campaigns on social platforms provided major social events that are fundraisers coincided with massive spikes in traffic – as shown below – blue would be total traffic and orange the referral traffic generated by social media ad campaigns.

SEO - SEM Conflict


With the key events in October (player recruitment), February (major televised event) and April (start of the season), these dates repeat themselves year on year. Recognising this pattern allowed a small budget to impact the events in a greater way, increasing exposure and generating higher interest in the club.

So what can we take away from this? Even though your SEO team may have distinctly different goals and objectives than your SEM teams, and your social teams may have less impact on traffic than currently exists, all three teams working in harmony should provide spectacular results.

This aspect is now central to all campaign planning – and ad spend is not strictly limited to search platforms – the overlap between each team is becoming greyer and greyer, and a ‘generalist’ department (online marketing?) is becoming more prevalent in in-house teams.

 

This post first appeared here.

 

Read More about Search and SEO on Digital Doughnut.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
How To Write Content That’s Easy To Localize

How To Write Content That’s Easy To Localize

Do you want to know how to reduce costs and get to market faster? Write content that's easy to localize!

David Ost
David Ost 15 June 2017
Read more
How To Master Localized SEO

How To Master Localized SEO

When you’re rolling out different language versions of your website, ignore localized SEO at your peril. Failing to consider local keywords, backlinks and social media could cost you valuable site visitors. You’re investing a lot of marketing budget in reaching out to new clients. But fail to get eyes on your website and your efforts will be in vain.

David Ost
David Ost 14 June 2017
Read more
The Top 10 High Demand Business Languages

The Top 10 High Demand Business Languages

We’ve compiled a handy list of the top 10 languages you should consider for business and marketing content translation when competing in global markets, with the facts and figures on why they are your best bet.

Inês Arnaut Pimentel
Inês Arnaut Pimentel 3 February 2017
Read more