The Synergy of SEO and SEM: Why They Work Better Together

When reading about organic search, or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, or Search Engine Marketing (SEM), you’ll frequently see how people pit them against each other as competing search services. Marketers will often argue over which method is more effective and worthwhile for businesses to invest in. However, the ideal online marketing campaign doesn’t use just organic or paid, but instead, uses both! 
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Here’s why….

SEM gives immediate results and SEO gives long-term results, so together both of your bases are covered. SEO is a worthwhile long-term investment because once your website is optimized for search engines and climbs its way to the top, it is likely to stay in good rankings for a long time and get continuous traffic. With SEM though, website traffic has the potential to increase  immediately because you’ll be able to show up on the first search engine results page (SERP) right away for searches matching those keywords you are bidding on.  So while you’re working your way up organic search rankings, paid search can help spread the quality content that you’ve been creating for better SEO. This way none of your efforts go unnoticed.

People trust brands they are familiar with. This trust begins with simply getting your business name to appear in their searches. Seeing your dealership appear twice, both on organic and on paid results, on a SERP will create more brand awareness and amplify your dealership’s credibility. Think about it. Given two brands that have seemingly equal products, are you more likely to choose one that you are familiar with and know the name of, or one that is completely new to you? According to a study by Nielsen Research, when a brand appeared in organic alone it only received 60% of clicks, whereas a brand that appeared in both organic and paid search results, the brand attracted 92% of total clicks. Likewise when paid listings are shown alongside organic, the click through rate (CTR) of paid ads increases. This means that clicks increase for both organic and paid listings when they are both featured on a SERP and did not detract from each other.

Broader picture of what works best for your dealership. Using SEO and SEM services will give you a clearer idea of which parts of your marketing strategy work or which parts need improvement. By looking at the analytics from your PPC campaign, you can discover what exactly your customers are searching for. Then, you can make sure that those keywords are mentioned on your website or even incorporate them into your meta descriptions, the HTML code that describes your website to search engines and the text that appears below your website name on SERPs. Be careful to fit those keywords in naturally though, and not go overboard with keyword stuffing them.  Contrary to many myths about SEO, this can actually decrease your rankings.

It’s time to stop thinking of SEO and SEM as opposing forces. When used together they are complementary services that could help boost your marketing strategy and increase brand exposure. By not implementing at least one of these services, you could be missing opportunities to attract traffic to your website. Have any questions about your SEO or SEM campaign, or even how to get started? Be sure to leave us a note in the comments below!


Commercial Web Services
Kingring / June 22, 2015

Great article 🙂

Shark Web / June 22, 2015

Interesting statistic on the one about SEO & PPC added together = 92%. That’s a seldom shared statistic. But shows the power of omnipresence when it comes to branding and marketing.

Matt Press / April 25, 2016

Nice article Kelly! You mentioned meta keywords. Do you think that in future, they will increase or decrease in importance?

Rosy Anwood / July 4, 2016

Hey Kelly,

The inter-relation you made between SEM and SEO is just amazing . The way you have managed to explain the collaboration of these two concepts is really worth knowing .I came to know about it a lot.Before reading this article I also thought these two to be opposing forces but now I came to know that they are complementing each other.

Paul / August 3, 2016

Where can that Nielsen report be found? Several sites have referred to it, but no one has linked to it.

Jessica Feldman / August 3, 2016

Hi Paul,

It’s linked in the article in the third paragraph 🙂 Thanks for reading!

The Lead Generation Trifecta | Commercial Web Services Blog / October 25, 2016

[…] off of the perfect website design, let’s talk about SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, next. By making SEO a priority, you can increase the exposure of your website. Afterall, […]

sem services / October 6, 2018

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, or Search Engine Marketing (SEM), you’ll frequently see how people pit them against each other as competing search services


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