The main difference between SEO and SEM strategies stays in the type of traffic these two methods attract. While there are many similarities between them, SEO is focused on obtaining organic traffic to a website, while SEM is focused on obtaining paid traffic. Both of them bring you traffic through but the SEM strategy might need more budgeting on your part. It is important to mention that some digital marketing specialists define SEM as a strategy that incorporated both paid and organic methods while others see it only as a paid method. This dispute remains open and you will have to work with the digital marketer that understands the needs of your business best and knows how to offer you the type of strategy you need!
SEM stands for search engine marketing while SEO stands for search engine optimization. Both of them however, work with the same purpose: to bring you more clients, more profit and more brand awareness over the near future. Determine your budget for your SEM strategy is essential. You will need to be able to maintain this budget until you see the results you want and even beyond that. SEO and SEM strategies as well as other marketing strategies need to be sustained in order to give the results you aim for and, more importantly, maintain those results, which seems to be the challenging part for most companies nowadays. So, you will have to set up a budget for your marketing plan that you are comfortable with for the long run which put a level of pressure on business owners. However, your investment will be well worth it if you do it correctly because your profits will grow and more clients will come towards your company which can only bring your brand to a new level of success.
Chances are that when you think of splitting your budget, you will think in percentage and not definite numbers. So, you will want to decide how much of your budget percentage will go towards your SEM campaign as well as other marketing strategies you might want to implement in order to get the results you want from your company. While the opinions are split in the mind of economists, it is somewhat generally agreed that small businesses should invest anywhere from seven to 12 percent from their revenue in marketing strategies, being them SEM or other strategies. These money should be taken out of the complete revenue, before any other costs where covered.
Business owners tend to like this type of budgeting that works in percentages and not fixed money amounts because they leave a certain flexibility. After all, you might not know exactly how much money you will get each month but if you know what part of it will go towards your marketing strategies, you are still covered. It is important not to leave one month to go by without investing in your SEM campaign or other efficient marketing campaigns. On the other hand, your digital marketing expert will be able to suggest you which campaigns deserve more attention according to the results they bring to your 6business over time.
As your revenue increases, the money you invest in your marketing will also increase but you will not necessarily feel that because you will still invest the same percentage, only that the same percentage will mean more money for your company.
If you however, are not comfortable with the percentage method, you can choose to use the fixed budget method. Using a fixed budget is a method preferred by new business that don’t make much income yet and they are still working on the initial investment capital. The fixed budget method simply means that you will designate a certain amount of money to use for your SEM campaign each month. Considering that SEM is based on paid traffic ads, you want to notice how the campaign works for you and adjust the budget to put into it accordingly. SEM includes PPC and sometimes it is resumed to only that type of strategy so if you work with pay per click, you really have to talk to your accountant and your digital marketer in order to decide how much to invest in such a campaign. So, according to what your monthly PPC campaign brings you in terms of results for your business, you will have to increase or decrease your fixed budget. But you will also have to evaluate how much of your total budget you afford for this. So, working on a fixed budget can be a lot more stressful than working on the percentage method. However, the fixed budget is a method that might lead you to upgrade your budgeting to a percentage way of splitting your money once you start seeing revenues increasing.
Your accountant will definitely help you choose the method that works best for the level your company is at. You also have a third option that requires a bit more strategical thinking. This method involves reinvesting your profit. So, in a nutshell, you will invest a certain amount of money in your SEM campaign and you will save the income you receive from that investment to reinvest it in future months for the SEM campaign. This will keep the investment flowing when it comes to marketing and you will not have to worry about what money you use to feed your campaigns as you will simply reinvest your profit or part of it until you become more financially stable. However, this method is not recommended for beginners due to several reasons. For once, you will not know exactly how your SEM strategy works for your company until you give it a few months in order to see results and this can be frustrating for many new business owners. Second, you will not know exactly what income you will have next month in order to count on it for future investments which will add a certain amount of stress. And last but not least, you will base your marketing campaign on a lot of estimations when you don’t have to do that and it is not a productive strategy either. Use the information you already have and work with the budget you know that you can count on and you will not have to worry about not having the funds for your future marketing investments.
It is equally important to talk to your team and stay in touch with your digital experts as they can offer you a clearer vision about your mission and a much better potential outcome than the one you might want to predict. Listen to all their opinions and make your marketing investment a priority because it will generate growth for your business on the long run.
If you have several marketing campaigns running at the same time, you want to budget differently for each one of them. Many business owners choose to invest a budget in all their marketing strategies at once but this is not the best approach. Your SEM campaign might cost you more or less than your SEO campaign and so on and so forth. Plus, many of your marketing campaigns will need adjustments from one month to another by taking into account the results they bring you but also the type of budget you have available. If you can do it, it is important to visualize three months in advance when you set up your marketing budget and do that for each marketing campaign individually. If you know you can count on a budget for the best few months, you will be able to focus on other aspects of your business and invest in different other strategies to support its growth. After you see results, you will most likely want to increase your SEM budget and reduce the budget of other campaigns that didn’t contribute to your business just as much. But only take such decisions under the recommendation of a professional digital marketer as there are marketing strategies that simply take longer time to shoe results. This doesn’t mean they are not efficient, it just means that they need more time and a better implementation strategy in order to bring your business to the level you want it to be. But this is rarely the case with SEM. This particular strategy will give you a good outlook on its potential from the first month you start using it. So, you will be able to get an idea regarding its potential and keep investing in your SEM campaign accordingly.
Each company is different but they all need a good and steady SEM strategy in order to thrive in the marketing world. And as long as you keep investing in your SEM campaign, your company will definitely grow from it. Even if your budget will vary from one month to another, the fact that you keep it flowing is what will matter at the end of the day and that is what will bring you noticeable results as well!