Online & Digital MarketingSEO

Should you choose SEO or SEM for your property?

The role of ads and marketing is different on the Internet compared to the other conventional methods. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are two significant must-know strategies for digital marketing. You should definitely know how to use at least one of them to attract your potential guests to your property’s website.

If you are a bit familiar with digital marketing terms, you must have heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basically has to do with the adjustments made on a website to ensure to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages. Apart from that, you have the option of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for your ads to be shown in the search engine results pages.

But the key thing you should figure out is which one of these two search engine strategies fits best for you. If you want to learn the differences between SEO and SEM and which one is better for the digital marketing of your property, here are the answers.

Different assessment criteria

In search engine optimization, rankings are determined by assessing a wide range of features such as rich content, backlinks from different websites, use of images on a website and redirections from social network sites, all of which are just a few examples.

But when it comes to SEM, the assessment process totally changes. Although the ads are basically charged according to clicks or views, Google and other search engines intend to show the best quality ads to their users. Therefore, how the ad relates to the subject and the effective use of keywords have a direct impact on pricing. One of the most important criteria is the quality of the website the ad is placed on.

Boosting the traffic or generating slow but permanent traffic?

SEO is a demanding strategy that requires long-term commitment and pays off in the long term. Improvements in design, keywords, rich content etc. may takes weeks or even months before they start to yield fruit. However, once you start to see the results of your efforts, your property will rank in the top of the search engine results pages, thus you will be able to generate permanent traffic to your website without any additional costs.

The case is different for SEM. You can obtain the results quickly as the ads you place on search engines generally appear on the first page. Once your ads are published, it is possible to generate traffic, but it will be subject to a certain fee. This boosted traffic lasts as long as you place ads; that is to say, it lasts as long as you keep spending.

SEO costs too

On the other hand, please note that SEO efforts are not totally free. There are many direct and indirect expenses arising from the quality content that search engines require. You might need professional support for many aspects, ranging from website design to writing rich content and your efforts to reach your target audience through social media channels. If you are using an infrastructure like HotelRunner, you can definitely reduce such costs conveniently as your job will be easier.

SEM requires you to pay a certain fee per click. Search engines can offer weekly or monthly payment plans. Therefore, short term investments in SEM might be more suitable compared to SEO.

When to use SEM and when to use SEO?

The ideal way to quickly access the target audience, especially for new properties, is placing ads, which involves SEM. SEM is also a good choice to quickly promote your campaigns for special days like the New Year.

On the other hand, if you intend to develop a long-term strategy to receive permanent visitors, SEO is the more efficient choice. Considering that both of these strategies have different advantages and disadvantages, adopting both of them is arguably a better path. Once your SEO strategy is on track and yields benefit, you may gradually reduce your initially-high SEM budget to cut your costs.

Boasting themes equipped with integrated SEO features, HotelRunner also provides Google AdWords support thanks to our collaboration with Google. If you would like to transition your property online and promote it in the online world, all you need to do is get to know HotelRunner and create your account for free to use it immediately.

Rıza Kaynak

Director of Demand

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