Search engine marketing agencies in Chicago will often tell you that they can help you meet your digital marketing goals exclusively through the implementation of SEM. Agencies primarily focused on search engine optimization make a similar case for engaging in SEO.

However, as a Chicago business owner looking to market your products and services online, you should be aware that both viewpoints are categorically incorrect.

The most efficient way to increase your online visibility and traffic and ultimately accomplish your sales goals is to use a combination of effective SEM and SEO.

Both paid and organic search marketing have advantages that are unique to each discipline. However, when used in tandem with shared marketing objectives, they can be an advertising powerhouse.

How SEM Benefits SEO

Understanding which keywords or keyword phrases to target to boost visibility in organic search results is one of the central tenets of SEO.

Keyword research is a time-consuming process that can take weeks or months to complete. Following that, more time is required to begin implementing, testing, and updating the keyword strategy.

However, an experienced SEM agency in Chicago, Illinois can implement keywords and keyword phrases into an SEM campaign almost immediately and see initial results within days.

While a detailed analysis of individual keyword performance in SEM would still take a little longer, you can use these preliminary findings to start testing earlier. Doing so can shorten the time between beginning an SEO program and the actual implementation.

How SEO Benefits SEM

The SEO process starts with your website — it starts by analyzing your website for content and code flaws that may be impeding your online visibility in search results.

During the early stages of SEO, part of your website’s actual content may need to be re-written to ensure that it’s optimized for both your visitors and search engine bots. The code that powers your website, such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, may also need to be re-configured.

Although this will undoubtedly benefit your SEO efforts, it will also significantly impact your SEM performance.

Most popular forms of paid search rely on a mix of keyword/ad copy/landing page relevance, referred to as your “quality score.” This score is a crucial component in deciding how much you pay for each click on your ad, and the position of your specific keywords in search results.

Therefore, improving the quality of your website will often raise your “quality score,” allowing you to pay less for more traffic to your site.

The Combined Benefits of SEM and SEO

A common misconception among Chicago businesses is that only one of the two main components of digital marketing (SEM and SEO) is required. That is not the case.

Paid search allows you to control the messaging that your audience sees in search results. This, in turn, will allow you to rotate ad copy based on seasonality, special offers or events, or changes to your product/service offerings. It is also useful for creating short-term traffic spikes that can be implemented and adjusted on the fly.

Organic search is unquestionably a long-term strategy, with results often not seen for about three to six months after the initial launch. However, an effective SEO campaign can result in steady search engine visibility and lower overall marketing costs.

Are You Looking for the Right SEM Agency in Chicago, Illinois?

If you are looking for a well-thought-out digital marketing approach that combines the best of both SEO and SEM, contact Digital Destination. As a leading SEM agency in Chicago, Illinois, we can help your business generate traffic online, and ultimately more revenue. Contact us at (312) 933-6806 today to get started.