Which is a better investment for your Arlington Heights business: SEO or SEM? In this blog, this SEM agency in Arlington Heights, Illinois is going to examine these two internet marketing strategies across several parameters to help you make the most informed decision for your business.

Conversion Rate

Google’s organic results get more than 10X the number of clicks than paid results, resulting in a higher conversion rate. Potential customers favor organic search results over paid ads because they tend to be more relevant and credible. This perception was created by design.

Google’s algorithm is continually updated to reward relevant, engaging content by ranking it prominently in its search results. This ultimately makes that content more visible to a broader audience, who are more likely to view it positively. On the other hand, paid ads are explicitly labeled as such, and they do not go through the same vetting process by Google, detracting from customer trust.


A comprehensive SEO content strategy should result in a quantifiable increase in traffic and qualified leads within four to six months. This is a gradual process at first because building trust with Google takes time. The exact timeframe will be influenced by various factors, including competition, the age of your site, and the output of quality content.

On the other hand, paid search campaigns that are managed by a reputable SEM agency in Arlington Heights often take three to twelve months to establish. While it is not uncommon to notice a surge in website traffic on the first day of an SEM campaign, the real success of a campaign is often evaluated by total concluded sales and customer acquisition costs (CAC). Putting together the data to determine this and any changes you may need to make to your SEM strategy for maximum performance will take some time.


As any experienced SEM agency in Arlington Heights will tell you, consistent search rankings are an essential component of any marketing plan, as 75% of all users never go past the first page of search results. Google aims to promote the best pages for a given keyword by ranking them on the first page. As such, it’s critical to routinely assess your web pages for relevance, speed, layout, and design.

With SEO, you regularly incorporate these optimizations into your marketing plan, which means your rankings should steadily rise week over week. A well-executed SEO campaign yields consistent results, allowing you to achieve your targets while also focusing on other marketing projects. You can rest assured that your organic content will remain visible and accessible to your target customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will not expire on any set date.

On the other hand, SEM results can be inconsistent, as they depend largely on how your competitors bid, which you cannot control. When your budget is exhausted, the ads will also stop running.

Scenarios in which SEM Outperforms SEO

SEM is typically preferred over SEO in one of the three scenarios listed below:

  • If your business is in its early stages and lacks a consistent source of sales leads, and is willing to accept a higher CAC while developing a more sustainable inbound lead generation strategy
  • As a precursor to an SEO initiative to determine the keywords with the highest conversion rate,
  • To support a targeted SEO strategy that places your website at the top of organic and paid search results.

Looking for the Premier SEM Agency in Arlington Heights, Illinois?

Choosing the ideal way to implement a strategy that involves both organic and paid search can be a challenging task. Building a solid SEO or SEM groundwork takes time and skills, which is why many business owners choose to partner with a professional SEM agency in Arlington Heights, Illinois. If you would like to learn more about how we can create an online marketing campaign for your business, call us at (312) 933-6806 or contact us online today.