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Better Together: SEO & SEM

By Lauren Labunsky

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are a powerful pair. Just like other dynamic duos – Batman and Robin, peanut butter and jelly – they’re better together than apart. They are both highly valuable tools that help your dealership website perform at the highest possible level and bring in more sales opportunities for your business. To take full advantage of the benefits of these tools, you need both. Here’s why.

First, a note on the dominance of search engines in the digital world. With the top two being Google and Bing, search engines are the major avenue for all website visibility. While having a great website is the first step, making sure that online customers can find you quickly and easily is next. The better your website performs in search engine results, the more visible it will be for online customers.

The purpose of SEO is to increase your dealership website’s organic search ranking through the content and keywords on your site. Organic search results earn the majority of clicks, as many online users forgo advertisements that they can see are paid or sponsored (SEM ads) and choose to click on an organic listing instead. The higher the ranking, the higher chance online customers will choose to click on your business – leading to a high quantity of clicks and traffic to your site.

The purpose of SEM is to increase online visibility of your dealership. Google places paid ads above organic listings, so even if a search engine user doesn’t click on your ad they are still seeing it. This is the case for both text and display ads, which continue to increase in size and become more subtle in labeling as an ad. The online real estate that paid advertisements collect add up to a high amount of brand recognition over time. Even though organic search results do earn more clicks, paid ad clicks are more likely to result in a lead or sale – meaning that they drive higher quality traffic to your site.

Combining these services makes the biggest impact. With the biggest benefit of SEO being organic traffic and the biggest benefit of SEM being online visibility, the biggest benefit of having them both is the highest possible conversion rates. Continued exposure to your brand through both organic and paid listings helps to drive interest and encourage online shoppers to learn more. If a customer finds your dealership on their own through an online search, the additional paid ads they see will serve as reminders. If a customer sees paid ads for your dealership first then finds you in a high search engine ranking when they conduct their own search later, you have recognition on your side for a better chance of earning their click.

Of course, these services do run independently and they each drive results on their own, but when employed together this dynamic duo is at its best. Give yourself the best shot at more leads that convert to sales with SEO and SEM running side by side.

4 comments

  1. Hey Lauren, this hits right at home for me. I learned a ton about AdWords PPC over the years and use it for my sailing charter service.
    Thanks!
    Steve

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