Which Is the Best Boost for Your Business: B2B SEO or SEM?
When optimizing a business-to-business (B2B) company’s online marketing campaign, managers turn to two of the most effective digital strategies: B2B search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
This article is about B2B SEO and SEM, figuring out the best strategy for B2B companies based on the following:
- Improving website ranking
- Boosting leads and sales
- Building customer trust, credibility, and brand awareness
- Considering usage
- Saving businesses money, effort, and time
A B2B SEO agency can help you with SEO and SEM. Find out which one works best for your company. Let’s go!
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What Is B2B SEO?
B2B SEO is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on improving the visibility and ranking of a B2B website on search engine results pages (SERPs). B2B SEO requires different strategies for keyword research, content creation, and link building.
SEO for B2B companies involves optimizing content for specific industries or niches. It is an essential strategy for businesses looking to increase their visibility and attract new clients using organic search.
What Is SEM?
SEM is a form of digital marketing that promotes a website or a business through paid advertising. It focuses mainly on pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which appear at the top of search engine results for specific search terms. Other types of paid search advertising are display ads, remarketing ads, and shopping ads.
SEM helps businesses target potential customers who are already searching for their products or services. This strategy is a highly effective way to drive targeted traffic to a website and generate leads and sales.
Comparing B2B SEO and SEM
B2B SEO and SEM each have specific advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine which strategy is better when it comes to ranking, lead generation, sales, promoting trust and credibility, usage, and cost-efficiency.
1. Improving Website Ranking
B2B SEO and SEM can increase website ranking, but these strategies approach ranking differently. SEO optimizes a website's content and structure to rank organically in SERPs using specific keywords or phrases. This approach requires a long-term investment of time and resources but can yield sustainable results over time.
On the other hand, SEM relies on paid advertising to appear at the top of search engine results for specific keywords or phrases. By placing paid ads in this position, people are more likely to click on them to check out B2B offers, products, or services. However, paid ad results are temporary and may not significantly affect ranking.
Result: B2B SEO helps webpages rank organically, with results that last a long time. SEM uses paid advertisements to place ads on top of organic SERPs, increasing their ranking and visibility. However, these results are usually temporary.
2. Boosting Leads and Sales
Both B2B SEO and SEM can effectively boost leads and sales for B2B businesses, but each has pros and cons that may make one more effective.
B2B SEO effectively generates qualified leads and sales, which works in the long term. By optimizing content and structure to rank in SERPs, businesses can attract organic traffic, which is more qualified and thus has a better lead generation or conversion.
SEM can also effectively develop leads and generate sales in the short term. By targeting specific keywords and creating compelling ad copy, businesses can attract clients who are actively searching for products or services like theirs. Results are quick, which is valuable for time-sensitive campaigns or promotions.
Result: A combination of B2B SEO and SEM may be the most effective strategy for B2B companies. Doing so allows them to achieve short-term and long-term lead generation and sales results.
3. Building Customer Trust, Credibility, and Brand Awareness
When building customer trust, credibility, and brand awareness, both B2B SEO and SEM are effective. But one approach may be more effective than the other in certain circumstances.
B2B SEO can help build customer trust and credibility by highlighting a business's expertise and industry knowledge through high-quality content. SEO promotes a profound understanding of customer needs, builds trust with potential customers, and establishes a strong brand reputation over time.
SEM can build brand awareness and credibility by promoting B2B firms at the top of search engine results. By appearing prominently for specific keywords and phrases, businesses can increase their visibility and, thus, reach a wider audience. This leads to brand recognition and establishes a sense of authority in the eyes of potential clients.
Result: The best approach for building customer trust and credibility is B2B SEO, while SEM is best for promoting brand awareness. Like increasing site ranking, SEO takes time, but results are long-term, while paid ads can produce quick results.
4. Ease of Use
B2B SEO and SEM are complex and require specialized knowledge and skills to execute effectively. But generally, SEM may be more straightforward than SEO because it involves using paid advertising platforms like Google Ads. These platforms have user-friendly interfaces and offer step-by-step setup and campaign management instructions.
With SEM, B2B businesses can create ads with minimal technical knowledge, choose keywords, and set budgets. The search engine's algorithm does the rest. Another feature of SEM platforms is real-time reporting, which makes tracking campaign performance and adjusting strategies easier.
On the other hand, B2B SEO is more complex. It includes optimizing site content, building backlinks, and monitoring technical issues. These require specialized skills and knowledge. SEO also takes a long time to show results. But after optimization, a site continues to create organic traffic, leads, and sales for a long time.
Result: SEM may be considered easier to use due to the user-friendly interfaces and step-by-step platform guidance. B2B SEO involves more complex strategies and tools. Thus, hiring a B2B SEO partner is the easiest way to handle site SEO.
5. Saving Businesses Money, Effort, and Time
B2B SEO and SEM can save businesses money, effort, and time in different ways. SEO can save B2B businesses money in the long term. After website optimization, it continues to attract organic traffic without incurring additional costs. This method saves time and effort by creating content that can continue to attract leads and generate sales.
SEM also saves businesses time and effort, but only in the short term. Companies can quickly create ads and reach their target audience ASAP. There is no need to wait for organic search results to improve.
Also, SEM platforms provide real-time reporting, so adjusting campaigns according to performance metrics is easier. This saves businesses time and effort in monitoring and optimizing their advertising campaigns.
Result: B2B SEO saves businesses money, effort, and time because once optimization strategies are in place, they continue to generate leads and sales. SEM can also be cost-efficient, but only in the short term, as paid ads quickly reach their target market.
As long as B2B firms partner with experts, they can guarantee success in SEO and SEM strategies, saving them money, effort, and time.
The verdict: B2B SEO strategies are complex and take time to take effect but are effective in improving site ranking and promoting trust, credibility, and brand awareness. SEO produces long-term results.
SEM involves paid advertising and is a highly effective strategy for driving targeted site traffic. It is effective for generating leads and sales, producing quick results.
A B2B firm can benefit from using SEO and SEM. SEO builds the foundation to transform and retain traffic created by SEM techniques. B2B SEO and SEM strategies will create a stronger campaign with amazing performance and great results.
An experienced B2B SEO agency uses the power of SEO and SEM to create the best campaigns to boost your business. They know the latest trends and have access to updated tools and techniques. Contact Digital Authority Partners today for expert SEO and SEM help.
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