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The Search Is Over: SEM vs SEO

Do you have an SEO strategy?
If not, you could be missing out on 14.6% more converted leads (source: Hubspot)


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be a daunting marketing strategy to execute. With so many options, who can you trust to implement your SEM and SEO? We’re here to take that fear away and guide you down the path to success!

“SEM and SEO are critically important to online businesses. You can spend every penny you have on a website, but it will all be for nothing if nobody knows your site is there.”

– Mark Ostrofsky (American Entrepeneur)

GDR can ensure your business has the best chance to be found by your customers.
Every dollar we spend for you will be treated as if it’s our own to ensure it reaps the maximum reward for your company’s objectives.





81% of people search for products online (source: Smart Insights) – so YES!
If there’s competition for your product it’s time to step it up a notch to make sure your customers are seeing your brand FIRST.


What is SEM?


Whilst appealing and responsive website design and SEO benefit the organic traffic of your website, SEM uses paid traffic to bring users to your website. Search Engine Marketing is all pay per click. Pay per click (PPC) marketing and advertising services can all be hyper-targeted, so your ads are only seen to the audiences that you want to target. You can target your ad based on: location, age, gender and even the time of day you want it to be live.

Have you ever noticed Google’s suggested results at the top of search results?
This is an example of targeted PPC ads through Google AdWords. Google AdWords is the frontrunner in generating paid search traffic. By nominating exact key words searched by your intended customers Google AdWords can be ultra-specific in reaching and converting new customers for your business.


What is SEO?


SEO is the process of improving your website to better the organic search engine rankings of your web pages. Search engines such as Google use extensive algorithms to present users with content relevant to what they are searching for. By using various SEO techniques, your website can rank at the top of search results for keywords that your audience is searching for.



The benefits are endless. Being proficient in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is how your business can improve its organic website ranking on Google and grow online reach. Having a high organic website ranking on search engines makes it far easier for customers to find your business – increasing brand visibility and boosting website traffic.

Claim your FREE SEO Audit. Email us today!


What Are The Differences?


Essentially SEM is paid marketing and SEO is organic but together they can be used to supercharge your digital marketing. Take a look at the infographic below before we debunk a few SEM and SEO myths!



Still confused? Give us a call 😉

Top 3 SEM Myths Debunked



FALSE! SEM is a fantastic way to quickly drive business growth and as it’s pay per click you only pay for results. You can get caught up on looking at the keyword cost and the fact that a larger business may be outbidding you BUT the more effective and optimised SEM campaigns you run Google will reward you with lower costs and higher visibility.

Paid search is also one of the biggest drivers of positive ROI, particularly when comparing to social media advertising. Customers are using a search engine to actively search for what they need and are more likely to complete a sale. On social media your customer is leisurely scrolling through their feeds and may come across your product.

SEM is higher in the sales funnel as user intent is stronger. Let’s put it this way… A lead using paid search may cost you $30 BUT 1 in 10 could result in a sale. In comparison a paid social advert may only cost you $1 per click, however only 1 in 300 clicks actually buys! (source: Marketing Land)


GDR knows what works, with years of experience working with many clients. We will work tirelessly to improve your Google Quality Score to drive down cost and increase the visibility of your paid search campaign.

The Google Quality Score is affected by:

Your click-through rate

Your choice of ad text

The quality of your landing page

The relevance of your keywords

Your historical account performance



NOT EXACTLY! Depending on your campaign and optimising click-through rates (CTR) can yield a hefty return.

SEM can boost awareness of your brand by 80% (source: Hubspot).

BUT, in the same breath, nearly 80% of users ignore paid ads in search results.

Consumers tend to prefer and trust organic links over paid ones. The top organic results typically have the highest CTRs so if you can get onto the first page of search engine results then you’re good to go. But if you appear on the second page of results or lower, you will probably achieve more clicks using SEM.

Consumers tend to prefer and trust organic links over paid ones. The top organic results typically have the highest CTRs so if you can get onto the first page of search engine results then you’re good to go. But if you appear on the second page of results or lower, you will probably achieve more clicks using SEM.



NOT ENTIRELY! In the indirect sense, Google Ads can influence organic ranking but we wouldn’t recommend relying on this.

SEO largely affects your website’s ranking position, including how many times your site is clicked on via organic results. However, as per myth #1 SEM can boost awareness of your brand by 80%. Studies show that even though consumers are less likely to click on your paid advert seeing your ad is still a credible touchpoint for brand recall. If your customer sees your website in the organic results too they will be more likely to click.


Therefore, using Google Ads to boost brand awareness can have an indirect relationship with your organic ranking!

Find out more about our Search Engine Marketing Service


Top 3 SEO Myths Debunked



FALSE! Launching a new site with search engine optimised copy doesn’t mean that the job’s done and you’ll be found.  SEO must be included EVERY TIME you create or update a web page so that you increase your chances for your prospective customers to find you. You wouldn’t stop and rest on your laurels when you’ve created a product or service, so apply that same work ethic on all your marketing channels like SEO.

Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to SEO. You need to optimise your pages, post new content, drive traffic and regularly maintain your website to keep and improve your search engine ranking position.

Your SEO builds up over time. When you implement an SEO strategy for your business you need to be thinking about the results you can expect to see six months to a year from when you start NOT immediately.



WRONG! When using Google Trends or similar platforms to find the most engaging content for your brand, do not take the easy route and simply copy and paste material. Google will catch you out and it will impact your search engine ranking position. Since 2011, when Google’s Panda algorithm was released, the search giant is able to flag duplicate content and use this to take into consideration your website’s domain authority.

Your content is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to show your point of difference, tell your story and connect with your customers.

We can help 😀 EMAIL us today



NOT ENTIRELY! Yes, how many times you use your keywords will affect how you rank for them. BUT, search engines will be crawling your site looking at how you have used them. The days of keyword stuffing are over. Use your creativity and storytelling skills to influence your keyword density levels rather than trying to use, for example, ‘leaky taps’ as many times as possible on one page if you’re a plumber!

Placing well-researched keywords into your text, headlines, subtitles, images, video descriptions, and links are your way to success. Choose one or two main keywords per piece of content and sprinkle them throughout with relevant keyword synonyms.

Are you now ready to conquer SEO and SEM? We’re here to guide you along every step of the way.


Why Choose GDR Media Group?


We have the in-house resources and expertise to manage you SEO and SEM needs so that you can focus on what you do best.

Storytelling is our specialty and search marketing is all about the customer journey. By choosing GDR your campaigns will be looked after from beginning to end, understanding your target audience and telling your story using SEO and SEM to attract, engage and convert potential customers into sales for your business.

We will guide your business towards the best marketing strategy for you. If we don’t think SEO and SEM will help your business right now but another service will we won’t be afraid to call this out to ensure your money is spent where it is needed.

✨You can trust GDR to✨ 

Ask us how we can help TODAY.

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