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Which is Better, SEO vs SEM for E-Commerce


Bigblock Solutions


October 3, 2018

For people who have dabbled in e-commerce, you might have heard about the SEO vs. SEM debate that’s been going on recently. These two are both terms that can provide different meanings to different individuals. Let us clarify these terms first before moving on. These terms aren’t complete definitions of what they are but simply serve to make it easier for everyone to understand.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation are activities that you do on your website such as with link building or maintaining keyword densities, with the main purpose of letting it rank higher on the search engine results pages.

SEM – On the other hand, Search Engine Marketing is done by dishing out money to search engines so that they will have qualified traffic sent your way, most likely through the pay-per-click approach.

Which Of These Two is Better for an E-Commerce Business?

The answer to this question will depend on some factors. Let’s take a look at them below:

SEO Because

• You can pay for features once and get the benefits forever.

• After being successful in SEO, this advantage is quite significant and not easily copied in a short time.

• Many e-commerce websites have bad SEO, so even a little effort can bring substantial gains.

• There are more people who find organic search results to be more credible than paid ads.

• SEM is seen as a more expensive approach than SEO.

SEM Because

• Campaigns here start giving results right away while SEO can take a longer time.

• You’re aware what you’re paying for and the ROI can be measured immediately.

• It is possible to continue scaling your SEM strategy easily once you have a winning formula.

• You can have complete control of your SEM approach.

• It is also under your control how you show your brand name and its other attributes.

So Which of These Two is the Best?

The advantages that both of these give can be quite significant but any e-commerce business can see that they shouldn’t overlook either one. Some of the conclusions we can draw up between these two are:

• For new e-commerce websites, you don’t want to wait for success in your SEO to come around. Most of your resources can be spent on SEM while the rest can be allocated on your SEO efforts.

• Once you’ve found some success in your SEO as time flies, you can slowly allocate more resources to it.

• Since there is always something you’d like to promote at this present time, you might have to lean into getting paid traffic for now. Later on, you might stabilize at 50% for both SEO and 50% for SEM activities as a balance.

You might easily get stuck in an SEM-only approach since this can bear fruit right away at the start. However, the price for each click might become too high for your business to sustain. That is why it is always a good idea to build into organic search results too by putting some effort into your search engine optimisation.


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