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When it comes to digital marketing, there are so many terms that you have to remember it can be hard to keep track of all of them. There’s B2B SEO, SEM, B2B PPC, and SEA, to name just a few. So, what is the difference between SEM, SEO, and PPC?

All these terms are more than just buzzwords used by clever marketers, they’re actually important and useful for B2B marketing. But what exactly do they mean? And is there even a difference between them or are they all the same thing in different shades?

This article will take a closer look at six of the most popular terms used in B2B marketing these days, so you’ll have a better understanding of them the next time they’re mentioned. 

The Difference Between SEO and SEM

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a term that’s been around for quite a while and anyone who’s researched how to grow their business online will have heard about it. The same goes for SEM (Search Engine Marketing) because, just like SEO, it helps to drive traffic to websites through search engines.

The biggest difference between these two terms is that SEO is a big part of mostly unpaid strategies, while SEM is part of paid strategies.

SEO allows you to bring organic traffic to your online store or company website, while SEM captures both organic and paid traffic for your website. SEO is the process of making a website or page rank higher on search engine results by using the right keywords.

SEM uses paid strategies such as PPC to achieve the same kind of results as SEO but at a faster rate. SEM is used for engagement generation as well, while delivering immediate revenue.

So, how much will SEM and SEO cost you on average? Well, that is through several factors, such as how aggressively you’re using these strategies, what your industry is, and at what scale you’re using them.

SEO can cost anything between almost free to $700 and up to $2000 a month. This can seem like a huge number, but paid SEO can be highly successful. However, unpaid SEO is just as potent. Typically, SEO can take between three and six months to show results.

As for SEM, the cost can be between $5000 and $10 000 a month, which can seem too much, but it can be amazing at getting your content right in front of your target audience. SEM results can be instant or shown as soon as you’ve launched your ad campaign. At most, it takes a few weeks to show true results.

The Difference Between SEO and PPC

You know what SEO is, but what is PPC and why is it so widely recommended? Pay-Per-Click is typically used for targeted visibility because you pay to get your content in front of your audience above organic search results.

PPC ads are improved ads that dominate pages and get more attention than organic search results. A perk that PPC ads enjoy is the optional visuals. Google gives PPC clients the option of visual shopping ads that will help users see what they’ll click on. For click-through rates, PPC is really effective.

PPC strategies, as the name suggests, give you tight control of your budget because you choose how much you’re willing to spend. You can set a fixed limit on how much you want to spend a day.

PPC campaigns are highly targeted and can be created in a short amount of time (sometimes just a few days). This means your ads will be in front of your audience much quicker than SEO could ever achieve.

The Difference Between SEO and SEA

SEA (Search Engine Advertising) is actually just a different term for PPC and it’s when you pay for your ads to show above the organic search results on Google. SEA is great for driving traffic to your website, but it does cost more than SEO.

The cost of SEA depends on how much you want to spend, but generally, the cost per click is somewhere around one to two dollars.

What Is Display Advertising?

Display advertising lets advertisers place image banners on other sites to attract customers. This form of advertising is similar to PPC and you will pay every time someone clicks on your ad, or you can pay for the number of impressions that every ad gets.

Depending on the sites that you advertise on, you can get a lot of attention for your brand and drive traffic really well.

PPC ads show in search results based on search queries. Display campaigns show on a wide range of external sites on the internet. Google’s Display Network lets you show your ads on Blogger sites, YouTube, and more. 

What’s more, display ads can even be shown to Bing users via the Microsoft Audience Network. That means ads can be seen on MSN, Xbox, and Outlook. This wide reach makes display advertising very cost-effective and it can show results really quickly.

Display ads are fantastic for building brand awareness and driving traffic. As for the costs, you can choose between cost-per-click bidding and cost-per-thousand-impressions bidding. Typically, CPC costs less than a dollar per click, and CPM can cost about $3 to $10 per thousand impressions.

What Are Retargeting Ads?

The final marketing term we’re discussing is retargeting ads. The goal of display ads are to attract new customers.  Retargeting ads are used to target a company’s existing customers. The target audience is people who have visited your website before.

As a company, you can use dynamic banners and interactive images to advertise to internet users who have visited and interacted with your online shop or website. With this kind of marketing, your audience basically can’t get away from you. Retargeting is so popular that it’s even a feature of Facebook Ads.

These hyper-focused ads work through analytics and tracking the appropriate audience and then retargeting them based on their website interactions.

Have you ever visited a site only to see its ads on a completely different website that has nothing to do with its products? That’s retargeting ads in action.

The cost of retargeting ads can vary. It depends on how much you want to spend on this kind of marketing. The recommendation is that you spend between 10% and 40% of your marketing budget on a retargeting campaign.

Connect with GoingClear & Advance Your Digital Growth! 

Now that you know the different terms and why they’re important, it’s time to start planning the best strategies for your business. B2B marketing seems like a daunting mountain to climb. However, with the right people at your side, you can tap into the many benefits of well-planned strategies. 

GoingClear’s world-class team of marketers, developers, strategists, and designers are experts when it comes to all things SEO and can help you grow your online business and website. Call us today for a free consultation.