Search Engine Optimisation vs Search Engine Marketing
So what's the difference? Well it's pretty simple really!
SEO are practices your business can do for FREE, to improve the quality and focus of the content on your website, and the integrations that support your website. When your invest time and effort into your businesses SEO you'll see an increase in organic traffic to your website. If you appear in an organic search result for 'builders near me' you know that your website has valuable content in Google's eye, related to that search query! Basically, good SEO help increase your unpaid reach.
SEM on the other hand is paid advertisement for your business - generally in the form of Google Ads. You'll sometimes see a little 'Ad' icon beside a search query that is a paid advertisement - but often people don't even notice! And here is the power of SEM - you can jump the que and appear higher up the search results! Often customers won't even scroll down when they Google search a something - they'll just click the first one they see that best fits what they are looking for. In short SEM is a powerful tool that can quickly catapult your business to the top of search results, by contrast SEO is a long term investment and take time to build traction.
So what's the best option?
Well it depends! Both SEO and SEM are important tools in a businesses arsenal. You want to be finding people organically as that shows that you have quality content and you know what you are talking about, and you also don't want to give away any ground to competitors! For every business the strategy will be different, but what I've found is having a healthy focus on both SEO and SEM works really well!