SEM vs SEO vs EDM

Where to start with SEM, SEO and EDM

When comparing SEM, SEO and EDM it is hard to know where to start. Which is best? What do they mean? How can you do them well and what are the common mistakes that kill your hard efforts?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can be excellent value for money and incredibly effective; finding your customers when they’re in the searching stage, looking for you or your products.

Anyone can do SEM campaigns but not everyone does it well. When you are charged by the click, you want to make sure those clicks are working for you.

What are some of the common mistakes for SEM:

  • Your website is too busy; once they get there, customers aren’t able to easily find what they want.
  • Ignoring obvious negative words. Adding negative words can save you a fortune, ensuring your ads don’t appear for irrelevant search queries.
  • Not using re-marketing. You’re missing an opportunity if a customer has clicked on your ad and you are not then re-marketing to them to remind them you are there waiting when they’re ready.
  • Not using a call to action (CTA). Having a clear call to action encourages customers to take action, whether it be clicking through to your landing page or going to buy your product, make it clear and simple.
  • Not measuring your results. If you’re not measuring your results you cannot know if you are running a successful campaign or not. Measurement allows you to learn and improve.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) usually escapes the lips of anyone talking about their website content. With the popularity of content marketing has come the recognition deserved for SEO.

This is where you have the opportunity to strategically tend to your website, ensuring higher organic search results on search engine pages.

But there are still some common mistakes:

  • Keyword stuffing. Keywords are crucial for SEO but keyword stuffing will get you knocked down the results page quicker than it will get you up.
  • Broken links. Not doing regular housekeeping on your site can result in housing many broken links which will earn you a bad reputation with Google.
  • Poor quality content. We all know content is king and it has to be quality, it is well and good getting your SEO up there but if you aren’t keeping your audience engaged once on your site, you have wasted a lot of time and effort. Have a content strategy, know your audience and give them what they want.
  • Non-credible links. Quality over quantity when you are linking. If you reference a link that has poor credibility it will reflect on you.
  • Not using analytics. As with SEM, if you don’t measure you can’t improve and track success.

More than 200 billion email are sent out daily! That is huge and a great number of those will be from businesses, like yours, promoting their products and services.

As we highlighted in our previous article, email is a powerful channel. Unlike SEM and SEO, these people have given you their details; that is practically begging you to market to them.

Despite being the dinosaur in this digital marketing mix, so many businesses still make huge mistakes when it comes to email direct marketing (EDM):

  • Sending from a donotreply email address. Nothing says “we don’t want to talk to you” more than “DO NOT REPLY”
  • Having no personality. Your tone of communication is your brand. It is important to know your brand personality and have this consistent with all of your customer interactions. Email and beyond.
  • No call to action (CTA). Or the opposite; too many CTAs. As with all of your digital marketing; keep it simple, easy to navigate, purposeful and uncomplicated.
  • Not segmenting your data. Email is a personal medium; these people have given you their information and you should be using it to speak to them based on their preferences.
  • Ignoring statistics. Your click through, open rates and conversion rates and invaluable in teaching you about your customers, what they like and how to best market to them in the future. You’re throwing away money and valuable insight if you are not tracking and using this information.

With all mediums you can see two of the strongest commonalities:

  1. Put your customer first
  2. Use your data

No two businesses are the same. SEM, SEO and EDM are best leveraged as a package and each will work differently for each business. What is important is to keep your customers front of mind; add value to them in everything you do and learn from them in order to continuously improve how you engage with them.