Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is using various techniques to optimise your website to gain traffic by ranking higher than other websites in the search engine results page (SERP) – E.g. Google. Search engine’s algorithm considers factors like user experience, relevant web content, variety of back links etc. and understanding your consumers to put you at the top.

Source: Search Engine Land

Search Engine Marketing (SEM), also known as “advertising through a paid media budget” (Emergent Digital, 2019), refers to buying advertisements on search engines to put their websites above every other website, including those of top ranks.

This shows that a cross promotion of both techniques could help increase brand awareness. While having high rank organic search results is important, brands in industries with very strong competition, switching ranks among different product searches, would need both as reinforcement, maintaining top rank.

Keyword Search: Face Masks

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 4.44.41 PM

Source: Google

When you are a company as big as Sephora, you wouldn’t want to take the chance of being number 2 and your competitors are constantly keeping you on your toes.
Sephora has a paid advertisement for ‘Face Masks’, but also the top-ranking website. This shows that the competition is strong and there may have been days Sephora has been overtaken. By having both websites being at the top could enforce Sephora’s position as being a strong brand that should be a top-of-mind brand and default choice for consumers.

Utilising both digital marketing techniques to maintain Sephora’s ranking and to be a go-to beauty product brand to consumers, what other techniques do you think Sephora could use to strengthen their current position? Let me know!



9 thoughts on “SEO vs SEM

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