How can you use them in your digital marketing strategy?

Discover how you can use SEO together with SEA to optimize your visibility in search engines…

What is the difference between SEO and SEA?

Even though these two domains make it possible to be visible in search engines, they don’t work radically the same way.

How SEO works

To define SEO quickly, its goal is to optimize the content/a website to manipulate the interpretation that a search engine like Google can make of it. A variety of levers can be used for this, which can be divided into 3 main families:

  • The technique : This essentially serves to optimize the crawling and indexing of content that aims to be positioned in search engines. This building block of natural referencing is the starting point of an SEO strategy. That alone doesn’t allow you to overtake your competitors in the search results, but to compete.
  • The content : Everything is played at this level. Depending on the keyword you are targeting, you need to understand the search intent of internet users using different methods (features enabled in the SERPs, the “other questions asked” suggested by Google, the type of content offered on the first page, etc.). . Once this step is complete, you need to adjust the design of your content to best respond to the search intent (use video format, rely on images for strategy, design informative text content, etc.). Remember that without quality content you will not be able to position yourself in the first results of Google in the long term.
  • popularity : This ranking factor can be more or less important depending on the search query, but overall, overtaking your competitors is always a positive. In order to increase the popularity of your content in the eyes of Google, other pages must link to it, which then increases your “PageRank”.

By using these different levers correctly, you will be able to position yourself among the first search results on Google.

However, unlike SEA, natural referencing is time-consuming and Google determines when and where your content appears in search results. That is, once you have successfully positioned yourself, you will get traffic to your site for free and, if you have not exceeded the limit in SEO, for a long time!

As long as a Google update doesn’t lower your ranking, or a competitor doesn’t do better than you, or Google doesn’t change their ranking criteria for the keyword you’re targeting, your position will remain relatively stable over time.

Operation of SEA

Things are completely different at SEA!

As you can see in this screenshot, Google’s search results give way to “ads”, which are actually “sponsored links”:

Mapping sponsored results in query search results
Image Source: What is SEO?

These sponsored links do not come from Google’s natural ranking algorithms. In order to have exposure, advertisers had to use the Google Ads platform (formerly “Adwords”) to bid on keywords and it is the advertisers who won the auction who get that exposure. This is known as “paid traffic”.

Without going into the details of how ranking algorithms for advertising or a SEA campaign work, you should be aware that once an advertiser stops paying to be visible in searches, they will disappear as quickly as they get into the search results arrived.

Why SEO and SEA?

As you have understood, SEO and SEA are completely opposite in how they work. Nonetheless, that is also what makes them so complementary in an SEO strategy!

As already explained, for a good natural ranking it is necessary to wait until Google thinks that we have our place in the first results. And this is exactly where the SEA will be very useful to you, because you can fill this time with an SEA campaign that will bring you traffic immediately.

In addition, any good SEO strategy strongly recommends checking the relevance of the chosen keywords with SEA. That way, you can get important data like keyword conversion rate before you invest any time in your natural referencing.

Finally, on certain overly competitive keywords, the SEA is essential to hope to position yourself on the first page of results. If the above advantages of combining SEO and SEA are in a logic of short/medium term strategy, these highly competitive keywords will need to use SEO and SEA together in the long run to get traffic.

How do you combine SEO and SEA for your digital marketing strategy?

When creating your digital marketing strategy, you needed to identify who your prospects are and the different touchpoints you can have with them during their conversion process.

Many of these touchpoints fall within the realm of information retrieval and with future developments on Google’s search engine, particularly in relation to the algorithm MUMMYthese points of contact will be even more numerous than today.

To simplify this research path, we have been working on new tools. […] This is a major paradigm shift with direct implications for marketers trying to reach consumers.

Source: Google Search Evolves: What’s Changing for Brands?

Let’s see how you can use SEO and SEA for your digital strategy:

How do you combine SEO and SEA?

1. Identify the information needs of your prospects : Identify the information your prospects need before they convert.

2. List and analyze the potential requests of your prospects: List the queries for which you can use SEO and for which you can use SEA.

3. Create relevant content to fulfill search intent: Determine which format is best suited to meet your prospect’s information needs and what information needs to be there.

4. Decrease SEA budgets by gaining natural visibility: With a good SEO strategy, you end up being visible naturally, you can then reduce your ad spend to channel it to other levers.

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