While SEM focuses on paid advertising to increase a website’s ranking and visibility on the first SERP, search engine optimization (SEO), on the other hand, relies on certain strategies that improve the overall well-being of a website to appear higher in organic search rankings.
Although SEM and SEO are different, they are both closely related strategies that rely heavily on keywords and should be used together to improve exposure, conversion rates, and lower bounce rates. The advantage of SEM is remarketing to customers who already visited your site across the web.
Since SEM is predominantly focused on paying for rankings on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, it is important that when users click on an ad, the website they are directed to is optimized for user experience, and even more importantly, optimized for user conversion.
By offering valuable and useful content and having a user-friendly website that is fast, you have a better chance of attracting high-quality traffic and improving conversion rates. This can help to increase the average session duration of visitors on your site that can increase the chances of generating conversions.
If you pay to advertise your website on the top of SERPs but offer a low-quality website, this may lead to an increase in bounce rates. It also tells Google the site is not relevant to the search query. If you look at load times, for example, the probability of bounce rates increases by 32% as page load times increase from 1 second to 3 seconds. Google Ads platform has two systems embedded that calculate Quality Score and Ad Rank.
Quality Score looks at the quality of your ad and your landing pages. If someone clicks on your ad but doesn’t stay because of a poor experience, Google can charge more for each ad click. Google also rewards higher quality ads by offering lower prices and better positions on SERPs.
Ad Rank is a value that determines your ad position and whether your ad will show at all. This value is based on expected click-through-rates (CTR), ad relevancy, your bid amount, ad formats you enable, and also landing pages.
Expected CTR is a prediction of how often your ad will be clicked on when shown for a keyword.
Ad relevancy analyzes the language used in your ad to determine how well it relates to a search query. Your bid amount, not to be confused with the amount a click on your ad costs, is the maximum amount you’re willing to spend for a user to click on you. Ad extensions are the most common type of ad formats which allows you to include a sitelink, address, or phone number that may bolster your rank. Your landing page plays an important role in providing users information they are looking for creating a positive experience.