The relation in between ecommerce, SEO and SEM

  • 30-second summary: What’s the distinction between SEO and SEM?
  • What are the components of an effective search method?
  • How can marketers pick a winning formula for their organization goals?
  • Goodway Group’s Search Center of Excellence, Lisa Little assists you find the answers.

What’s the distinction between SEO and SEM? Why should I bid on my own brand keywords? Should we start with SEO or SEM? Is ecommerce considered search? Where should I invest?

To understand the relationship of these channels within the search function, consider a playground competition of dodgeball (SEO), kickball (SEM), and tetherball (ecommerce). All video games are played on the exact same playground (search engine results page, SERP) with the same kind of ball (platforms) but various rules, gameplay, gamer positions, tactical play, variables, and goals to win.

Some players (marketers) invest whatever into playing only one video game. The professional athletes (performance marketers) that play a mix of those games and master the common ability (data storytelling, comprehending impact to the business, prominent interaction skills, continuous knowing, eagerness to test, accept fast change) guideline the play area.

The SERP is filled with elements and listings of all types that fall under these 3 channels to make up the search marketing function. There are 3 key advantages of a comprehensive search technique:

  • In tandem, they take up more property on the SERP for your brand name to own and press out your competitors. Combined brands can gain optimal visibility.
  • The searcher typically does not understand if they are connecting with ecommerce, paid, or natural listings, and the best combination can indicate that you will be there for your consumer when, where, and how they personally choose to engage with your brand.
  • Regardless of how disorderly the course to conversion can be today, a consolidated search method will cover full-funnel bases and ensure you’re reaching the client in a customized, reliable, and efficient way.

Advertisers, brand names, classifications, verticals, and seasonality all come into play when figuring out the best mix of SEO, SEM, and ecommerce efforts for your particular brand. It’s absolutely not one size fits all.

Here’s the what, why, and when breakdown to direct brand names as they establish their distinct search combination.

Online search engine marketing or paid search or SEM or PPC

SEM is paid marketing triggered by keyword searches. There is a real-time blind auction (a mix of bid, quality, relevancy) each time a keyword is browsed to position on SERP with the other advertisers competing because exact same auction.


SEM supplies messaging and targeting control that serves at the top of SERP. If you’re not participating, your rivals are.


Online marketers use SEM when they need immediate awareness, traffic, and results. The need for managed, marketing messaging and measurement of activity is driven by concrete dollars. Getting to know your consumer behavior acts as a behavior finding out engine. To best utilize SEM, online marketers need to have a spending plan to spend on paid digital media.

SEO or natural search or place listing management

SEO provides listings based upon pertinent search terms to the SERPThis can be in the kind of knowledge graphs, SEO listings, map listings, social networks, ratings/reviews, and more.

Note: Additional SEO locations include app search optimization, area listing management, content mapping, free shopping listings, web development, and more.


Understand and go into what overarching terms like “SEO” or “Reputation management” truly indicate to brands, what marketing issues are they trying to fix, or what they are wishing to achieve.


SEO is the fundamental and essential infrastructure of your brand’s DNA online. Even the most gorgeous estate (paid advertising) collapses under a weak structure. The web shares whatever organically so you might not even be aware of what is out there around your brand name without a strong SEO method and wise and regularly mindful messaging.


Every brand name that has a site needs to have some involvement in SEO and work within organic listings to achieve company brand guidelines and goals. Online marketers must regularly upgrade and enhance area listings for those traditional services. This is an ongoing procedure, but it typically begins with an assessment or opportunity evaluation.

Ecommerce, shopping advertisements (formerly item listing advertisements)

Ecommerce is the broad term for online retail, that includes paid and unsettled aspects that work in tandem. This varies from going shopping ads on search engines and open markets like Amazon/Walmart to combinations like Shopify.

Note: You will need merchant center accounts to house structured product information feeds.


Automation and artificial intelligence is key to ecommerce success. Attempt leveraging a management platform like Kenshoo to combine holistic ecommerce stories and gain advanced abilities in the ecommerce program.


Ecommerce is essential to drive online sales effectively, effectively and taking full advantage of impact on the bottom line.


If you offer products online, the entry point is going shopping advertisements on online search engine. From there, it depends on merchants, supply chain, and marketplaces your products are offered.

Every brand name’s requirements will be various and require a special mix of SEO, SEM, and ecommerce. Online marketers will have to evaluate the brand’s goals and capabilities to identify what programs are needed, how they will assist achieve goals, and what data is needed to attain the objectives.

Brand names will have comparable goals when implementing SEO, SEM, and ecommerce, like establishing a SERP presence, however there is adequate opportunity for imagination within these platforms to accomplish a brand name’s unique goals. It is important that marketers remain concentrated on these goals throughout the campaign however likewise be nimble as the market changes and reallocate funds to different platforms if the preferred results are not attained. Tracking lead to real-time will assist marketers refocus their strategies rapidly to make sure the goals will be satisfied.

Now that we understand the relationship, usage cases, and advantages — let’s take a look at some concerns you can ask to help figure out the next actions to take your search program to the next level.

  1. What’s your primary organization goal?
  2. What pain points are you trying to resolve?
  3. Do you have the ideal partner who has strength, know-how, tools, and abilities across all search channels?

Looking at channels holistically, online marketers should carry out strategic preparation with an active technique to change for outcomes is what will drive excellence in your overall marketing program. While they each play different functions and bring various advantages to advertisers, these channels should never be pitted versus each other, compared on a 1:1 basis or replace one another’s role in the marketing mix. Instead, they ought to be considered extra to each essential and other to success.

Lisa Little is Search Center of Excellence at Goodway Group.