SEO or SEA? How can you combine these two strategies to optimise your online visibility?

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SEO or SEA ? 10 key steps to bring the two together

In the world of online marketing, the question of which approach to take - Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Advertising (SEA) - is often debated.

The aim of these two strategies is to improve the visibility of your website in the results of search engines such as Google.

But each has its advantages and disadvantages, and it can be difficult to decide which method is best for your business.

In this article, we're going to take you through 10 key steps for successfully combining SEO and SEA techniques, so that you can make the most of the advantages offered by each.



Step 1: Audit your website and your current actions

Before deciding which SEO and SEA strategies to implement, it is essential to carry out an audit of your website and your current communication activities.

This will enable you to determine where your current sources of traffic are, what your site's strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can improve its appeal.

Analysing audience data

To begin with, review your audience and traffic data. Use a tool such as Google Analytics to take a close look at the visitors to your site, their geographical origins, their behaviour and the time they spend on your pages. In this way, you can determine which content works best and which keywords attract the most visitors.

Evaluate your current ranking

Also analyse your site's performance in terms of natural referencing. Use a tool like Moz or Ahrefs to screen your web pages and detect weaknesses that require SEO optimisation. Examples include missing meta tags, duplicate content and broken links.

Step 2: Define realistic and measurable objectives

It is crucial to set clear, measurable objectives to guide your SEO and SEA efforts. These objectives must be based on the specific needs of your business and the results expected from each strategy.

For example, if your priority is to increase brand awareness and attract a new audience, you could consider SEA campaigns targeted at keywords relevant to your sector of activity.

On the other hand, if you want to rank higher in the organic results, you should focus on SEO actions.

KPIs to monitor

    1. Click-through rate (CTR): measures the effectiveness of your content and ads.
    2. Conversion rate Measures the number of sales, leads or other actions carried out on your site.
    3. Cost per acquisition (CPA): measures the average cost of obtaining a new customer thanks to your SEA efforts.
    4. Average position and visibility of your main keywords: key indicators of your SEO performance.
    5. Organic and paid traffic: used to monitor the different sources of visitors and their evolution over time.

Step 3: Identify your strategic keywords

Defining a list of keywords relevant to your business is crucialThis is the basis for all your SEO actions. Start by brainstorming with your marketing and sales teams to establish an initial selection of words and expressions that describe your company, your products and services, as well as your customers and their issues. Then use tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner or SEMrush to analyse these keywords and determine which are the most sought-after, the least competitive and the best suited to your objectives.

SEO and SEA keywords

Remember to distinguish between the keywords to use in your SEA campaigns, which are generally shorter and more genericThese will often be longer, more specific expressions (long tail).

Step 4: Optimise the content of your site

Quality content that is regularly updated is essential for search engines, which seek to provide the most relevant results for web users. Review your web pages and check that they are optimised for the keywords identified above. You will also need to pay attention to the quality of the content itself, ensuring that it is fluid and informative so as to captivate your audience.

Multimedia content

And don't forget to include visual or audio content to enrich theuser experience on your site! Images, videos, podcasts, infographics and other media formats offer additional appeal to your audience and encourage their engagement with your brand.

Step 5: Work on your netlinking (backlinks)

Incoming links to your site, also known as backlinks, are considered by Google as proof of credibility and authority. To improve your natural referencing, you therefore need to develop an effective netlinking strategy: setting up your own directory, publishing guest articles on partner blogs, digital press relations, etc.

Backlinks and SEA

Although backlinks mainly influence your SEO, they can also be used to boost your SEA campaignsby directing traffic to pages optimised for conversion or by making it easier to obtain good quality scores in Google Ads.

Step 6: Create and manage your SEA campaigns

While SEO is a long-term endeavour, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) allows you to get a lot of traffic quickly, with direct control over budget and objectives. Platforms such as Google Ads and Bing Ads offers a wide range of tools and targeting options for creating campaigns tailored to your needs.

Performance monitoring

Don't forget to regularly monitor the data relating to your SEA campaigns (impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.) and to continually adjust your parameters (bids, keywords, time slots, etc.) in order to optimise the cost per acquisition and the profitability of your investments.

Step 7: Keep an eye on your competitors

Knowing what your competitors are doing in terms of natural and paid search is essential to adjust your SEO and SEA actions and stay competitive.

Use tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs or SpyFu to analyse your competitors' keywords, adverts and backlinks, then adapt your strategies accordingly.

Step 8: Be mobile-friendly

The vast majority of Internet searches are carried out from mobile devices, making it essential to adapt your website and SEA ads to smartphones and tablets. Make sure your site is responsive in design, quick to load and easy to use on smaller screens.

Local referencing

For businesses with a local or regional customer base, local SEO is also a crucial issue. Optimise your information (name, address, telephone number, etc.) on Google My Business, Bing Places and other specialist directories, and consider setting up SEA campaigns specifically targeting your geographical area.

Step 9: Implement advanced analytical monitoring

To constantly refine and optimise your SEO and SEA actions, you need to keep a close eye on their results and know how to interpret the data collected. Use Google Analytics, Search ConsoleGoogle Ads and other analysis tools to see how your traffic is developing, where visitors are coming from, conversions and the return on investment of your various SEO efforts.

Step 10: Continuous testing and adjustment

Finally, bear in mind that success in SEO and SEA requires a flexible and adaptable approach.

Search engine algorithms change regularly, as do the behaviour of Internet users and market trends. To stay ahead, it's vital to test different approaches, adjust your parameters and be ready to evolve as new opportunities arise.


What are the differences between SEO and SEA?

What are the differences between SEO and SEA?

If you're wondering what the differences are between these two approaches and how they can complement each other, here are 10 key points to help you understand.

1. Comparative definitions of SEO and SEA

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to all the techniques used to optimise a website's presence in the organic results of search engines such as Google or Bing. The aim is to improve a site's ranking without resorting to paid advertising methods.

SEA (Search Engine Advertising)Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves buying advertising space in the search engine results pages, with the aim of quickly appearing in the top positions to attract more traffic to a website.

2. The main objective of each method

The aim of SEO

The main objective of natural referencing is to optimise the content, structure and technical aspects of a page or e-commerce site to improve its position on search engines. In plain English, increase visibility of a website on a long-term basis and free of charge.

The purpose of ATS

Le paid referencing aims to rapidly generate targeted traffic by placing advertisements on search engine results pages. The emphasis is onimmediacy and the profitability of these investments.

3. SEO methods vs. SEA tactics

SEO optimization :

Keyword search

Writing content optimised for search engines

Improving internal networking and external

Technical optimisation (loading speed, responsive design, etc.), META tags)

ATS tactics :

Choosing keywords for AdWords or Bing Ads campaigns

Creation and management of advertisements

Adjustment of bids and allocated budget

Audience segmentation and targeting

4. Duration and effectiveness of each SEO strategy

SEO generally takes longer to produce the first concrete results, compared with SEA, which offers rapid but temporary visibility. In short, it is advisable to work on natural referencing over the long term, whereas paid referencing will be most useful for one-off or seasonal actions.

5. Analysis of SEO and SEA performance

To measure the results of each strategy, it is essential to use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). The main KPIs for SEO include: organic traffic, conversion rate and search engine positioning. SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

For Search Engine Advertising (SEA), advertisers will be monitoring the cost per click (CPC), the conversion rate, but also the return on investment (ROI) or the customer acquisition cost (CAC).

6. Costs and budgets allocated to SEO and SEA

SEO is often perceived as less expensive than SEA, since it does not require the purchase of advertising space. However, implementing and monitoring an effective strategy generally involves a substantial investment in terms of time and technical skills.

The ATSFor its part, the costs vary according to the budget allocated to the campaign, the keywords chosen and the competition for those keywords. It is therefore possible to spend a lot of money without necessarily obtaining the expected results if the strategy is not well mastered.

7. Complexity and level of skills required

Natural referencing requires a good understanding of search engine algorithms and ranking criteria. What's more, the rules and techniques are constantly evolving, requiring active monitoring to keep abreast of the latest trends.

Paid referencingThis requires in-depth knowledge of advertising platforms (Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc.) and a good command of targeting and bidding tools. It is therefore generally advisable to call on the services of a specialist to set up an effective and profitable campaign.

8. Long-term impact

By continually working on optimising your site for SEO, you can sustainable visibility on search engines. SEA, on the other hand, will only generate traffic for as long as the advertising campaign is active.

9. Dependence on search engine algorithms

Both are subject to the fluctuations of search engine algorithms, and SEO and SEA strategies must inevitably adapt to the new rules imposed. However, natural referencing seems to be slightly less exposed to changes, since it relies mainly on the quality of the content offered rather than on ad hoc advertising tactics.

10. Combine the two approaches to maximise results

Finally, it's important to stress that SEO and SEA are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, by combining these two strategies, it is possible to achieve a synergistic effect that will maximise visibility and traffic. For example, occupying the top positions in SEA while working on your natural referencing will improve your chances of being chosen by Internet users when they do their searches.


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