Avatar News : Internet Marketing from a Kiwi Perspective

January 2015

Written By: Mark Rocket & Katie O’Neill
Published by: Avatar Ltd

Greetings All!I trust you all had great summer holidays. January is the perfect time of the year to explore different parts of New Zealand. This year I took a family campervan holiday on a circuitous route from New Plymouth, Whanganui, Tongariro, Taupo, Waitomo and Mokau. Amazing weather, superb vistas and friendly people reminded me of how lucky we are to live in New Zealand.

Every year brings a range of new online developments. One thing you can count on in 2015 is that Google is going to keep on rewarding websites that it considers are authoritative for each specific keyword topic and offer a good user experience. These should be key focus areas to review early in the year.

This month, we’re taking a fresh look at the difference between SEO and SEM and the pros and cons of each, as well as our usual selection of tidbits, sites of interest and more.

Mark Rocket
Managing Director

The Pros and Cons of SEO vs SEM

If you’re serious about getting the best results from your website, then having an effective online marketing programme is paramount. SEO and SEM are two key areas to consider. Find below some indicative pros and cons for each.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. SEO is a specific set of techniques that are designed to naturally make your website appear higher in search engine results pages. This includes creating content relevant to your keywords, optimising meta tags and titles, and building links back to your website. SEM refers to a range of advertising options (such as Google AdWords) within search engines that are usually boosted by a financial investment.

SEO Cons

  • SEO requires a lot of groundwork in order to be effective – you need to create quality content, spend time to build backlinks, do keyword research and monitor your results via Google Analytics.
  • There’s either a steep learning curve of doing it yourself or finding a reputable SEO partner that can assist.
  • Even once you’ve done all of this, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get instant results. It could take many months to see significant gains in your search results. After all, your competitors have access to the same techniques as you and will be making use of them, so you need to work out the best strategies to get on top.

SEO Pros

  • The major upswing is that many quality SEO activities will keep on delivering results. You don’t need to pay for every click, traffic will keep on coming and will keep compounding with new SEO activity.
  • Depending on the topic, it’s typical for 80% or more of people will click on links in the organic results area instead of the ad area, so it provides the largest quality traffic opportunity.
  • Being in the top organic search results for your industry keywords is validation to your target market that you are a leading and reputable brand.

SEM Pros

  • SEM provides a rapid boost to your website – by buying keywords to appear for, you can bypass Google’s algorithms and indexing systems straight away and rank highly for key terms.
  • Google AdWords appear at the top of the search results page.
  • If you have a new website and want to kick-start traffic to it to help with other forms of marketing, SEM is a fast and effective option.

SEM Cons

  • You do still have compete with competitors also using Google Ads, which can quickly become very expensive.
  • As soon as you stop putting this money into SEM, your visitors will immediately drop. Its continued success is completely dependent on paying for every click.
  • People are also using ad blocking software more and more, which hides your advertisements from them. It doesn’t cost you money but it does mean the audience is reduced.

SEM and SEO each have their uses, and the main defining difference is a matter of time investment vs extended return. SEO can be seen as a long-term stable investment while SEM is short-term with high immediate returns. For many companies, it can make sense to do both and adjust the budget of each to suit your focus.

Statistic Of The Month

One terabyte in a postage stamp. That’s how much memory researchers are able to pack into new RAM chips that store nine bits per cell rather than the conventional three bits. This results in an easy-to-manufacture and extremely high capacity RAM chip that can be used in mobile devices due to its very small size.


Essential Inbound Marketing Strategies. Find out why inbound marketing is so important for your business.

Hotel Wi-Fi Embargo. Major hotel chains in the USA are petitioning the FCC to allow them to block user’s personal internet connections, forcing them to buy into their Wi-Fi.

Just Better Batteries. Despite all the fantastic tech developments happening, a recent survey shows that all people really want is longer battery life.

New Bot Jobs. Bill Gates says that many people don’t realise how many jobs will be replaced with robotic workers within the next 20 years.

Old Games Made New. The Internet Archive has released 2,300 old MS-DOS classic games playable for free in your browser.

Sites Of Interest

A selection of sites we’ve worked on recently in web design, WordPress setups and/or web marketing.

Crowe Horwath   (SEO client)

Crowe Horwath provides financial advice and accountant services to New Zealand businesses.

Avatar Portfolio

A portfolio of web design projects in a range of industries created by Avatar Web Design.

Cartoon Of The Month

Reprinted With Permission

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