SEO is the short acronym for search engine optimization, and SEM stands for search engine marketing. SEO and SEM are the popular and trendy digital marketing methods almost every business uses to reach their customers. If, as a business person, you desire to have the best online marketing strategy possible, you should use both Search engine optimization and search engine marketing to expand your business in a better manner.
Firstly let’s clarify in short the term SEO vs. SEM: The main difference between both terms is that search engine optimization is a module of search engine marketing. There are many similarities between the two; they are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are different services.
However, it’s somehow quite confusing for beginners to understand the difference between SEO and SEM. However, both processes aim to increase visibility in SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) and enhance web traffic. Now let’s explore this topic even more through different aspects.
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SEO is about bringing organic traffic to your site, i.e., any traffic that comes from natural, free searches put into search engines like Google, Bing, etc. However, the SEO industry is regularly changing because of frequent changes made to the Google algorithm. But one feature of SEO remains constant that is SEO comprises two different activities, namely:
Also known as on-site optimization, these are the rules you can apply to your website. It includes vital elements i.e.
It integrates a particular keyword naturally into titles
- good descriptions, headers, etc.
Making blog posts and page copy that is written and optimized
- with quality
- Formatting page URLs
- Optimized page load speed via resizing embedded photos
- Google authorship included
- Social sharing assimilation within your content
- and so on
It is also known as off-site optimization. Off-page SEO is the procedure of receiving votes from other websites to grow your website’s trust in the eyes of search engines. Here, the word votes denote the number of links from other websites to your site. It is the cause that’s why off-site optimization is referred to as link building. It includes the following key components:
- Building high quality, natural backlink profile
- Social sharing signals, i.e., increasing traffic to a site via social media sharing
- Attract audience through Social bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon and Digg or much more
It’s a broader term than SEO and covers other marketing tactics, such as CPC Ads or paid search advertising, etc. It’s a way of earning search visibility through paid advertisements on search engines, for example, Google Adwords.
It can also be explained as a deed related to researching, presenting, and positioning a site within search engines. The SEM involves major vital activities, which are given as follows:-
- Setting an ad budget, creating ad groups, writing relevant ad copy, and do testing
- Launching ad campaigns with a targeted audience
Always monitor metrics, i.e., analysis and measure click-through rates, average cost-per-click, and impressions. That’s how you should know
- the worth of your SEM campaign and how effective it will be in working
If you want to begin an online business, you must be visible to both organic and paid ads, which means a startup/small business must need both SEO and SEM. Initially, it looks complicated for you to manage the entire business process. But after some time, you will see how much you gain; it can also boost your decision-making capability.
Organic SEO vs. Paid SEM Strategies – The Differences
Here the question is – Which marketing strategy is better to implement? Is it SEO or SEM? Neither is better or worse. Both of these are advantageous for your business. They are somehow interconnected with each other.
In SEO marketing strategy, you can hire an employee to learn SEO and use it efficiently; on the other hand, you can utilize a pay-for-traffic SEM strategy. Your selection basically depends on your business category or needs.
Via SEM tactics, you can avail instant results, and SEO is cost-effective in comparison to SEM. SEM guarantees the visibility of your business ad; hence it can establish your business brand awareness.
And SEO includes more bases than SEM, i.e., it will create your website’s credibility in organic search results, increase social traffic, drive search, and enhance referrals. For example – Amazon provides frequent referrals to Walmart, which consider 3% of the company traffic.
Do’s and Don’ts of SEO
- Plan a content strategy before writing or posting content; secondly, concentrate on sound quality and engaging content
- Include links to reliable and original sources also, a relevant call to action (CTA), and involve backlinks
- Customize your meta descriptions to converse with someone surfing for your content
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Do not pay for links or don’t repeat similar content for different articles
Do’s and Don’ts of SEM
- Take benefit of SEM tools
- Analyze the top competitors in the market, share your content
- Research your audience’s interests and choice
- Check your ad relevance or quality score
- Prefer A/B testing to check what ad copy is most successful
- Don’t use ad extensions within your site
- Don’t overuse punctuation
- Focus on writing content for an individual group of people instead of writing different content for a different audience.
While in SEO, you will need patience to make the SEO strategy work out as per your constraints. Therefore, evaluate what is best for your specific requirements but ensure that you understand the concept entirely, which will benefit you in the long run.