SEO and SEM are usually seen as two sides of the same coin. In essence, the two concepts consist of dissimilar actions. The two terms are sometimes used concurrently to describe a comparable collection of operations which can be very confusing for the laypeople of the marketing world.
What is SEO
Search engine optimization is the process of tweaking the quality and quantity of website traffic by enhancing the perception of a website through organic search engine results. Search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, assess a number of criteria such as tags, keywords, tags etc. They then use this assessment to rank a website based on its ability to attract organic traffic. Businesses use numerous tactics so as to be at the top in terms of SERPs. These tactics are broken down into three subgroups:
- On-page SEO – It is done by optimizing each page of a website to target specific keywords.
- Technical SEO – It’s done by optimizing the website as a whole to strengthen its foundation. It focuses on the none content elements of the website
- Off-page SEO – This builds the reputation of a website by linking it with other high-quality websites.
What is SEM
Search engine marketing is referred to as a form of internet marketing in which the promotion of websites is done through paid advertisements that appear on the search engine result page (SERP). The advertisements are also known as pay-per-click ads. They vary from small, text-based ads to product listing ads (PLAs) which are more visual. The product listing ads are product-based therefore allowing consumers to see important information in an instant, such as price and reviews.
The Difference Between SEO and SEM
Search engine marketing basically describes a system where businesses pay search engines, through pay per click, to show their ads in the search results. This is different for search engine optimization. Using SEO’s, businesses do not pay search engines for the traffic they get. They earn their ranking by having the most relevant content for any given search.
Another great thing about SEO’s is that anyone can learn its basics and incorporate it into their digital sales, marketing and content strategy. This cannot be said for SEM due to its complexity. It would require special knowledge and tools. A business has a better chance of doing it right by hiring someone with a significant amount of expertise in web marketing and ad campaigns.
Complementing SEO and SEM
Incorporating SEO and SEM into your online marketing strategy will generate great results. SEO is a powerful way to direct organic traffic, while search engine advertisements are a highly cost-effective way to prompt consumers to use your product.
These two tools heavily depend on keywords and tags to direct traffic to business websites. Properly combining the two through their respective marketing techniques, they can both work towards creating traffic flow. Through the organic results and the paid results, consumers would find your product easily.