What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

difference between SEO and SEM

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What is the key Difference Between (Search Engine Optimization) SEO and (Search Engine Marketing) SEM? In this article, we will see the difference or comparison between SEO vs SEM and also learn more about these two promoting strategies and know which is better for your business growth.

SEO vs SEM Basics

A search engine shows two kinds of results on search pages one is organic and another is paid. Paid search results are only shown when a business paying to search engine for clicks on the advertisement to its website. We can also call it as pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.

The paid advertisement search results are always only display at top or bottom of the search engine result page with an “Ad” sign. For example, Google Search Engine shows paid search results with Google AdWords signs on the website. Organic SEO results display free of cost in search engines. Business people can get focused on traffic to their websites by appearing in organic and paid search results through SEO and SEM advancement techniques.

Let’s know more about SEO and SEM

What is SEO:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process of improving the website ranking positioning with targeted keywords or key phrases in search engine result pages for which users are looking for.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a bunch of activities pointed toward improving the site positioning in list of items appeared for search inquiries. These actions are helpful for getting organic website traffic and good clients for business growth.

Google confirms many factors to sort out how to rank website pages in search engine result pages. It is necessary to optimize your website to get the TOP positioning for Search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization consists two types of activities, first is on-page & second is off-page optimization activities.

What is On-Page SEO: 

On-page SEO is an optimization of individual website pages and it includes the following necessary points:

  • Relevance, Page content matches the user’s search query.
  • Clear, simple, and structured content on the website.
  • Key phrases in the content, title, description, and heading tags.
  • Original content.
  • Descriptive alt tags for photo / images used in websites.
  • Clear, small, and SEO friendly URLs for all pages

It is very important not to over spam the content with too many key phrases and also need to examines content uniqueness. If you do not follow these rules, your website may be filtered by a search filter (like Panda or BERT in Google), which is an algorithm that decreases the distribution of low-quality content in search results.

On-page SEO gives results only together with quality off-page optimization activities which will be done on regular basis. Having good and unique content doesn’t means that your website will have TOP positioning in search engine result pages.

What is Off-page SEO:

Off-page SEO is off-site activities pointed toward improving website positioning in search engines. This includes:

  • Quality back- links activities.
  • Creating and Managing Google My Business account for your business profile.
  • Positive reviews for Business on google.
  • Personal Brand improvement.

With the correct on-page and off-page SEO activities, we will get our website ranking for targeted keywords. This is always a preferable technique in technical SEO aspects.

What is Technical SEO:

Technical SEO helps search engines efficiently crawlers examine website content, assess, and index it. Technical SEO optimization includes:

  • Setting tags that help crawlers to index your website (canonical, hreflang , index / noindex , etc).
  • Page loading time optimization.
  • create and update the Sitemap.xml file.
  • robots.txt Optimization.
  • Mobile friendly UI design.
  • Optimization of website internal links (follow / nofollow, index/ noindex).

What is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy?

Website online promotion should start with proper planning and techniques. Plan and decide the focus towards improving your site positioning in search engine result pages.

Generally, the SEO technique follows these steps:

  • Audit your website (Find all errors and correct them).
  • Competitor’s analysis.
  • Write unique and relevant quality content for website all pages.
  • Off-page and technical SEO..
  • Create external backlinks.
  • Update and add content on the website.

What is SEM and Best SEM Strategies?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a particular kind of search engine marketing dependent on paid websites shows in the search query results. Search engine marketing (SEM) depends upon the keywords and incorporates SEO and PPC factors.

Many search engines provide marketing platforms that can be used for Search Engine Marketing requirements:

  • Google AdWords in Google.
  • Search Ads in Yahoo.
  • Bing Ads in Microsoft.
  • Baidu Advertising in Baidu.

Depend upon your geographical area, target audience, and budget; you can choose one or more search engines for your business marketing requirements.

Like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), SEM also requires a strategy, which will permit you to get the ideal outcome.

Find here best SEM strategies:

  • Decide your targeted audience and region of that audience.
  • Analysis of industry and your competitors
  • Find & Gather search queries.
  • Find out the business keywords and select the most appropriate keywords for your business.
  • Create a marketing campaign.
  • Analyze the marketing campaign and its optimization.

Social media marketing with paid views & advertisement by social media channels then we can call it as a Social Media Marketing (SMM). It should not be confused with SEM. 

What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

At the point when we consider the difference between SEO and SEM, we are examining different promotion strategies.

The primary dissimilarity is that Search engine marketing drives traffic through paid channels, while Search engine optimization gets the organic traffic from search engines.

Search engine optimization is the best way of advertising methodology for long term results. Websites can get free traffic and it will be helpful for business improvement. SEM only works when you are paying to Search Engines.

What is the Similarities between SEO and SEM?

Search engine optimization (SEO) and Search engine marketing (SEM) works on search queries to drive clients to websites and pages. SEO selects keywords from the content and meta tags, while SEM uses them for ads.

Search engine optimization and SEM advertising methods are distinct, yet both are pointed toward getting traffic for websites.

Search engine optimization is key for quality SEM. If SEO and SEM work correctly then there is more chance to get new clients and increase in conversion rate.

In any case, some of the time you need to pick just a single advancement strategy, because of budget or business needs. To pick a technique more reasonable for you, you need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of SEO and SEM.

What are the advantages & disadvantages of (SEO) Search Engine Optimization ?

Before the occurrence of Google algorithms like Panda or Penguin, black hat SEO strategies were well known. Today, it isn’t so easy. Google has amazingly enhanced its ranking algorithm, and now the success of your business improvement is directly related with the quality of your business website.

Advantages of (SEO) Search Engine Optimization:
  • Search engine optimization is less expensive than SEM. The advertising price does not depend upon the number of user clicks on the website. If the user clicks lot of time on the website still there is no problem. There is no cost to pay for low search volume search queries, however, they will give you extra organic website traffic.
  • SEO gives continuous traffic. Consistently, clients search the number of inquiries on the internet. Knowing the interests of your clients you can drive free web traffic to your site.
  • SEO always helps to grow your business with minimum investment. Search engine optimization (SEO) assists new brands with getting famous by bringing them up in search rankings with brand power. The more search queries for which your site is at the top on the search engine first page, the more prominent your audience reach.
  • SEO makes your brand visibility in search engines. Although whether you stop your SEO activities, your site will have a good ranking for some period. At the point when SEM stops, impressions stop, and the brand quits being apparent on the web. Without your brand visibility, your customers won’t ever discover you in search engines.
  • Search engine optimization builds the trustworthiness of your website. SEO helps your website to visible in the top search engine results pages and obtain credibility in Google. This will drive traffic as well as conversion for the business.
  • Get Long lasting results. With the correct approach and execution, your website will be positioned TOP on search engine result pages. If you stop your SEO work activities, still your website will rank high for some period.
Disadvantages of (SEO) Search Engine Optimization:
  • SEO off page activities take more time. Typically, SEO takes three to six months or much more time frame before your website shows up in the TOP positions in search engines.
  • It isn’t usually that your company can wait for more time. It is hard to figure out the results of the search engine optimization methodology. Because of the constant industry changes, a few products and services may not be applicable over the marketing period.
  • You need to continuously update your website with unique and good content. Search engine crawlers always prefer content relevancy and quality in the website content. In such a way you should focus on update the website with quality content.
  • It is difficult to find the correct strategy. Choosing the correct strategy or keywords that will make your website rank higher in search engines is always a tough task.  

What are the advantages & disadvantages of (SEM) Search Engine Marketing?

SEM is a paid advertisement technique. You need to realize its benefits and drawback to utilize it properly.

Advantage of (SEM) Search Engine Marketing:
  • It extends the reach of the audience. You need to pay for clicks on your advertisement, which consistently shows on the first page of SERPs. You can reach to your targeted audience.
  • Lower possibility of failure. With the correct campaign settings, your advertisements will be applicable to related search queries. By checking your website the client will get a solution to their inquiry and this will helpful to reduce bounce rate.
  • Building your brand identity. SEM permits you to show your website on the first page of a search query. Subsequently, regardless of whether you quit advertisement through promoting, at that point the client will definitely know your site when discovering it through search. Subsequently, the brand will become noticeable, which will help set up your customer base.
  • Local small business development. You can set your advertisement for a particular geographic region. That will permit you to develop your business locally, which is helpful to you in conversion.
  • Speed. To come on the first page, you don’t need to wait for a longer time. When you start paying for promoting, your site will be shown in the TOP on the search engines results.
Disadvantage of (SEM) Search Engine Marketing:
  • To create a strong strategy takes more time. SEM is focused on promoting, and this indicates that an advertiser should spend more time developing the correct technique.
  • Advertisement can be expensive. Clicking search queries can be costly, while for the SEO, the clicks for a similar same search query is completely free.
  • High competition. PPC is a consistent battle to deliver your ads. Competitors can utilize your text ad to enhance the cost-per-click to rank it higher. Their advertisements might be more relevant to the user search query and come up more often than yours. Here, the place is frequently taken by the person who pays more.

SEO versus SEM: Which is better for Your Business?

You need to check out your budget and business objectives before picking SEO and SEM strategies and the way of your advertisement.

Search engine optimization (SEO) provides you the targeted traffic for a long term, and Search engine marketing (SEM) in short time attracts good clients. If we considered all the things, it is smarter to utilize SEO and SEM both together.

This means that, first you need to optimize your website, then start promoting it, and proceed onward to contextual advertising. SEO and SEM are equally beneficial for your business to get the targeted traffic and sales.

About Rahul Ambulkar

Rahul have 7+ Years of Experience in Digital Marketing. Work as a Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer and a Passionate Blogger.

View all posts by Rahul Ambulkar →

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