How SEO and SEM Differ and Why You Need Both
To have the best possible online marketing campaign, you need to employ numerous proven strategies to ensure that you are “covering all bases.” This includes the strategic use of both SEO and SEM. They are not the same, so it is important to know how they differ to utilize them effectively.
SEM is an acronym for search engine marketing. This plan of action promotes websites by elevating their positions on SERPs or search engine results pages. There are many different online marketing plans that are included in SEM. Often, SEM is a term used that describes a single marketing strategy, like paid searches. Here, SEM focuses on compensated traffic and involves advertising and optimization.
When a company pays for ads to appear on SERPs, this is considered SEM. Popular keywords are bid upon and if your bid wins, Google permits your advertisement or website to appear with organic search results.
On the other hand, SEO refers to search engine optimization. It is one aspect of SEM. SEO draws organic traffic from free, natural sources in search engines. If your business produces a blog post about making orange juice from scratch and someone searches for “the best homemade orange juice” on Google, the search engine would display top sites for that search result. When a viewer clicks your link, that is organic traffic.
The most successful SEO marketers can rank a website in search results and intuit what searchers might choose in a given search result. SEO is the balance between understanding how search engines operate and understanding the public. An effective marketing strategy takes advantage of both SEO and SEM.
SEO employs specific techniques to increase website viewership by ensuring that it ranks highly on SERPs. Tactics for successful SEO practices include:
- Superior blog posts and website content.
- Complete keyword research.
- Increase the load speed on every page of the site.
- Integrate social media into your marketing campaign and promote your content there.
- Develop strong links.
- Utilize social bookmarking.
- Take advantage of influencer marketing.
SEM involves researching, submitting and placing a website in search engine rankings for the most visibility and increasing paid and organic traffic recommendations from search engines. This strategy focuses on users through paid advertising techniques. PPC and CPC are popular search initiatives.
Successful SEM tactics should be comprised of:
- An advertising budget and outlined strategy in advance.
- Relevant advertising copy that includes target keywords.
- Variations on keywords in ad groups.
- Directed to a particular audience.
- Keep an eye on metrics to determine if the campaign is working.
Between SEO and SEM, the consensus is that neither is better than the other. Both should be employed for the most effectual marketing strategy. However, if your budget is limited, consider the disadvantages of each proposition.
SEM provides instant results, while SEO takes a little patience. SEO does give your website credibility in organic search results, though. SEM assures visibility. SEO is less expensive than SEM and can really pay off if you can wait a little while. SEO encompasses more sources and drives referrals, social interaction and searches.