The world of digital marketing is exciting and, at the same time, confusing too. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are quite confusing and interchangeably used words by individuals. If you are from the digital marketing industry, then you must be familiar with these concepts. These are two sides of the same coin. Many times they appear collectively to justify any activity and some aspects of marketing. You might have noticed that the use of both words for the same activity causes confusion among individuals who do not belong to the world of digital marketing. But there are some specific differences among them.
In this blog, we will aim to make you understand both of the concepts in a simpler way. So let us start.
What is Search Marketing?
Tactics that are useful in improving the brand authority over search engines come under search marketing. Efforts are required for getting potential ranking and increasing brand visibility so that traffic can drive towards your website or any specific webpage. Before making a strategy for any type of search optimization, it is very necessary that you get familiar with all terminology that is used in such type of marketing.
Search marketing is majorly categorized into two major terms;
SEM: The paid strategies to appear in the search results
SEO: Organic strategies to be found in search results
The main difference that is found between them is that SEM follows paid strategy and SEO depends on the organic strategy.
Just like the search industry has changed a lot in recent times, the definitions associated with it have also changed. Some individuals prefer that SEM consists of both organic and paid strategies. But we will make you understand it in a better way by breaking the terms into different categories. Digital marketers use both terms interchangeably. But you should always remain clear with the terms that you are using.
SEM is a type of internet marketing that aims to improve website visibility by using organic methods and paid ads. The SEM activities consist of setting ads and optimizing them according to the business, and also defining a budget that is suitable for paying the ads.
This type of strategy comes under paid search or pay-per-click marketing. The most common and popular search provider that is used for implementing such a strategy is Google Ads. By using this technique, business owners get to know the right keywords specific to their industry and services. When any user looks for the same type of keyword, then the custom ads appear in the SERP top and bottom results. When the user clicks on that, the brands get charged with the set amount.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a part of search marketing that depends on organic tactics to improve website visibility. There is no cost or payment involved in SEO for placing the website on SERP. Alternatively, they follow a variety of techniques to deliver your website at the top of SERP because they are authoritative and valuable.
SEO includes different tactics to acquire a good position for the brand on search ranking. The white hat techniques related to SEO can be grouped into three different classes.
Optimizing each page of a website according to the targeted keywords to appear on search results comes under on-page SEO. Some of the common strategies that fall under the category of on-page SEO are keyword research, content optimization, keyword optimization, image optimization and other such tasks. The on-page optimization helps Google understand the web page content much better and offers a higher rank for your website.
The aim of technical SEO is to improve the base foundation of the webpage. In technical SEO, there is the optimization of all other elements of the website besides content. These include the speed of the site, architecture, crawlability, security, organized data, and other such elements.
In this technique, the authority and reputation of a website are improved by associating with other high-quality websites. The task involves link building, local listing and profile creations. When several websites are associated with a brand website, it visualizes Google that the brand website is trustworthy, reliable, and reputable, improving rankings. A good practice does not mean focusing on only one of the above tasks. Instead, you should combine all practice and then implement it in your marketing strategies.
How are SEO and SEM Complementary?
Individuals use search engines such as Google to get the answer for their queries, and they get either paid results (SEM) or organic results (SEO). They mostly depend on the keywords to attract more traffic and get organic traffic on the web page and website. However, the marketing techniques they follow are different from each other and go with the best one that results in a good outcome for their website.
Most of us search for the thing before making any purchase; thus, having a good presence over search engines is crucial. If you have a good strategy that is a combination of both, i.e. SEO and SEM, then it will result in the long-term visibility of your website. SEO is related to organic traffic, which implies that there will be a free listing and unpaid activities, whereas, in SEM, you need to pay for targeted ads.
SEO serves as a good foundation for SEM. If you have implemented everything in the right manner, then it would take your business to a good stage and improvement in conversion rate will be noticed. Having a website that is well optimized, equipped with the right ads and targeting the desired keywords then it will give you the surety to achieve a good position in SERP. The SEO of the website should be done correctly so that Google can recognize your website as credible. They can complement each other if the website is already SEO friendly, then SEM will give you the best of both worlds.
If the age of your website is less, then you should firstly focus on PPC campaigns that can help you in getting a better ranking. But you should not ignore SEO during the process.
Similarities Between SEO and SEM Goals
Both of them share some common points. Let us discuss that one by one.
- Helps In Ranking In Search Results
The main aim of both of these is to improve the ranking and offer some prominent positions for your website in SERPs. The users would be able to get your web page when they search for their query in search engines; depending upon brand and business, your website will appear in the result.
- Drives Traffic To Your Website
Along with establishing potential ranking in SERP, they both attract traffic to the website. They follow the best tactics to catch the attention of users and improve the click-through rate. And attract users to click on your webpage.
- Follows Keyword Research To Remain Popular In Search Results
The first step that both follow is to perform the keyword research and prepare the list of targeted keywords. Keyword research is done to take a glance at the most popular keywords that users are mostly looking for. It also helps in knowing about your competitors so that you can remain in the competition and secure some good positions on SERP.
- Target Particular Keywords
SEO and SMM both target some particular keywords that are listed out during the keyword research process. The prime base of every technique is keywords. Thus targeting some specific keywords helps in achieving some good position on SERPs.
- Need Of Continual Testing
None of the work gets justified unless and until it is tested and has passed the set parameters. Both of them demand continued testing, monitoring and optimizing the work according to the user’s perspective.
SEM vs SEO: The Differences
Along with sharing some similarities, both of them share some differences as well. The list of differences includes-
- SEM Focus On ‘Ad’ Whereas SEO Does Not
The main work of SEM is based on paid ads. At the same time, SEO uses free methods to improve website visibility and reach among web users. Also, the result that appears from the SEM and SEO, both are different on the SERP. You might have noticed the difference. The results that come from SEM are mostly recognized as Ads, and the SEO results are not marked in such a manner. There should be no icon associated with such result pages.
- The Featured Snippet with SEO, Ad Extension in SEM
The results of SEM include ad extensions that can easily add other links, contact numbers and other info. With SEO, there will be featured snippets that offer information to users at a glance.
- Need To Pay On Every Click With SEM, No Cost Option With SEO
The SEM ads are placed with payment, and the brand gets charged with every click by the user. Thus you need to consider the budget for SEM. Whereas website owners never get charged how many times users click on that.
- Immediate Impact by SEM, Time taking SEO
With SEM, you will see immediate results, whereas you need to wait for time for results with SEO. After launching the SEO campaign, the ads started appearing in the results and improved the visibility of the website.
Besides these, there are many more differences too.
SEM vs SEO: Which is Better?
After knowing all the aspects of both SEO and SEM, it will be easier for you to decide which one is better according to your perspective for your business. to make the decision which one is better for you, you need to consider all factors in mind that you know about them.
Consider Following Factors And Make The Decision.
Consider your industry information: If you are well versed with your industry-related information, such as customer preferences and ways to reach them, you can go with SEO strategies with long-term techniques. It will offer you value over time. However, if you are not aware of your customer and competitors’ response, you can go with the SEM techniques to check the status of your idea associated with the product and service. You can use an online tool to examine the market scenario for better understanding.
Examine Your Client Buying Cycle: If most of your customers prefer the short buying cycle, which means searching for a product, choosing the best suitable one and then buying it, then SEM ads will effectively put the desired product to the users, and the buying cycle gets completed. On the other hand, if a longer buying cycle means users search for the product and compare it for several weeks or more than that, then SEM there also cannot help as there is no immediate response from the client after seeing the ad.
Check Out The Cost Per Click In Your Business Domain: It is very necessary that you remain aware of the charges that you need to pay for a paid search result. The cost per click varies depending upon the keyword competition. If you find that your cost per click rate is low, then it will be right for you. But if you find rats very high, then it is better to give proper attention and focus on SEO.
Think About Age Of Your Business: If your website is a newbie in the market, it will take much time to appear organically in the search results. But this never says that you should not work on SEO techniques. The actual meaning of this statement is that you will enjoy better benefits with SEM in the time span that you will invest in building your website SEO.
Examine The Current Status Of Your Website: While planning your market strategies, you need to check for the technique that requires less effort but results well. So before making any marketing strategy, it is a good idea that you should consider the actual status of your website. Your website may be holding the potential to grow the website ranking organically. So there will be no need to invest money in an SEM campaign.
Improve Website SEO and SEM Strategies With Us
There is no quick formula for ranking your website in the top position. Lots of factors contribute to deciding the position of the website. SEO and SEM both work in their way and offer benefits to your business website. To get more insight and ideas to help you make your decision, you can associate with the professionals of Marketing Sweet. We will help you to get information about the right tools and target audiences so that your website can perform well in search results.
To know more about our services you can contact us at 08 8337 4340. We are always happy to offer the best assistance to our clients.