Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two different things, but people use them interchangeably that ideally, they should not do. Though they are different they are complementary. Before you get to know this matter in detail, you should know the exact difference between these terms.
What is SEO?
SEO is a crucial part of a digital marketing strategy. It is a practice of optimizing content to increase the visibility of your website to get a large number of audience. When a user types a keyword in the search bar of Google, some results show up. The ranking of each website depends on the quality of content and other ranking factors that Google uses as a benchmark.
In other words, SEO is a practice of ensuring the maximum visits to a website so that it shows up on the top page of search engines every time a user makes a relevant query using the target keywords.
Search engines will crawl to your content to see how much effective it is and how relevant it is to the query made by the user. It will assess the quality of content, Meta titles, Meta description and keywords. Search engines will consider several things to decide the ranking for your website.
The most important things that search crawlers look while deciding the rank for your website are quality content, user experience, and link patterns. You can learn the basics of SEO online. You cannot ignore SEO techniques to incorporate in your marketing because this serves as a base for ensuring that people will find you if they make a query using the keyword you are targeting.
SEO includes several components like careful integration of keywords, blog posts, optimized page speed, Alt text, Meta titles, Meta descriptions, backlinks, and much more.
What is SEM?
SEM is a marketing technique to advertise your website to get top rank on search results. While SEO brings organic traffic to your website, SEM uses paid advertising to attract your target audience to your site. However, SEM is not just about paid advertising for boosting traffic. It is a broader concept as it involves SEO too. The conversion rate is likely to be higher if you practice SEM.
The essential components SEM include paid search pay per click (PPC) and other advertisements.
How SEO and SEM are related to each other
Now that you have come to know the difference between both SEO and SEM. But now you need to understand how they are associated with each other. Both marketing techniques rely on keywords to drive traffic to your website. The use of keywords should be as appropriate as possible. Use Google Keyword Planner to know what keywords are popular among users. Paid advertisement will not yield any benefits if you do not optimise the content.
Both SEO and SEM focus on traffic. The only difference is SEO focuses on organic traffic, and SEM focuses on paid traffic. When a user searches for something, they will find you by either organic results or paid results.
Which one is better?
You can conclude that SEO is a better marketing strategy because it drives organic traffic without shelling out money. However, it is not always the case. Sometimes SEO works better; other times SEM. You can get a simple and straightforward answer to know which one you should use because you will need both to drive traffic to your website.
However, you will have to bear the following points in mind to balance both marketing techniques.
- Run ads for competitive keywords only. Chances of ranking on short and medium-tail keywords are very difficult in organic ways. If you are competing against reputed brands, it becomes essential that you run paid ad campaigns to boost your visibility. Since paid traffic is instant, you will likely get revenues immediately.
- Try to use ad-heavy keywords because they will make most of the SEO and PPC to drive maximum traffic.
- Do not run advertisements for informational keywords. You should be restricted to SEO in that case.
The bottom line
Well, you cannot choose SEO over SEM and SEM over SEO. Though they are different, they work together. The ultimate goal of both marketing strategies is to drive traffic to your website, but using the right technique at the right time is the game. Sometimes SEO gives results, and sometimes SEM gives results and sometimes you will have to use the combination of both.
For better results, you should hire an expert who could help you with it. If you do not have enough funds to hire an expert, you should take out self-employed loans. However, make sure that you can afford to pay off these loans because they charge higher interest rates than personal loans, and if you have a bad credit rating, you should be more careful.
Description: SEO and SEM cannot be used interchangeably, but they are complementary. This blog discusses both techniques in detail.