To market our services/products on the Internet, we must use certain marketing techniques. To know exactly which marketing technique suits us best, we must first understand the difference between SEO and SEM marketing techniques.
To put it in a nutshell, SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps to drive organic traffic to websites without you paying for it.
SEO involves laying down a series of strategies employed by website owners to make their websites rank high in SERP (Search Engines Results Page) organically. Some popular search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo etc.
SEO is primarily used for obtaining relevant search information in the shortest time possible. Let’s go by the popular search engine, Google, which accomplishes this by crawling millions of websites, searching for minuscule signals to match the requirement of users.
For example: If a user searches for the best electronic store in the city, the search engine would filter the results, thereby showcasing your website as the first result that would appear to the user on the search engine.
Data states that 9 out of 10 pages online does not get enough organic search traffic from Google. Another study states that about 28.5% google users click on the first organic search result for any topic browsed by them, resulting in a decrease in the levels of traffic as the ranking goes down.
On page SEO refers to the SEO which could be controlled and optimized on a web page itself. Stuff like headers, footers, written content and copy all fall under this segment.
This refers to the technical aspects of websites, that impacts their ranking, whether they are user friendly, site loading time, presence pf sitemaps, etc. Technical SEO is a much sought-after tool for techie wizards and SEO specialists.
The state where ‘anything’ might happen to your website or content and how it affects the ranking of the websites in search results. For example: A blog written by another person has a link of an article written by you. The minute the blog is posted, Google sends you a notification that your article has been tagged by someone else.
That’s off page SEO!
Unlike SEO, SEM involves all paid search engines to highlight your website, when people use target keywords to search specific words.
It’s a common knowledge that 9 out of every 10 pages indexed by Google does not receive any search traffic. An easier and an alternate route would be SEM, which would help these websites to rank higher, than those which drives organic traffic to their websites.
Unlike SEO, companies can use SEM to compete and rank higher than their competitors to market their brands organically. Pay per click ads have become increasingly popular and one can notice a healthy competition between SEO and SEM in the search engines, nowadays.
The above-mentioned points indicate that both these come under the search engine marketing strategies. Below are some of the key differences between SEO and SEM:
• SEM search results on the SERP page are marked as ‘Ads’, whereas SEO results are unmarked.
• SEM targets only a specific range of users, whereas SEO can be used by one and all.
• Both have different ranking perspectives.
• SEO strategies can be used for long term whereas SEM is for the shorter haul.
• SEM has only pay per click ads, whereas SEO is totally free.
Though they are completely different from one another, SEO and SEM do work together, if one knows the right level of tactics to overlap them and use. Given below are a few ways to use SEO and SEM together:
• Both are known for their vast range of keyword searches.
• Both require continuous iteration, by providing the pages best suited for users, by comparing the best among all pages in the search engine.
• Both can put a company on radar if users are searching for a specific product in the search engine.
To sum up, SEO deals with organic web traffic which could be gotten by optimization, whereas SEM involves paying search engines to display pay ads against keyword searches.
Use both together or separately to build a great website!