It’s easy to get SEO and SEM confused because their acronyms are almost identical, and they both involve harnessing the power of search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about setting your website up for organic search engine achievement. SEM is SEO plus other paid strategies to get sites to the top of search engines.
Regardless of their similar names, SEM and SEO are distinct and require unique strategies for achievement. When coupled, both are valuable tools in the battle for website traffic. Learning the difference between SEO and SEM and the way to implement both in your marketing strategy can help you to get your website to the top of the SERPs.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It is a component of a much larger category called SEM, or Search Engine Marketing. The procedure known as SEO is used to increase the number of visitors to your site by making certain your site pages rank high on search engine results pages.
There are several different SEO tactics. Some are great and they are called white-hat, and some are bad and they’re called black-hat. The industry is constantly evolving and a few present black-hat SEO approaches used to become white-hat. So it is well worth it to stay up to date on the differences or to partner with a marketing service that’s keeping up. SEO Dallas will help you to keep your product or services higher than your competitors.
There are two types of SEO: On-Page and Off-Page
On-page SEO includes things like making certain your website pages have optimized meta descriptions, page titles, headings, alt text, and picture tags, etc…
On-page SEO also includes your content. Creating a blog, or adding video to your site are examples of inbound marketing. Among the very best long-term investments in marketing that can be made is in inbound advertising. Consistently creating relevant, interesting content to your perfect customers that is optimized for search engines can work wonders for your search engine results.
Among the biggest factors in off-page SEO is the backlink profile. Are additional authoritative websites linking to your information? If this is occurring, it is a great indication to the search engines that your content is valuable and should rank well.
What is SEM?
SEO is a part of the larger group SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Search engine marketing increases a site’s visibility through optimization and advertising. Search engine marketing is dominated by Google Ads, formerly called Google Adwords, but you can find other players as well. With Google Ads, you’re spending each time a visitor clicks on your ad and visits your site.
SEO vs SEM: What’s the Difference?
SEM and SEO each add value to a marketing plan in their way. Among the biggest differences, that’s also easy to remember is SEO is performed organically, while SEM encircles paid advertising strategies.
Why You Need to Add SEM to Your Marketing Strategy
You may be thinking that since SEO can receive your website ranking organically without the need for paid ads that you shouldn’t bother with SEM. We would disagree. While SEO is a superb way to organically grow your site traffic and boost the number of prospects coming to you personally, SEM has its place in your advertising strategy.
By way of example, SEM can generate some fast revenue wins, whereas your SEO strategy will take time to build momentum. If you are looking to improve your brand visibility for an event or neighborhood SEO, SEM may have an impactful impact on your brand awareness.
SEM offers a solution to connect with leads in an advanced stage of their buyer’s travel. With PPC advertisements, you can join conversion-focused landing pages into your advertisements that will move your visitors through your traffic funnel. It follows that not only are you going to be able to increase the chance the qualified leads will find you, but that they’ll be able to easily move from visitor to lead to customer due to the path you set for them.
Strategies for SEM/PPC Campaigns
- Do your keyword research –You won’t understand what keywords to use to your PPC efforts without first doing some research. Keyword research provides you insight about what people are looking for, just how much different advertisers are paying per click, and how competitive that keyword is. Without keyword research, you’re taking a risk by spending advertising dollars on campaigns with little to no strategy, which might cost you in the long run.
- Listen to your quality score and accommodate your effort –Google Ads has what’s called a quality score, which is the way the platform ranks your keywords and PPC ads in terms of quality and value. Adapting your campaigns for a better quality score will raise the performance of your efforts, so pay attention!
- Make Certain That You take advantage of website link/call Extensions – With PPC ads, you may add website links and call extensions to your ad to help direct your visitor to the information they’re looking for. Don’t miss out on these CTA chances.
- When in doubt, hire out –If you’re unsure of how to make the maximum ROI on your PPC campaigns, call in an expert to run your campaigns. The last thing you want is to waste precious funds spend on ads that don’t work.
Who Wins in The Battle for Traffic?
Marketers like to debate this subject, but the Reality Is that true SEM does not succeed without the advantage of organic SEO.
There are many situations in which PPC (a component in SEM) makes more sense than SEO to execute. As an example when you have a new site and you want immediate vulnerability, you are likely to have to create a paid search campaign because it works quicker than SEO. It also would be unwise to just concentrate on PPC and ignore SEO.
In the struggle for visitors, organic SEO requires longer to show results but in the end, is less costly and you will establish credibility to your brand that is not possible with PPC alone.
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Mike Patel is a digital marketing enthusiast, innovator and President of a leading Digital and E-commerce Development Agency in Dallas, Texas. Mike holds a BS, Computer Science degree from Wayne State University and is a key player in the E-commerce development and digital marketing industry since 2004. The scope of technology in his extensive experience of more than 15 years ranges from Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click) management, E-commerce SEO, Google Shopping Ads and more.