Are you planning to launch your business online? Are you ready to be a part of this digitally competitive world? Then, you have to use the ingredients right to bake a successful website. Two of the main ingredients to launch your website successfully are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
When we talk about SEO, it is all that gives you organic results, and SEM is the paid listing or promotion of your website. SEO is the process of improving the quality and visibility of your website to rank higher and compete with your business rivals on the Google ranking page. SEM is one of the many marketing strategies which can be used to increase the visibility of your business website in SERP i.e. Search Engine Ranking Page.
SEO is used to rank higher on google’s ranking page with the help of keywords, titles, and meta description, and SEM is also known as paid marketing where a business owner pays a higher price to rank in the first position on google when a user searches for a particular product or service. Following is an excellent example of SEO vs SEM.
As you can see in the above image the first three links are of Ads (As mentioned at the beginning of their landing page) which is an example of SEM. They have used a paid marketing strategy to rank higher. While the fourth link is an example of SEO.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO or search engine optimization is the basic monetizing process that can be used to rank a particular page or your complete brand website on a higher place on google pages and to drive organic traffic toward your business. Following are some key elements that are used by an SEO company.
Keywords are the specific words used to describe your brand product or service with minimum words. There are two types of keywords that are getting used in SEO. The short-tail keywords contain a maximum of 2-3 words and the long-tail keywords contain a maximum of 6-7 words.
Content is the write-ups you use to digitally market your product or services to the target audience. It is the matter you use on different pages of your website, along with the blogs to communicate better with your target audience. Here you can use both types of keywords to rank higher on the google ranking page
3. Increased Customer Reach & Revenue
When a user searches for a particular product or service and if you have used exact or related keywords to that search, there is a higher chance to rank on the first few search appearances and drive more clients searching for the same query. Increased customer reach and organic traffic = higher revenue.
How Does SEM Work?
SEM or search engine marketing uses paid marketing strategies where business owners have to pay some amount of money to rank higher on the google ranking page. Following are some key elements that get used in the SEM process.
1. Keyword Purpose
Most business owners use google ads for SEM purposes. Google provides costs for a particular keyword. Business owners have to pay for that keyword when the user clicks on the ranked link. This process is also called PPC or Pay Per Click strategy. In this whole process, business owners have to bid for keywords that are related or match to their business.
2. Keyword Level
If you provide services that barely get searched then you will get less to no results from your advertisement on a google page. On the other hand, if you provide services that get searched more recently, then there are higher chances to get to the maximum level. The more popular keywords you use for your business, the more price you have to pay and the more users will click on your advertisement.
3. Write Good Ads
Even if you have paid a higher cost for your rank on Google, you have to write compelling and intriguing ads to drive more traffic. If you have paid a good amount but have written poor ads then users will surely ignore your ads and will move forward.
A good ad contains mainly 3 items
- Catchy headline: Your headline must create interest in users’ minds.
- Display URL: You’re clear to understand the URL must be placed under the title.
- Description: You can use meta description here to introduce your product or service to the world.
What Are The Differences Between SEO & SEM?
Following are some key elements that will show what are factors that put both terms differently:
1. Appearance On The Targeted Keyword
SEM ads add prefix while ranking in the first few positions on SERP of targeted keywords, while SEO comes after SEM results as organic results for the searched query.
2. Cost For Implementation
You have to pay whenever a user searches and clicks on your ad. While SEO works as an organic search result and drives organic traffic.
3. Marketing Result
Your ads are only visible if you pay Google to show your ad that is a quick result in SEM while SEO takes some time to appear higher on the SERP.
4. Testing Approach
You can test whether your strategy is working or not in SEM while the process of SEO slowly and gradually shows results. You have to be patient with SEO as it is a time-consuming process.
5. CTR or Click-through Rate
SEM is used to show your ads to the targeted users, so the CTR for SEM is lower as compared to SEO because the visibility of SEO depends on the searches for an exact or related keyword that you use to market your brand business.
We have learned about the functioning of SEO and SEM in detail here. However, it is difficult to choose one of them for the success of an online business. Nothing compares SEM for instant traffic and advertising. SEO, on the other hand, is concerned with attaining, channelizing, and optimizing organic (unpaid) search traffic.
Yes, you could simply pick one. Some organizations begin with SEM techniques and then shift their focus to SEO later on. Other brands rely only on SEO, while others invest solely in SEM.
However, you’ll quickly discover that combining SEO and PPC (Pay Per Click) yields superior results. Nonetheless, before developing a plan that sticks, you must evaluate your budget, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
About the Author
Vibhu Dhariwal is Co-Founder & Director of Marketing at Digital Gratified, a Digital Marketing & Web Development company. He likes sharing his experience in outreach marketing, link building, content marketing, and SEO with readers. To know more about him, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.
SILVANA GALVAN GAMARRA says
Very well explained difference in between both tools used for making our business succeed. Thanks for the blog and keep on updating interesting articles here.
Mark Sebastian says
Good article and detailed analysis! Now it is really necessary and important to be in the trend, in order for the business to be successful and talked about, you need to correctly and loudly declare yourself. It is not enough to create a good and high-quality product, because a lot depends on advertising. Now there are many tools and strategies for successful business promotion. There are many excellent and useful services for website optimization, it is important to find one that is right for your product. However, by using SEO optimization, you will immediately notice a qualitative improvement in the performance of the site.