The Difference Between SEO and SEM, and Why They Matter

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Search engine optimization (seo) and search engine marketing (sem) are two important concepts that every digital marketer needs to understand, because these approaches heavily affect the online visibility of businesses and brands of all sizes. But what’s the difference between seo and sem? In this post, we’ll get into the details of how both seo and sem can help you improve your online visibility, but we’ll also get into why it matters to distinguish between the two approaches.

 

SEO & SEM Key Differences

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and SEM is short for search engine marketing. Both SEO and SEM are important to a business, but there are some key differences between them. There are four major differences between SEO vs. SEM goals, practices, applications and scopes. A good example of how these differ can be seen in an ecommerce site’s practices; SEM focuses on paid advertising for generating more sales with Google AdWords or Bing Ads. On the other hand, an SEO campaign would focus on attracting organic traffic (people who use search engines to find things) by publishing engaging content that ranks well in Google searches and gaining link popularity through social media shares and blogging networks.

 

How SEO & SEM Are Linked

Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click advertising (SEM) are not as different as one might think. In fact, many experts consider them to be part of a larger online marketing umbrella, because they both rely on search engines to drive traffic. The primary difference between SEO and SEM is who pays for clicks: with SEO, you pay for traffic with your own money; with SEM, you pay for traffic with your competitors’ money.

 

Google Algorithm Changes

Google is always updating its search algorithm. While minor updates happen more often, major changes occur once a year or so. It’s important to stay up-to-date on these changes because they can affect your ranking on Google, which is important for your business. For example, Google made a change in June 2017 that impacted sites with thin content, meaning pages with little content but many ads. This update was known as Mobilegeddon because it impacted mobile searches more than desktop searches.

 

SEO Tips for Writers

If you’re a freelance writer, SEO can be one of your best tools for boosting traffic to your content. Here are some important things to keep in mind: Write with an eye toward Google. Keywords will help push your content higher in Google search results, but don’t overdo it. The point is not to spam keywords into your writing; rather, find ways to include them naturally. Pick terms related directly or indirectly to what you’re writing about; there should be plenty that aren’t top-of-mind for most readers.

 

SEM Tools & Services

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) includes PPC (Pay-Per-Click), Display, Social Media Advertising, Video Advertising and Remarketing. SEM can be an excellent way to get instant traffic to your website or landing page. Unfortunately with SEM you are forced to pay per click (or impression in some cases). The benefit is that it’s easy to track conversions for each keyword/ad you spend money on. The risk of using SEM as a lead generation tool is:

1.) You will have to do a lot of Google Adwords testing which takes time. To make matters worse, sometimes what works well for one client may not work well for another client even if they have similar target audiences.

2.) If you don’t already have a following online then SEM won’t help much at all because people need to see ads before they know who you are. 3.) If your PPC campaign is not well managed, you will be spending a lot of money for little results.

4.) Not only does SEM cost money but it can get very expensive quickly if it’s not managed correctly. #seomarketing #semantic SEO is an effective way to drive free organic traffic to your website or landing page, that means you don’t have to pay per click (or impression in some cases). The benefit is that you don’t have to do a lot of Google Adwords testing, thus saving time because most SEO plugins come with built-in features that will help automate SEO on specific pages such as titles, meta descriptions, h1 tags etc.

2 comments

  • Burnice Kuphal

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  • Ewald Stroman

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