What are the Difference between SEO and SEM?

SEO and SEM are two terms that webmasters often confuse as having the same meaning. People often use two terms, as a synonym in their conversations when they are discussing about issues related to ranking on search engine. There is actually a difference in the meaning between SEO and SEM terms.


What Does SEO Stands For and How It Works?

⇒ SEO (search engine optimization) refers to optimizing your website with the purpose of gaining free traffic from search engine. When your website is SEO optimized, it is easier for the search engine to understand what your website is about and how to rank it. Often, organic traffic will bring relevant visitors who are interested in your products and services.

⇒ SEO optimization can be carried out on site or off site. On-site SEO refers to optimization done on  site. Metadata optimization involves writing a catchy Meta description, alt tag, and title tag that also include at least one targeted keyword naturally. A URLs of the pages on your site must be short, describe the content of the page and include targeted keywords.

⇒ The pages on our site must be optimized for speed on all kinds of devices including desktop, phone, and tablets. Every page on the site must be optimized to load in lesser than 2 seconds. If your page is slow, people will think of going to a competitor site to find what they are looking for. In addition, you should also integrate social media sharing buttons in the content to make it easy for your readers to share the content.

⇒ An important part of on-site optimization is to provide high quality and informative content for your audience on the website. Regularly updating your site with quality content can help a lot in driving organic traffic that leads to higher conversions.


⇒ Off-site SEO involves activities done outside of the site to increase visibility on search engine. Obtaining backlinks is the biggest part of off-site SEO. The right way to do this is to create a backlink profile that looks natural like they are contributed by someone who read your blog.

⇒ The backlinks must be from quality sites in order for link juice to be passed on to you. Backlinks are counted as a vote to your website. The more high quality backlinks your site has, the higher it can rank on search engine. If you are a local business, make sure you get your site listed in local directory related to your niche.

⇒ Social media promotion is another type of off-site optimization technique. Social media promotion involves regularly posting at social media site to promote the products and services on your website. To gain social media attention, you must post at popular social bookmarking sites such as Stumbleupon and Reddit.

⇒ If you have good SEO knowledge, you can optimize your site for the search engine for free. However, nowadays, many businesses are outsourcing this chore to SEO Company. The SEO Company has a team of experts who know how to optimize your site on site and off site for the search engine.


What Does SEM Stands For and How It Works?

→ SEM (search engine marketing) is about purchasing PPC advertisement to help one's site gain visibility on search engine. Some businesses prefer to purchase PPC campaigns because it is taking much longer time to rank on the web nowadays. Examples of PPC advertisements are Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

→ In Google AdWords, the ad will appear on top or at the bottom of search engine result.  Your ad will not necessarily appear on first page. If you want your ad to rank high on the first page, you must achieve an ad rank that is higher than your competitors who is also advertising on the same keyword. In Bing ads, your ad usually is shown on the top, bottom, and side-bar. If your ad is in the higher position and it gets clicked, you will be charged a higher rate.

→ SEM can be expensive and not every business can afford the cost.  In SEO, you can target your customers by optimizing ad descriptions with keywords. The ads will appear alongside with  organic listings, usually on top of on the side of the organic listings. This allows you to capture the attention of the searchers and hopefully they will click through to your website or landing page linked in the ads.


→ Your business risk losing money if the ad campaign is not optimized enough. You have to figure out what are your targeted customers when you launch campaign. Once you know your audience, you must find keyword variations to test them out in ads. The ad description must effectively summarize what you are offering in 1 - 2 sentences.

→ The ad copy must write in a way that will attract people to click and buy your product or fill in the lead form. Before carrying out an SEM campaign, you must determine how much money to set aside. You also must have analytic software. That enables you to keep track on each of ads you have launched so that you know which one yields the best result.

→ It is hard to set up an ad campaign that converts if you have no experience in SEM field. It is best to outsource this task to an SEM company and let them handle the ad campaign. This prevents you from wasting your company resources on ad campaigns that do not convert.

SEO Tools & marketing concept

Which Marketing Tactic to Choose?

♦ Getting your site SEO optimized. First is the most important thing you should do before investing in pay per click advertising. If your site is optimized and ranking well, people will know your site and be more inclined to click when they see it in the ad on search engine result. An optimized site also allows your audience to place more trusts in your company. In the long term, SEO optimization will cost you lesser compared to PPC campaign. So we can make prior on SEO between SEO and SEM.

♦ It is wrong to be dependent on PPC traffic and ignore SEO optimization. This will result in you wasting a lot of money as most people usually spend a great deal of money testing out the ad campaigns before they find success. If your site gets lots of organic traffic, you will not have to rely on PPC campaign to obtain customers.

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