What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing can be a bit confusing concept to grasp.
Is there any difference between them?
Both terms are used interchangeably, which makes matters even worse.
It is essential to understand the difference between these two terms.
In this article, we are going to see the difference between SEO and SEM.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is an important component of the larger category, SEM. It is also a process of optimizing your website for the purpose of getting free traffic from search engines. SEO is important because a completely optimized website easily understood by search engine crawlers and it increases the chances of ranking higher in SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
Main Components of SEO
It has basically two components:
- ON page SEO
- OFF page SEO
On-page SEO includes:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Meta Tags
- URL Structure
- Body Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc)
- Keyword Density
- Image SEO
- Internal Linking
These 8 techniques are just some ways that you can improve your ON page SEO. Anyone used independently of the others won’t make much difference to your site ranking, but when used together, they can improve your site traffic.
OFF page SEO includes:
- Social Bookmarking
- Guest Posts
- Social Sharing Signals
- Creating a high quality, natural backlink profile having good domain as well as page authority score.
What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
Search Engine Marketing is above SEO but it’s the only subset of your overall Digital Marketing strategy. According to Wikipedia, “Search Engine Marketing is a form of internet marketing strategy that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages through optimization and advertising”.
Main Components of SEM
- Paid Search
- Pay Per Click
- Website Conversion
- Landing Page Optimization
What are the main differences between SEO and SEM?
The main difference between these two is that search engine optimization is simply a component of search engine marketing. Organic SEO is the best marketing tactic for long-lasting results. Websites that rank high in the organic results for their focused keywords, can get free traffic 24/7, industry recognition and enjoy all the benefits of SEO.
Websites that use Pay Per Click can still get targeted traffic from search engines but they have to pay for it. Once they stop the paid campaigns, the traffic generally disappears.
Another major difference between SEO and SEM is that it takes a lot of time for SEO to work and generate results while PPC is an almost an instant process.
So, which is better depends on your overall digital marketing objectives. If you want to get traffic quickly then you can start with SEM (paid search advertising) and in parallel work on your SEO. If you want to create a long-lasting online business without relying on paid traffic, then SEO is best for you.
Importance of SEM traffic
Search Engine Marketing traffic (either through organic SEO or Paid Search) is considered the most important source of Internet traffic because it is targeted. It is widely accepted that people use search engines to find a solution to a problem, an answer to a question or to learn how to do something.
So, when searchers click on a website from the search results or click on an ad, they are more likely to get a convert. The relevancy of the displayed web sites and ads makes SEM traffic more valuable than any other source of traffic.
Facebook and Twitter are trying to optimize their advertising platforms to utilize targeted traffic but still, traffic coming directly from search engines has a better Return on Investment.