As a website owner, you've probably heard of SEM and SEO. But what do they really mean and how do they differ? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing a website through organic unpaid traffic to your website. SEM marketing or Search Engine Marketing, on the other hand, is of broader context. It includes SEO, but also deals with the process of gaining traffic from search engines through buying traffic via paid search.
Search Engine Optimization
Users have no time or the patience to keep on clicking pages after pages in search engines, that's why websites that show up on the top ranks of search engines gets visited the most. Search Engine Optimization, in a nutshell, involves methods and strategies used for organizing your website to ensure that it will rank high on search engines. Its goal is to make sure that your website gets a high-ranking placement in the search results, Disruptive Advertising explains. Hence, the higher the chance that a user will visit your site.
Search Engine Marketing
SEM includes SEO, but also includes pay-per-click advertising or PPC. It is described as acts related to submitting, researching, and posiitioning a website in search engines. It is essentially the combination of paid and unpaid methods and strategies for improving your ranking in search engines.
Google AdWords and Bing Ads are just some of the most used platforms for PPC. Your ad will appear each time a user searches for a keyword and there is a set price for each click the user makes. Just because SEM is not free, it does not mean that it is expensive. PPC ads are usually inexpensive. It costs only pennies per click unless a very competitive keyword is used.
Although, there is a slight difference between SEO and SEM, they are not competing services. Where SEO provides improved organic search results, SEM sends a more targeted traffic to your website. For successful business conducted online, you would need to employ both strategies. You need to make your website visible in both organic and advertised links.