What Is the Main Difference Between SEO and SEM?

By August 3, 2020PPC, SEO
SEO VS SEM on Lightbox

Are you looking to increase traffic to your business page?

You may go about this in several ways. Both search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) draw people in.

But do you know the difference between SEO and SEM?

Learning the Difference Between SEO and SEM

Though SEO and SEM may seem to deliver a similar outcome, these two effective strategies differ in important ways, and people often misuse them interchangeably. Understanding the difference between them will help you make an informed business decision.

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO refers to following an algorithm that increases the quantity and quality of organic traffic to your page. Essentially, it makes your webpage easy for the search engine to read and makes Google view your content as important.

This boosts the link to your page closer to the top of the search engine. This makes a tremendous difference as data research reveals that only 6% of clicks go to second-page search engine results.

SEO serves as an inbound marketing strategy. This means it draws quality clicks to your page as it sends people searching for something you offer. While ads can annoy people, this helps them!

Even better, it costs you nothing for the search engine to guide your target market straight to you! Aside from the initial cost of building your page with integrated SEO strategies, you get free publicity.

Incorporating SEO

How do you incorporate SEO?

It involves offering quality content that makes sense with the pictures, keywords, and other metadata. For instance, if you want to draw people in to purchase nutrition supplements, you might make ‘nutrition supplement’ and ‘nutrition’ your keywords, add them into headers, and then include a high-quality picture of your supplement package.

You also want to include this into your public relations outside of your actual website. Tying SEO strategies in with your PR enhances both efforts!

Implement SEO strategies into your blog, social media pages, and outside advertisements! Stepping up on the list will make these strategies more visible. More people will interact with your website and the search engine will boost you further up the list!

This includes linking up to internal and external sources that provide more information. For instance, in your blog, link to an expert on something related to your product, but that does not compete with it.

The search engine likes this linkage. Equally important, creating external links increases your PR between other businesses, which might drive customers to you in unique ways.

Making all of your content useful, both on and off your main page, will increase social media shares. This makes you more important to the search engine, but also offers you a free customer-driven mode of advertisement.

For instance, for every share, one person initially saw your content. Their share made it visible to potentially hundreds of people who would not have seen it otherwise.

This expands your reach. SEO also includes optimising web page speed to make it more accessible and convenient for your visitors.

Search Engine Marketing

SEM strategy still drives people to your website, but it works a bit differently. This strategy involves promoting your website to increase visibility in search engine results.

While SEO will put you on the list of results, a search that matches your content will poster your ad around the result list. You pay for your advertisement to pop up when it makes sense for the internet user, so it still drives quality clicks to your page.

This typically involves using pay per click (PPC) ads. This works a little differently than regular advertising.

With traditional ads, you pay for the space that your ad occupies. With PPC search engine ads, you only pay when somebody clicks on your advertisement and gets moved to your page.

This means that you do not pay for your ad to sit there hoping people will see it. Only the quality views cost you money.

For success in this strategy, you want to create a quality ad that draws in your target market. This means gearing it towards a specific group with the proper graphics and keyword variations.

Set a reasonable budget for your daily advertisements. You need to take into account your sales goals, the size of your target market, search volume, and who you’re competing against.

Though more clicks bring more opportunity, it will also raise your costs. Not everybody who clicks will buy, and this can discourage you if it puts you over what you can afford from the getgo.

Use your data metrics to help you set a budget. Learn the percentage of purchases to clicks so you can adjust your ad budget accordingly.

Which Strategy Works Better?

Now that you understand the difference between SEO and SEM, you may wonder which strategy you should implement in your marketing strategy. You should use both.

Each works better in its own regard. Together, they work their best!

Search engine optimisation brings you organic traffic. It helps somebody in need of something specific.

When somebody wants a product or service, search results will lead them to your page if they see you towards the top. When they see you physically on top of your competition, they may mentally prioritise you that way.

Search engine marketing brings in the curious. Here you might catch an internet surfer who simply wanted to learn about something closely related, but then your ad caught their attention.

Though both draw your target market, they bring in unique people from that market. So, using both will bring a larger percentage of your target market to your website.

Use the Search Engine to Your Advantage

Now that you’ve learned the difference between SEO and SEM and understand the importance of each, make these strategies work for you! Implement both in your current marketing strategies and watch your website’s traffic increase.

Not sure how to go about using search engine optimisation and search engine marketing? No worries, we’ve got you covered!

At Common Ground, we offer high-quality efforts that will increase your ranking and drive your target market straight to you. Fill out your info and get a proposal today!

Daniel T

Author Daniel T

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