With the emerge of digital channels has come a variety of acronyms and terms that often are misunderstood or confused. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are concepts used sometimes interchangeably, people don’t understand the difference between them and most important, that they both share one common goal and work together to bring website users to their sites.
What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
The concept of Search Engine Marketing refers to a form of digital marketing that involves the promotion of websites by making them more visible in search engine result pages through both advertising and optimization tactics. Actually, SEM includes marketing techniques and SEO tactics to proactively market the content through paid advertising.
Furthermore, the content is very important and necessary. Articles, blogs, reviews and other types of content support and attract users to a website. This type of actions have to be consistent, the content must to be relevant and provide information that is truly necessary for consumers and that is able to retain them even if they got there through paid advertising.
Therefore, search engine marketing is a way for businesses to buy visits to the website, known as Pay Per Clicks. The mechanism is simple: by selecting the most relevant keywords based on the products/services offer and setting an ad text and a budget limit, Google determine a quality score that ranks the ad on search engine pages. The quality score is an estimate of the quality of the ad and the landing page triggered by the keyword that is being searched. These type of advertisements can usually be seen by the top or bottom of the page of the search engines and are paid every time someone clicks on the ad link.
What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
The two major functions of search engines are crawling and indexing the billions of website pages, and providing search users with a ranked list of them they’ve determined are the most relevant. As you may have already noticed, Search Engine Optimization is a component of the SEM concept that focuses on attracting users organically, without paying for it. This thing is happening by focusing on the website’s codes and responding to Google’s algorithms through the use of ALT tags, page and link titles.
Even if doesn’t involve paying for better ranks, it’s relying on the on-page optimization such as keyword density and, original and relevant content to get the best results. The off-page optimization focuses on natural backlinks sites and social bookmarking. All in all, these type of actions contributes and allows businesses to establish credibility and consistency on digital channels.
Which is better?
The debate on this theme it’s still actual and most of the marketers pleads either for SEO or SEM. The truth is that businesses should use a combination of both of techniques in order to build online presence.
SEM cannot succeed without the use of organic SEO and SEO is an alternative for the times the budget is limited but the goal is to establish search credibility. Sometimes, a PPC campaign makes more sense and offer immediate visibility if the business is new on the market than organic SEO that takes time to create and to show results.
All in all, done correctly they complement each other extremely well and are stronger together than approached individually. Start with a website your users will love, optimise the information and market the content for the best results.