They are both marketing methods. They sometimes work together. And they both have some of the same letters. But SEO and SEM are not the same. Do you know exactly how they are different? Here’s what you need to know about SEO vs. SEM.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a marketing technique that focuses on obtaining traffic through search engines. Basically, SEO is making sure your site is optimized in a way that Google and other search engines can understand it. And you don’t necessarily have to think of it these methods as SEO vs. SEM. In fact, SEO can be a part of a SEM campaign.
There are many aspects to running a successful SEO campaign, from utilizing keywords to linking out to other websites. For example, SEO uses:
- Formatted page URLs
- Optimized page load speed
- Social sharing integration
- Backlinks to other high-quality sites
- Social bookmarking
What is SEM?
Search engine marketing is gaining website traffic from search engines. It can encompass both paid efforts like pay-per-click ads, or unpaid efforts like using keywords (see where SEO comes in?).
For the most part, marketers think of paid methods when they make the distinction between SEO vs. SEM. Methods like Google AdWords lets you place an ad right at the top of the search engine results where readers are most likely to see it. This is a paid traffic method, and you pay for each click on your ad.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Some website owners may wonder whether one is better than the other. Both methods have their advantages and it really depends on your budget and your goals.
Done right, SEO is great for organic traffic. The results may come slowly, but your traffic will definitely be people who are interested in your website. On the other hand, paying for ads may help you launch quicker and build an audience faster. A pay-per-click campaign will yield results much quicker than simply using keywords.
Also, when thinking of SEO vs. SEM, it’s important to look at budget. Focusing only on SEO as a marketing method is so cheap, it’s free! SEM, on the other hand, can run up a bill, depending on the tactics you choose.
SEO vs. SEM – both are viable marketing methods that deserve consideration from both bloggers and businesses. When choosing the best tactic for you, take your specific needs and your budget into consideration.