According to the latest data, 75% of people never click past the first page of their search results.
That’s a lot of pressure for a business to get noticed. Thankfully, using SEO and SEM tactics can help your business gain more exposure, bring in more traffic, and increase your sales.
That said, you may not know the difference between SEO and SEM. Understanding both of these marketing methods is key to getting the most out of them and maximizing your advertising potential. Keep reading to learn all about SEO and SEM and when to use each of them for your business.
The Difference Between SEO and SEM
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a form of marketing that uses organic methods to achieve results.
Organic traffic is users that land on your website after conducting a search using a search engine like Google. These visitors come from unpaid sources, so they’re often referred to as free traffic.
SEM is short for search engine marketing. It utilizes paid tactics to improve your visibility.
SEM tactics include writing, optimizing, and using ads to bring in more traffic. An SEM strategy is using PPC (pay-per-click) ads.
So, what’s the main difference between SEO vs. SEM?
SEO is free, although it takes more time to see results. SEM requires more money, but you see results immediately.
Types of SEO
There are various types of SEO, including on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO relates to the process of optimizing pages on your website. One way to do so is to perform keyword research and include relevant keywords in your on-page content.
Off-page SEO refers to the methods used to build a website’s authority. If you want to rank higher, you need to prove yourself as a trustworthy source. This is usually done through link building, including acquiring backlinks.
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing crawlability, structured data, mobile compatibility, site speed, etc.
It pays to keep up with SEO trends, as you need to understand how search engines work if you want to increase your visibility online. As an example, voice search SEO is on the rise, and implementing it ensures your business is keeping up with the times.
SEM and PPC Advertising
In PPC marketing, a business will create a budget which is then used to bid on keywords. Through research, a company can figure out the best keywords to bid on.
There are two formats for ads: text-based and visual-based. Google Ads is the service that most businesses use for SEM purposes.
Implementing an SEM strategy helps your business to bring in more traffic.
What Should You Use?
If you want to match and outpace your competitors, you need to know the difference between SEO and SEM. Understanding and using them both is the best way to grow your business and ensure you maintain an online presence.
Using both SEO and SEM tactics is the key to success, but if you don’t feel confident handling marketing on your own, you should invest in SEO services.
To learn more about the benefits of SEO and SEM, check out some of our other articles. Our marketing tips can help your business thrive.