SEO vs SEM – Difference between SEO and SEM

Both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) have a common aim of increasing visibility in Search Engines. But both the modules follow different processes and techniques.

SEO is a part of Search Marketing which involves optimizing websites to get higher rankings in the search results. On the other hand, SEM involves other methodologies like PPC or paid campaigns to gain more traffic and visitors to the website.

Before you get to know more about SEO and SEM, lets clear out some come terms:

What is Organic Search Result?

The traffic that comes naturally to your website without paying for any clicks with the help of SEO is organic traffic.

What is Paid Search Result?

The traffic that comes to your website by paying for clicks with higher search results, like paid advertisements or PPC campaigns. It is achieved with the help of SEM.

 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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When it comes to SEO, the first things that come to every mind is Digital Marketing, but that’s the misconception normal people have. Digital Marketing refers to online promotion of products and services on various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.

SEO has a bit different concept. It emphasis more on optimization of website, it’s content, meta description, including keywords and alt tags to generate higher rankings in search results.

How SEO Works?

SEO includes two main aspects:

On Page SEO Off Page SEO
Developing unique and SEO friendly content Generating high-quality and natural backlinks to the website/blog
Including relevant keywords Social media connectivity and sharing
Inbound and outbound links Guest posting and blogging
Keywords in meta tags, heading tags, and HTML tags Building domain authority
Developing human-friendly URLs Measuring analytics and performance
Adding alt text in images
Optimizing page loading speed

Search Engine Marketing

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Search Engine Marketing goes beyond SEO techniques as we do PPC promotions to get more and more traffic and visibility. SEM can be considered as a part of Internet Marketing which includes paid promotions to increase search visibility. SEO and various other online marketing tacting are subsets of SEM.

There are many marketing and advertising agencies like Google Adwords and Bing Adwords who does PPC/paid promotions in their SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) to get a website more leads.

How SEM Works?

let us take an example of Google Adwords and we’ll look at how it works. Firstly you have to create an account on the Google ad network. Then follow the following steps:

  • By signing up, you are now connected to run your paid campaigns. Always keep in mind, search for those keywords, that are relevant to your niche. The audience will see your ad when they will search those relevant keywords
  • After that, You have to start bidding for your keywords because you’re not the only person that would be running ads on that particular niche. So bid carefully and accordingly, so your audience could see your ads
  • Give your campaign and ad a name you wish and generate catchy headlines and beautiful description for your ad
  • Set your budget and upload some creatives, images or videos for your ad. You can also set demographics for your ad like to display ad in a particular region, to which age group people, according to their interests and much more
  • At last, launch your campaign to drive more leads and traffic

So this is how SEM works.

SEO vs SEM – Difference between SEO and SEM

Paid vs Organic Search Results 

Now, you might have got cleared with what’s SEO and SEM and how they are different from each other. So let us have a look at Google Search Engine results for the keyword “Freelance designers for hire” and see how the SERP’s appear:

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The SERP displaying the first three results are paid as you can clearly see “ad” just before the URL section. These are the PPC advertisements or we can say paid ads to generate more traffic through SEM. The fourth result in the SERP is organically displayed with the help of SEO.

Major Differences to Know About

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Ultimately, if you want to do promotion, and generate more conversion and traffic to your website and you have a budget than you must go for SEM. It will help you to connect to your target audience effectively.

SEO is different than SEM but part of SEM. Here, you generate natural traffic through Search Engines by organically appearing in the top of SERP’s. SEO also helps you in many ways like building Domain Authority (DA), increasing Page Ranking (PR), and improving backlink profile.

Pro Tip: SEO of a website should be done on a regular basis, to improve search ranking results and generate more organic traffic”.

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