SEO and SEM: A Comprehensive Guide

November 26, 2020

SEO and SEM are two sides of the same coin. It means you use it for driving traffic to your site but through different actions. Sometimes these terms are used for referring to similar activities. It can be confusing for those who don’t understand them properly. An SEO specialist in New York has comprehensive knowledge to guide you and create an exceptional SEO and SEM strategy. 

Although these terms are frequently used, still beginners or laymen may not have enough information about them. If you have also recently ventured into the field of search engine optimization, we have got you covered. In this post, you will find answers to questions such as what is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? What is the difference between these two terms? Can they complement each other?

Here is everything you must know about SEM and SEO.

What is SEO? 

We all have heard of SEO and know what it is. Still, if someone is confused, SEO is a practice of using strategies like ALT tags, page and link titles, keywords, and so on to get organic traffic. That is why it is often known as organic marketing. 

The search engines go through all the online content to index and analyze it. This helps Google in understanding what your content is about. Also, it will enable Google to match it with what people are searching for. 

The goal of SEO is to drive more traffic to your website without paid ads. The search engines focus on certain aspects to determine credibility. Some of the things they focus on include:

  • Link patterns
  • User experience
  • Quality content 

Well, anyone can easily learn the basics of SEO and incorporate them into their marketing strategy. But it takes time to master SEO and learn the technical knowledge. 

What is SEM?

SEM can be defined as a practice of driving traffic to your website via paid ads such as Google Ads. Mostly, it is pay-per-click (PPC) ads that are displayed above the top results in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Also, it is referred to as PPC marketing. 

The marketers can decide the keyword to target with SEM. Keep in mind the keywords must be relevant to the services or products you are offering. That is because you want to be the first website the audience sees. 

Since it is a paid advertisement, there are more steps involved in comparison to SEO. SEM process includes processes like creating copy for advertisement, budgeting, bidding on search ad placements, keyword research, and running paid ad campaigns. 

When SEM is done properly, it can help you reach the top ranks in SERP. SEM is an excellent way to create brand recognition as you will be on the top search results. Moreover, this technique is great for bringing more targeted traffic to your site. Since you will be able to monitor the traffic, you can come up with campaigns based on it. 

Difference Between SEM and SEO 

Though SEO and SEM focus on using keywords, there is a slight difference in techniques used for marketing. SEO is a broader term that sometimes includes SEM under its umbrella. On the other hand, SEM is a paid advertisement. In SEM, you get traffic through paid ads while in SEO, you get traffic more organically. 

How SEM and SEO Work Together?

Both SEO and SEM rely on keywords to drive traffic to your websites. Even though the marketing methods used are different, they focus on the flow of traffic. We all know people use search engines to look for something. They can find it using paid results (SEM) or organic results (SEO). 

By now, everyone knows the importance of online presence using a blend of both SEO and SEM can give a boost to your visibility on the search results. These SEM tactics will only work well if your website is SEO friendly. 

For those who are confused, SEO is the basis for a good SEM strategy. Your SEM will be successful if you have an SEO-friendly website. When you have a good SEO and SEM strategy in place, conversion rates will improve and chances of getting quality traffic will greatly increase. Google must consider your website a credible source only then you will be able to get more traffic.

However, if your website is new, you must focus on the PPC campaign. That is because SEO takes time to improve your rank in SERPs. Make sure you are not ignoring SEO while focusing on PPC. 

All in all, you can get help from local SEO experts to come up with an amazing strategy to help drive traffic to your website. By having a combination of both SEO and SEM, you can reach new heights of success. 

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