SEO vs. SEM:
Understanding the differences, similarities and finding out which one is good for your brand!
Here is infographic prepared for easy understanding about SEO vs SEM
While the terms like Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing are used interchangeably, there is a huge sea difference between them, almost to the level of debunking cosmos and dunking a basketball. Not that any of them is a mean feat.
Both are equally important to promote a business and SEO is a part of SEM, it is important to understand the differences between the two for thorough knowledge and clarity as well as to be able to implement the fundamentals.
“SEM is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPS) through optimization and advertising.”
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.
How SEO and SEM are interconnected:
SEM is an umbrella term, which includes Social Media Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Referral Marketing, Content Marketing, Native Advertising, Pay-per-Click (PPC), Cost per Impression, Search Analytics, Web Analytics, Display Advertising, Ad Blocking, Behavioural Targeting, Affiliate Marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
Brand Visibility: Both SEO and SEM help the website to gain visibility in search results and bring footfall to the website by increasing Click-through-Rates.
Keyword Research: Both strategies use specific keywords or popular search terms to appear in search results. To understand and explore the keywords, tools like Adwords and Alexa’s Keyword Density Tool are used. These tools help to uncover competitive keywords and the phrases (search term) used by the customers to search for the particular brand.
Understanding Audience: To sell a brand to people, knowing your audience is paramount. This is why both strategies need to analyze buyer persona, triggers, and psychographic segmentation. Based on this, PPC ads and content for SEO can be created.
Testing: It all boils down to continual testing and tweaking to understand- what works with your customers and what gets to respond to them more. While one needs to learn the fundamental aspects of SEO and SEM from the experts at a digital marketing institute, digital marketing is an ever-changing and highly engaging world, with no written rules to what might work with them in real-time.
…And the similarity ends here.
While the aim of both SEO and SEM is to bring traffic to the website and enhance its reach, the means used to achieve it, are different.
SEM is paid. SEO is free.
SEM is largely a paid activity including a prompt or a call to action with a phone number, e-mail or an offer whereas SEO is a part of it but that is known to bring traffic to the website organically and naturally by purely getting the ranks on the search engine. Unlike SEM, SEO doesn’t have any ad included in it or an ad extension.
You need to pay to the search engine every time an ad of your SEM campaign is clicked. This is why you need to have a budget allocated for an SEM campaign to generate leads continually. However, the ads of SEM can be stopped as and when you want to by simply turning off the campaign. SEM campaign is based on several filters including age, gender, the socio-economic profile of your targeted audience and many more.
When a search engine result is clicked, it is completely free and unpaid.
SEO is not an overnight thing. No organic process has been one, right? It takes time to reflect the results. An SEM campaign can be set in minutes and start showing up the moment you set one. This is why the latter is good for testing the impact as you can revisit the ad copy, revise the content and see what works. Since SEO can take months, it is difficult to start with new content and keywords every now and then.
However, SEO holds more value than an SEM campaign in the long run because of its natural results, high CTR and organic listings. The impact of SEM is over as soon as the campaign is off.
Both SEO training and SEM are complementary and it is tricky to pick one. SEM is an effective method to click with your customers and let them know about your brand in an instant. SEO, on the other hand, helps you to gain traction over time.
We can help! If you have any questions or you want to improve SEO and SEM strategies for your brand with us, call us now!