What is SEO and SEM?

What is SEO and SEM?

Search marketing enhances a website’s visibility, traffic and ranking on search engine result pages. Search engine optimization and search engine marketing are the two significant categories of search marketing that performs the same function but with different approaches. In today’s guide, you’ll learn the meaning, concept, types, advantages and differences of SEO and SEM so that you make an informed decision while using any of these techniques in your search marketing practices. 

What is SEO? 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is orienting a website’s content relevance, technical configuration and link popularity to earn a higher ranking in the organic result pages. This includes keyword research, on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO. 

Search engine like Google and Bing suggests featuring content that fulfils users’ needs so that it achieves better results in all disciplines. This involves adding- 

  • Relevant keywords in titles 
  • Meta description 
  • Headlines – H1, H2, H3 
  • Descriptive URLs 
  • Schema Markup 

Content that outperforms in all of these disciplines increases its chances of better ranking on SERPs. 

What are the Three Types of SEO?

Three significant types of SEO come in handy in the search engine optimization practice. They are: 

  • On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO is the method of creating content per the searcher’s needs and queries. This practice is mainly followed based on the target keywords you choose to add to your content. For instance, if people search for SEO benefits on Google, they want to read a blog that illustrates the advantages of SEO for their learning purpose. 

Here when you offer an article based on your searcher’s needs, it is referred to as positioning your content subject to the search intent. Besides, other factors that matter for On-Page SEO are – keyword placement, unique titles, descriptive URLs and image optimization.  

  • Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO are the activities performed outside of your site to prove its credibility to the search engines. This includes creating high-quality backlinks that come under Google’s top three ranking factors. Off-Page SEO is one of the most important types of SEO following in search marketing efforts. 

For example, suppose your website has earned backlinks from high-authority websites. In that case, it reflects that other people in the community trust and follow your content, which further proves that your website deserves to rank on SERPs. But backlink is just one off-page SEO factor; many other things act like votes for the site’s credibility. This includes the positive reviews, likes and shares your content has received. 

  • Technical SEO 

Technical search engine optimization refers to website and server optimization to increase its page’s ranking. This involves improving your site’s technical aspects so that Google can easily crawl, index and render the content and provide a better ranking on the search engine result pages. 

Advantages of SEO 

Next comes the guide of SEO and SEM are the advantages of search engine optimization one leverages in their business. They are: 

  • Draws more customers via organic search 

SEO drives 1000%+ traffic in contrast with the organic search media. Ever thought about why? Because SEO brings searchers the organic results through which they reach the solution they are finding on the internet. Your site needs to rank on Google’s first result page to become easily visible to potential customers, and if your website has just secured the top three spot, then nothing can resist your business from receiving higher CTR. Alongside the featured snippet, ranking for certain search terms defined under SEO practices helps you prove yourself as a reliable resource in front of the searchers and eventually convert them into your product customers. 

  • SEO boost your site’s credibility 

Generally, for search engines, the definition of a qualitative and reliable website ranks on the first page of its search results. Thus, websites with a higher ranking on search engines are given higher credibility than those with low rankings. And as SEO deeply focuses on boosting a site’s content, speed and keyword used, it further helps it rank even higher on search engines and consequently improve its credibility. 

  • SEO generates quantifiable results 

Following search engine optimization practices, an SEO analyst can easily track changes in rankings, the website traffic and conversions. Google Analytics offers you detailed information about your website, including your website user’s journey, the number of pages they engaged with and so on. These metrics help you revise and improve your SEO efforts and earn better revenue. 

The above three are the only major advantages of SEO that are paramount to its worldwide users. The other SEO benefits include the following- 

  1. Cost-effective method
  2. Supports content marketing 
  3. Maximizes PPC campaigns 
  4. Provides a competitive edge 
  5. It helps reach more people 
  6. It helps rank better in local searches 
  7. Improves website usability 
  8. Improves user engagement rates 

What is SEM? 

Search engine marketing is where you draw traffic from organic and paid results. This includes search engine optimization, pay-per-click campaigns, AdSense, AdWords, contextual ads, social networking etc. 

Types of SEM 

Search engine marketing that aims to earn greater visibility in search results is classified into three categories. These are- 

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click is an online advertising model that tells you to only pay when a searcher clicks on your site or ads. It is also known as the cost-per-click model, primarily offered by search engines and social networks for ranking purposes. The PPC model is a resourceful way to promote your business and reach a broad audience when they are searching for services like yours. 

  • Local SEO 

Local search engine optimization is the practice that helps brands and businesses be more visible in local search results. Local SEO is specifically performed for those brands that serve a geographical area. By enhancing local SEO practices, businesses can drive more organic traffic from people in nearby areas. 

  • Organic SEO 

Organic search engine optimization enhances your website’s ranking in the organic and unpaid search results. Organic search engine optimization practices involve keyword research, content creation, backlink creation, optimizing page titles, sprucing up meta descriptions, mixing anchor text and more. Sites that draw traffic from organic SEO are given higher credibility on search engines than sites with paid SEO. 

Advantages of Search Engine Marketing 

The various benefits of search engine marketing include the following- 

  • Instant client reach 

Search Engine Marketing is often practised as a short-term strategy to instantly reach the targeted clients and customers. In contrast with search engine optimization, search engine marketing generates quick results as the paid results enable you to reach the target market in no time. 

  • Improved brand awareness 

Search engine marketing enables advertisers to show their brand name in the extension links, description, display URL, and ad headlines. Thus, paid search marketing increases brand awareness and helps them rank on top of SERPs. 

  • Appear on competitor’s related keywords 

Search engine marketing efforts describe the creation of search ads that appear on keywords related to your competitor’s brand or site and eventually draw your competitor’s clients towards you. 

Difference Between SEO and SEM 

Having learnt about SEO and SEM basics, let’s quickly find the difference between the interrelated yet opposite concepts. 

SEOSMM
It is a category of search marketingIt is a category of search engine optimization
Draws slower resultsDraws instant results
Appropriate for less budgeted firmsAppropriate for high-budgeted films
Generates higher CTRGenerates lower CTR
SEO is less expensiveSEM is too expensive
SEO is less competitive space as it needs organic contentSEM generates high competition in specific areas.
Unlimited traffic potentialLimited traffic potential
SEO helps gain long term benefitsSEM gains short term benefits
Conclusion

Search engine optimization focuses on driving organic search results to improve a site’s ranking. In contrast, search engine marketing focuses on investing in advertising campaigns so that the paid search results appear on top of the SERPs. But owing to SEO’s potential of bringing long-term benefits, the search optimization method is highly preferred by businesses and website owners alike.  These are the basic SEO and SEM concepts you should know to enhance your website’s visibility, traffic and ranking on Google, Binge and other similar platforms. Meanwhile, if you need assistance with two of the search marketing practices, do connect with our team, and we’d love to help you with your website and business presence.

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