If you are a business-oriented person or an entrepreneur at heart and mind, then you must have put up a website as the focal point of your business in order to promote your products and brand better. Luckily for you and for our fellow businessmen and women, digital marketing was introduced to us before it becomes too late. For this article, I will be discussing how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) differ from each other.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Perhaps, the most common and talked about digital marketing tool these days is the SEO, which is best known for its ability to earn your website a good ranking position in search engines. Why the need for SEO? You may have asked yourself that quite a number of times. Well, one way to get a natural positioning and make your websites appear in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, is through SEO.
Web pages are positioned according to each keyword which means that even if your website is the number one result for a certain keyword that doesn’t mean that it will automatically be the number one result for any other keyword relating to your website. So when dealing with keywords, you must be meticulous in choosing those that you will use to optimize your website. Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends are just some of the online tools that you can use to show you what keywords are frequently used among web users.
That being said, having good keywords and quality content are not the only determining factors in SEO, rather, it also involves other aspects such as the web structure, design, and layout, the responsiveness of the page, how well it serves the users, and even the time it takes to load.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
If SEO takes you at least a few months to see your desired outcomes, SEM, on the other hand, takes the shortcut. This means that SEM is an alternative for SEO especially if you’re in a hurry to boost your ranking in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Search engine marketing is actually just a fancy name for those sponsored links that we see before the organic results in search engines.
In the case of Google, the system of purchase of these spaces works like an auction so those who has the highest bid gets to have the first place while the others can take on the second until the last places. This is again, where keywords prove its importance because a person buys spaces in accordance to the keywords that are relevant to his/her business, which is why Google AdWords is very useful when it comes to SEM.
The greatest benefit of SEM is that your website is bound to be in the top ranking in just a few days as opposed to SEO where you have to wait for months.
Despite the comparison and obvious differences between the two, SEO and SEM can actually work together because using an SEM campaign entails you to do some optimization of your website. Paid advertising can only do you good at the start especially if you have a limited budget. Think of SEM as your initial means of getting online presence while you wait for your SEO campaign to take effect.