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A Guide on the Difference Between SEO and SEM

Difference Between Seo and Sem June 23 2024

About 70% of all experiences online start with a search engine. In fact, 53% of all website traffic comes from an organic search. That doesn’t account for paid advertising, though.

With search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), you can start reaching new clients online. Then, you can generate more website traffic, leads, and sales to help your business grow.

What is the difference between SEO and SEM? Read on to find out!

What Is SEO?

Before we compare SEO vs SEM, it helps to look at each strategy separately. What is SEO, exactly?

Search engine optimization is a combination of marketing tactics to help your website content rank higher on Google. Higher search engine rankings will ensure consumers find your website before a competitor’s while online. You can use SEO to appear in front of your ideal customers based on the keywords they use during a search.

Appearing in front of your ideal customers while they’re in the mood to shop can help you generate more leads and sales!

Other benefits of digital marketing using SEO strategies including:

  • Ranking ahead of competitors
  • Appearing at the top on search result pages
  • Generating quality website traffic
  • Generating quality leads
  • Increasing sales
  • Improving your ROI
  • Generating brand awareness and recognition
  • Becoming a credible resource within your industry
  • Gaining brand trust and loyalty

However, you’ll need to use four different types of SEO to improve your rankings. It can take time before your rankings improve, too. It also takes time to learn the ropes of creating an effective SEO strategy.

Instead of strategizing alone, consider hiring an experienced SEO marketing agency this year. They’ll help you develop a well-rounded SEO strategy that will boost your rankings.

Once your rankings improve, you can reach more customers, generate more leads, and boost your business!

Types of SEO

Remember, there are four types of SEO you’ll need to consider in order to improve your rankings.

On-page SEO involves factors you can influence within your content. For example, keyword placement plays a part in helping you rank for specific keywords. As part of your SEO strategy, you’ll also need to gather keyword research.

Otherwise, you might not create content that aligns with the user’s search intent. Their search intent can help you meet their expectations. If your content doesn’t meet their expectations, the visitor will leave without exploring your content.

As people leave your site, your bounce rate might increase, causing your rankings to drop.

Off-page SEO involves factors outside of your website. For example, you’ll need to generate quality backlinks. Backlinks are links that refer readers on other websites to your content.

Gaining backlinks from websites with higher search engine rankings can help your search engine rankings improve. Each backlink is like a vote of confidence for your website.

Technical SEO involves the backend of your website. For example, you’ll need to improve your website development to ensure the site is fast, mobile-optimized, and secure. The user experience on your website can also impact your organic rankings.

Finally, you’ll need to consider your local SEO strategy. You can rank for location-based keywords to appear in front of local consumers. You can also optimize your Google Business listing and begin generating reviews as part of your local SEO strategy.

What Is SEM?

What is search engine marketing, then?

SEM is a combination of marketing strategies you can use to reach customers online. In fact, SEO is a type of SEM strategy. While SEO is organic, most other SEM strategies are paid strategies.

With SEM, you can improve your rankings on search engines faster than you can with SEO. You can also target consumers based on demographics like age, gender, or location. More precise targeting can help you control your advertising spend.

However, with SEM, you usually pay when people view or click on your ads. The cost-per-click (CPC) can vary based on bids from other businesses.

When someone clicks on one of your ads, they’ll reach a landing page on your website. Then, you can use compelling CTA language to convert that visitor into a lead or sale.

Types of SEM

SEM includes all forms of paid search advertising, including:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC)
  • Retargeting
  • Mobile search advertising
  • Google Ads
  • Bing Ads
  • Product Listing Ads
  • Google Shopping ads
  • YouTube
  • Video search ads
  • Amazon Ads

You can use Google Ads to begin appearing on Google search engine result pages or websites on Google’s Search Network. Google Ads allows you to create text and display ads.

Text ads can appear among organic listings on search engine result pages. Display ads can appear on other websites on Google’s network.

Display ads can appear as images, animations, videos, or HTML-5 ads. With display ads, you’ll pay for every 1,000 impressions (cost-per-impression or CPM).

The Difference Between SEO and SEM

What is the difference between SEO and SEM, then?

While SEO is an organic search engine marketing strategy, other SEM strategies are forms of paid advertising. You can generate results faster with SEM than you would with SEO. However, once you improve your organic rankings, you can reap the benefits of SEO long-term.

Don’t choose between SEO vs SEM. Instead, look for a digital marketing agency that offers both services. SEM services can benefit your SEO strategy, and vice versa.

For example, you can check the data from your PPC campaigns to determine what search terms people use before clicking on your ads. Then, you can use those keywords within your SEO blog posts.

Once you begin generating traffic from your SEM campaigns, Google might boost your organic rankings, too.

The changes you make to your website for your technical SEO strategy can improve the landing page experience on your website. Google considers the landing page experience when determining your quality score. A better quality score can benefit your CPC.

With both SEM and SEO, you can reach new customers to expand your business.

Reach New Customers: Start Benefiting From SEO and SEM Today

To recap, what is the biggest difference between SEO and SEM? SEO is an organic strategy while other forms of SEM are paid advertising strategies. Using both, however, can help you gain more brand visibility online.

As more people find your business, you can begin generating more leads and sales!

Eager to get started? We can help.

Book a strategy call with our team today!

author avatar
Bipper Media
Bipper Media is a global leader in search engine optimization.
Bipper Media
Bipper Mediahttps://bippermedia.com
Bipper Media is a global leader in search engine optimization.

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