seo and sem seo vs sem

SEO and SEM What is the difference, which one to choose?

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Are you SEO and SEM con­fused? Well you not the only one who who might want to know about SEO and SEM.

In most cas­es when peo­ple talk about online adver­tis­ing or inter­net mar­ket­ing they are bound to talk about search engine mar­ket­ing. Even though they might not real­ly under­stand them ful­ly.  It could be why they end up spend­ing time and mon­ey try to get their our prod­ucts or ser­vices to the cor­rect cus­tomers.

By under­stand­ing in details what you need to pro­mote your ser­vices online via search engines. You will make the cor­rect deci­sion from the on set. Both of this search engine adver­tis­ing have their pros and cons, which will be out­lined.

When comes a time to make a deci­sion between using SEO or SEM it becomes a chal­lenge. This post will explain both types of search engine mar­ket­ing and give your clear exam­ple relat­ing to online mar­ket­ing.

The difference between SEO and SEM

Search Engine Opti­miza­tion which is SEO and Search Engine Mar­ket­ing which is SEM rep­re­sent the tac­tics used by search engines to show search results based on the key­words the user entered.

Both SEO and SEM are a form of inter­net adver­tis­ing used by search engines to query. They both play a sig­nif­i­cant role and can be used for a spe­cif­ic pur­pose. Which is get­ting vis­i­tors to a web­site, land­ing page or a blog using key­words.

SEO and SEM focus on key­word research, should you do prop­er key­word research and place them in the right places you will rank high, else you wont appear on the top pages.

The dif­fer­ence between them is that SEO uses tac­tics that focus­es on get­ting free organ­ic traf­fic to a web­site, which is also regard­ed as nat­ur­al traf­fic.

While SEM focus­es more on tac­tics that use paid traf­fic or on how to get tar­get­ed traf­fic on search engines.

In most cas­es SEM is being referred to as Pay Per Click adver­tis­ing or PPC in short. PPC adver­tis­ing is used by peo­ple who have a bud­get set aside for their adver­tis­ing cam­paigns and who are will­ing to buy adver­tis­ing through key­word bid­ding.

Pay Per Click advertising

With PPC you only pay when users click on your ad, which is why is called Pay Per Click. With PPC you can bit for any key­word and rank high for the key­word.

Anoth­er focus should be your return on investment(ROI) if you use PPC ads to tar­get traf­fic. You need to your research so that your earn prof­its for your invest­ment.

The PPC adverts are most­ly dis­played on the search results page just above the SEO results and below the search box. Some of PPC ads are dis­played at the top right of your screen which a cap­tion “Spon­sored” above them.

One oth­er major dif­fer­ence between SEO and SEM is that, most search engine users tend to click more on SEO results and neglect the PPC ads because they don’t trust them due to know­ing that those ads are being paid for.

SEO uses free tac­tics to send traf­fic to a web­site but is known to take longer than SEM or PPC adver­tis­ing. While using PPC adver­tis­ing can be seen as an easy method to tar­get cus­tomers on search engines but it will cost you.

How can you use SEO effectively?

When it comes to opti­miz­ing your web pages you want to focus on the doing a prop­er key­word research, select good key­words and place them in the right places.

You can use SEO effec­tive­ly by opti­miz­ing your web pages for search engines. SEO focus on  page opti­miza­tion and off page opti­miza­tion to rank a web page high on search engines using key­words.

With On Page SEO Opti­miza­tion a web devel­op­er uses dif­fer­ent tac­tics that are fea­tured on the HTML page. Such as includ­ing key­words with­in the title tag, the meta tag descrip­tion, with­in the body of the page, in the sub­head­ings, also in the images alt tag and oth­er places.

You need to choose a great plat­form when cre­at­ing your web­site or blog, prefer­ably a CMS. A good CMS for SEO is Word­Press, it comes with a lot of fea­tures includ­ing SEO plu­g­ins that you can use to opti­mize your pages for SEO.

How to target customers using SEM?

Depend­ing on a mar­keters bud­get, with PPC you can tar­get your cus­tomers by bid­ding on rel­e­vant key­words and tar­get your cus­tomers based on what they are search­ing for. Then even­tu­al­ly land them to your site if you rank high for those key­words in a spe­cif­ic area.

With SEM you are in con­trol of the num­ber of clicks you want.  How much you are will­ing to pay for per click and which search engines users you want to tar­get. You can tar­get your desired audi­ence by spec­i­fy­ing the area you want the ad to dis­play. With PPC  you can set the time for which you want your ad to dis­play on the search engines.

You can have a land­ing page instead for users to sub­mit an image, have a video or brief text descrip­tion on that land­ing page.

If you want to set up your account you might need cer­tain skills to set up your account if you wish do it your­self, if you can not per­haps you can find a SEO and SEM spe­cial­ist or online adver­tis­ing agency that spe­cial­ize in both ser­vices.

So which method is effective?

If your look at my post title you will see that it includes SEO and SEM not SEO vs SEM. I did that for a pur­pose, choos­ing one over anoth­er is not a good idea, because they both tar­get traf­fic.

But the oth­er one is free while the oth­er is a paid method. So your bud­get should be the deter­min­ing fac­tor. If you don’t have a bud­get at all then you can stick to SEO opti­miza­tion and your site to and get free traf­fic.

Choos­ing both tac­tics can ben­e­fit any busi­ness when used effec­tive­ly. Choos­ing one over anoth­er can hurt you. The good thing about SEO is that if you get right you can get organ­ic traf­fic. While, if you decide to go for as SEM alone it means you have a big bud­get.

Opti­miz­ing your pages for search engines can not be exclud­ed because it brings nat­ur­al traf­fic. Even if you do not have any bud­get SEO opti­miza­tion is still the best.

Both SEO and SEM should be con­sid­ered, if you run a small to medi­um busi­ness or you’re an indi­vid­ual try­ing to run your search engine mar­ket­ing.  If you’re not using any SEO on site you could be los­ing a lot of clients that you didn’t have to pay for.

By choos­ing to use SEM alone you could be com­pet­ing against big com­pa­nies with bud­gets for the same key­word. So you need to do your key­word research thor­ough­ly before you decide to bit on the key­word.

If your PPC is done cor­rect­ly it can bring a lot of sales. You should always remem­ber that using PPC is the same as run­ning any mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Your prof­its should be high­er than your expens­es in order for you to see good results.

The advantages and disadvantages of SEO and SEM?

I’m believe by now you already know what are the advan­tages in using SEO and their dis­ad­van­tage, and also with SEM like wise. But I will just put them in point form so that you can.

The SEO Advantages include:

  • If your pages are opti­mize cor­rect­ly they can take a bit more time for them to go low­er.
  • It cost less or next to noth­ing to opti­mize your site unless you hire some­one to do it for you.
  • Your site might get free organ­ic traf­fic
  • Your site can be the most trust­ed com­pared to the ones who used SEM or PPC adver­tis­ing.

The SEO Disadvantage include:

  • SEO might take time to opti­mize and get ranked high on search engines.
  • Is uncer­tain that you will rank high because of the com­pe­ti­tion.
  • Search engines tend to change their crawl­ing source code which usu­al­ly affect page rank­ings.
  • You can not chan­nel to spe­cif­ic cus­tomers

The SEM Advantages Include:

  • Con­trol which traf­fic you want, basi­cal­ly tar­get­ed traf­fic.
  • You get con­trol over how many clicks you want
  • The site can be on the first page few min­utes after you set up.
  • You can con­trol which time you want your ad to appear on search engines.

The SEM Advantages include:

  • It can cost a lot of mon­ey to run
  • You could still not get your tar­get­ed clicks
  • The click could still come from spam­mers or robot­ic pro­grams.

Look­ing at those advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages one would say SEO is the way to go. But then one could still go with SEM. I have stat­ed SEO and SEM play good role and should be looked at care­ful­ly and be applied the same way.

You are wel­come to ask ques­tions regard­ing SEO and SEM because or get a con­sul­tant to do the job for you. Anoth­er dis­ad­van­tage could be that some­one who spe­cialis­es on SEO might not be a spe­cial­ist in Pay Per click adver­tis­ing.

Choos­ing some­one to do it for you should be able to see if they know and under­stand both meth­ods. Ask them a few ques­tions or ask for their pre­vi­ous work which will show the results.

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