SEO vs. SEM: Know which one is the best for your website?
Most of the times both the terms are used interchangeably, which usually creates a lot of confusion. So before deciding which technique is more suitable for you, we need to have a clear understanding of the differences between the two of them.
What is SEO?
SEO is component of SEM. It is a marketing discipline focused on growing quantity and quality of traffic to your website in organic (non-paid) search engine results. In other words, Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
An optimized website makes it easier to be crawled by search engines, increasing the chances of improving their rankings. The two main ways of doing SEO are: on-site SEO and off-site SEO. On-site SEO refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-site SEO is accomplished from sources other than your site.
What is SEM?
Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings.
Basically, while SEO is more about getting your website optimized so as to get better rankings amongst the search results in a long term for free, SEM goes beyond SEO and includes other methods such as PPC advertising to get more visitors in the short term.
SEM is more likely to convert viewers into paying customers but it is necessary to afford an investment in advertising to success.
Which Marketing Technique is more suitable for your business?
There is no winner to choose here. It will depend of the size of your business, how big or small your budget is for investing in advertising and which are your goals towards advertising, and in most cases they complement each other.
Organic SEO as a matter of fact is the best approach as it uses methods that improve traffic towards your website by making it more important in search engine results through targeted keywords.
However, many a times PPC campaigns is a good technique to use when starting a business and you want to have more visibility and quicker results. This way people know that you exist. Though, you can’t avoid SEO. Sticking to just PPC campaigns is not going to generate a good result in the long term. SEO is a method that increases credibility in search results in a long term but it is long lasting as well.
So, which method should I choose?
The ideal is to combine both methods. Many companies do both Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, this approach will help you get your website in front of your target market.
Starting using SEM, can be a great way to find the right keywords that work best for your industry. Pay per click or Search Engine Marketing allows you to see which keywords you should eliminate so you can concentrate on the proper more targeted keywords that will deliver new clients to your website. And also it helps to save money.
Once, you chose the most suitable keywords for your company, use SEO to optimize your website using these keywords. When listing your website in search engines you will get more visitors for less than a half of the cost.
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