A foundational aspect of setting up a digital presence for your business is your website. It is not enough to simply have a great website; after all, you want traffic and conversions from your site. While SEO and SEM are two sides of the same coin, they consist of different actions and relate to different aspects of marketing. To further this, digital marketing has a core area of focus- search engine marketing (SEM.) SEM has been a buzzword in marketing for a long time now but is gaining more prominence as Google began to prioritise advertising on its multiple platforms. SEM endeavours aim to ensure that your website shows up as one of the first results when a user searches for relevant search terms.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another buzzword in marketing, and it is often confused with SEM. SEM is an umbrella term, used to cover different search engine activity including SEO marketing. When planning a marketing strategy, it is important to know what is SEO, and how it is different from SEM.
In this article, Team Luxeveda will explain the difference between SEO and SEM, and then go into detail about how they can each be used separately. Lastly, we will explain how they complement each other.
Understanding the Difference between SEO and SEM
The goal of SEO is to elevate your website’s position within results returned by a search engine. That is, you want your website to be on the first page of any search result. This can help your site get more clicks and traffic, and almost always means higher conversions. Because of Google’s ever-changing algorithms, SEO audits are important to know where you stand and how to move forward. Through SEO analysis, you can learn how best to use SEO marketing to improve your search position. SEO is made up of two parts: onsite and offsite strategies.
On the other hand, SEM involves gaining website traffic by using paid advertising. For this, your ad copy and targeting strategy must align with keywords that match the popular search queries. A simple SEO audit, through tools like Google Search Console, will show you whether your keywords are performing well. Paid ads allow your business to increase the visibility of its landing pages, blog pages and more.
So, for a well-rounded marketing strategy, your business should use SEM by tapping into both SEO marketing and SEM. SEO analysis should be used for keyword strategy and creating high quality content, and SEM to target potential customers. In other words, the answer to “what is SEO?” is that SEO is a component of SEM. You can have SEO without SEM, but not the other way around.
SEO analysis is required to understand how a search engine crawls content, to understand how effective it is to attract traffic. Crawlers look for quality content, which depicts to search engines that your website is legitimate. To improve this, you should focus on link building and keywords. A simple SEO audit can reveal how your website is currently performing on these metrics.
SEO analysis also tracks user experience, which includes web design, speed and navigation quality.
SEM includes aspects like targeted keyword campaigns, which requires writing copy using very selective keywords. SEM also brings in multiple aspects of strategy like budgeting and applying KPIs, like click-through-rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC), towards future advertising activities.
When done right, paid marketing is great for brand recognition and bring in targeted traffic to your website. By using paid ads, your business can monitor the traffic through SEO analysis and create future campaign strategies using this information.
How SEO and SEM Work Together
Most people look things up online before making a transaction. So, having a strong search engine presence is important. Using a combination of SEO and SEM can boost your site’s position on search engines in the long-term. Your SEM will show best results only when your website is SEO-friendly. Conducting regular SEO audit and SEO analysis is thus critical in ensuring the long-term success of your business on search.
Both SEO and SEM rely on keywords to drive traffic to websites and specific web pages. SEO acts as the foundation for good SEM. When each individual component is set up properly, your business has higher chance improving conversion rates. Regular SEO audits, along with SEM means a higher chance of showing up at the top of paid searches. Without SEO analysis, however, Google will fail to mark you as a credible website.
In conclusion, it is better to prioritize SEM campaigns as a newer website, as it can take a while for SEO rankings to become established. Yet, SEO analysis and SEO audits remain integral for long-term success and should not be overlooked. If you are looking for integrated search engine web solutions, contact Luxeveda to improve your site ranking and increase traffic to your business.