There’s been a lot of confusion over the buzzword internet marketing terms SEM and SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a concept that even the most casual blogger may be familiar with, but it’s a term that gets used, sometimes interchangeably, along with SEM (Search Engine Marketing.)
This leaves a lot of people confused, asking which is which, which is better, and do you need both?
SEM and SEO: Which is Best?
As you’ll see, SEM and SEO are both important.
Depending on who you talk to, search engine marketing is either an umbrella term for everything involving increasing your presence on the internet — including SEO — or a standalone concept.
Truth is, it started as the former and became the latter. SEO is something anyone can do on their own for free, but the larger SEM picture requires the work of pros… and you’ll get better SEO out of it if you hire some, too.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Ranking Your Site
SEO has to be part of the grand plan no matter what approach you take.
Studies show that the first three sites Google lists on any given topic are the ones that get most of the traffic: 33% goes to the top organic result, 18% to the second, 11% to the third.
That’s a giant dropoff. Second page results? You’ll be lucky if users make it halfway down the page.
However, search engine marketing helps you make your presence known in every other possible way online.
Although more people will be brought to your page through SEO, the full SEM strategy results in 35% more sales than SEO alone.
Sound confusing? It’s not. Here’s how it breaks down.
Why Great SEO Isn’t Enough
You probably already know the point of SEO: it’s there to make sure that you’re ranked high on Google, Bing, Yahoo or whatever else people use for their default search engine.
It involves several different ways to optimize your page for all the various algorithms out there. Since search engines are still where most people go when they want to compare products and prices, you always need it.
SEO is mainly focused on three things: content, keywords, and backlinks.
Once upon a time, entities like Yahoo were easy to game by stuffing your page with relevant keywords, whether in the text of your posts or not.
It was a good way to get found, but the Google algorithm prevailed over it because it found ways to grade pages on their actual usefulness and relevance. Every time Google refines their search algorithm, which is quite often, they get better at oy.
Organic is the Way to Go
There are ways to help boost your rankings with keywords, to be sure, but nowadays your best bet is to make the keywords as organic as possible inside the text of your post.
in fact, quite a lot of people work backward these days and find the best performing keywords, then fashion the subject of their blog post around that.
Then there are backlinks, which are all the other high-ranking pages that link to you and your post.
The major search engines have algorithms that look at a mixture of content, keyboards, and backlinks to determine how to rank your page. Even the URL needs to be optimized for their algorithm.
But as we’ve seen, users don’t spend much time searching.
Search Engine Marketing: The Big Picture
So what’s SEM?
Search Engine Marketing is your larger plan to get noticed on the web. It always includes SEO in the strategy, but most of what people refer to these days as SEM are things that require cash investment. There are all sorts of helpful tools on the internet to help you maximize your blog post in the search engines, but people aren’t searching all the time, and you want to be able to reach them wherever you can. back in the
There are all sorts of helpful tools on the internet to help you maximize your blog post in the search engines, but people aren’t searching all the time, and you want to be able to reach them wherever you can. back in the
Back in the Web 1.0 days, the most obvious example of this was the banner ad. But as it turns out, consumers learn to ignore those — especially since they were found in the same place on most websites.
Google, being the leader in search engine technology, found a way to offer paid advertisement links that look almost organic next to the real results.
And while most consumers have learned to gloss over these as well, they still command some attention — and again, as we noted above, what’s alternately known as PPC (pay-per-click) links or PSA (paid search advertising) usually results in way more sales.
In fact, the performance of these links has gone way up over the past few years without cutting into the performance of the regular or “organic” links.
The Future of SEM
The search engine marketing of the future is liable to incorporate both organic links, for when potential customers want to learn more about a product or business, and paid links for when they’re ready to shop around.
Integrating these sort of links more organically into the user experience is also what’s usually behind social media strategies, which are the other main part of search engine marketing.
Although the process isn’t complete yet, sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are trying to learn how to incorporate paid links into their timeline.
They’re not liable to fool consumers, but they will catch the eye — which is why they’re worth what you pay for them.
Guest posts are another important aspect of SEM, where you can pitch your blog idea to a site that already has lots of traffic and see if you can get noticed that way.
SEO and SEM: Working Together
Most search engine marketing strategists will recommend implementing a mix of paid and organic links, a strong social media strategy, strong SEO, backlinks and guest posts, because it well-rounded strategy is necessary to capture your piece of the market.
SEO and SEM have to work together. Whatever you do, don’t trust yourself to promote your site alone: SEM strategists keep up on all the latest changes in search engines and social media both. so if you want to make the greatest possible impact Harrison prose today hire some pros today
So if you want to make the greatest possible impact, hire some pros today! It’s the best way to stay competitive.