When it comes to internet marketing there are several terms you will come across. As the business scene continues to develop, new terms keep emerging. For this reason, it is important to be clear when describing your activities, plans, and actions. A good example of this would be from two of the most arguably popular terms on internet marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
Search Engine Optimization
This is one of the most well-known terms when referring to gaining traffic to a website from an internet search engine using editorial or organic methods. This technique is constantly evolving and changing to keep up with different search engine’s algorithms. The idea behind SEO is that a carefully tailored content will appear higher in search engine rankings. When your listing ranks high in search results then people are more likely to click on the link to your website. Very few people will scroll to the bottom of the first page of results and even less will follow over to a second or third results page.
There are two sectors of Search Engine Optimization, referred to as on-site and off-site. On-site Search Engine Optimization would include load speeds, page URLs, and titles that are fitted with target keywords and content that is written well also containing those keywords. Metadata includes meta description, heading tags, image ALT tags, and more, and all should be using similar keywords. Another factor this is important is social sharing. What this is are links to outside sources incorporated into your content. It is also highly advisable to link to other pages within your website and that would include links of any business partners that would reciprocate a link back to your website.
Off-site Search Engine Optimization includes those things that are not incorporated directly into the content of your website. An example of this would be social media accounts that drive traffic toward your website.
Search Engine Marketing
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a technique that is used to make your website more visible by buying paid advertisements. Search engines often host banners, images, and other advertisements that link directly to your website. This is often referred to as pay-per-click ads, cost-per-click ads, as well as some other nicknames. The benefit of paid search advertising is that your website will be advertised on the specific search engine results page that matches the user’s search term. Even if your website doesn’t show in results in organic search results You will now have more visibility.
Search Engine Optimization or Marketing: Which is Better?
When it comes to choosing between search engine optimization or search engine marketing, it is wise to use both to their fullest extent and be aware of the different qualities of both.
SEO is free while SEM will require planning, designing ads, and budgeting. If you have a new website, it will appear less credible to search engines so some paid marketing is most likely needed so your site will look more credible to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
As you can see SEM is not just another term that encompasses Search Engine Optimization. The two terms have different meanings. SEM is paid marketing and SEO is a long-term content plan that is free. Because both are important you know the differences between them so that you can use them both correctly.