search engine optimization

Search Engine Optimization vs. Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Optimization vs Search Engine Optimization, what do they mean? Before we dive into that, let’s understand their basic importance. As of 2017, the number of searches over the internet averaged almost 6 billion a day. While it is true that social media has taken the world by storm, there is more going on behind the scenes. Search engines are growing in the shadows, becoming bigger and better than ever.. Today, search engines are 300% times more of an effective marketing medium than social media. We’re pretty sure you’re getting the picture! If a business expects to grow, they have to invest substantial resources in search engine optimization. So, Search Engine Optimization vs Search Engine Marketing, let’s talk about them. 

What Is The Difference?

However, as we begin to discuss the details of Search Engine Optimization vs Search Engine Marketing let’s clear up any confusion. While experts recognize the difference between SEO and SEM many people don’t. Our discussion today revolves around the differences, strengths, weaknesses and significance of both SEO and SEM. 

There is a clear separation between the two. In order to clarify the difference we will explain both concepts separately.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the use of certain techniques to increase the organic rankings of a website in search results. When you hit the search tab after entering certain parameters in the Google search bar, the backend algorithm of the search engine picks out the most relevant results. These then appear in a certain order based on the website with the strongest SEO strategy. So, those that rank higher than others get priority. 

The Elements Of SEO

While on the subject of SEO it is only relevant to discuss the elements that contribute to the rank that a website obtains. These are divided into two broad categories:

On-Page SEO

The elements under this head include the ones that exist on the web page itself. These include keywords and whether or not they are used effectively. Additionally, they include compressing visual elements to optimize the performance of the website. Along with that, creating quality content that is relevant and adds value to the lives of users is important. 

Off-Page SEO

As the name indicates, off-page SEO refers to the factors that are not on the web page itself. Examples include back links to other websites, social media posts and management of local SEO listings.

Search Engine Marketing

The primary difference between SEO and SEM is that search engine marketing involves more paid content rather than organic traffic. As you hit ‘Enter’ on Google, you realize that there are certain results at the top with a small box saying ‘ad’ before the link itself. These links are a result of paid spaces. They are bought by the webpages in order to drive more traffic towards them. Pay per click and other related paid advertising techniques fall under SEM. While you might think that this technique is not as effective as SEO, think again.

Are They Both Important?

The next question that arises in a business owner’s mind is whether there is a need for both or just one. Well, unfortunately there is no straightforward answer to this question. If it’s simply about the importance than yes, both are equally important to your business. So if your budget and expertise allow, invest in both of them.

However, there are a number of factors that determine the preferences for certain businesses. These include budgets, target audiences, marketing objectives, and professional help at your disposal. SEO is able to generate organic links which means that a user is more likely to stick around and eventually convert into a customer. However, if you execute and place appropriately, you can achieve the same through paid advertisements that are a part of SEM campaigns.

The Complementary Effect Of SEO & SEM

For those without resources to use both techniques side by side, don’t fret. There are a number of ways where SEO and SEM elements overlap. As a result, it is possible to execute both while focusing on one. This means that search engine optimization and search engine marketing can act as complementary techniques. Given below are a few similarities on how both SEO and SEM can go hand in hand.

They Both Use Keywords.

While SEM are paid advertisements they are displayed in relevance to the keywords entered by a user. Furthermore, only a selection of ads show up in every search which means that the appropriate usage of keywords holds extreme importance in both cases. Google Adwords is one of the best sources for relevant keywords in every industry. It lists the keywords that Google algorithms pick out the most in certain categories.

The Main Objective For Both Is The Same.

The objective as well as the result that a business wishes to obtain from both is exactly the same. While they may be listed at the top of a search page, a user will not click on the ad unless they find that it has content relevant to their search. Therefore, if a business optimizes their content for either SEO or SEM, they’ll be helping the other.

In conclusion, we would like to summarize our discussion by pointing out that the only difference between search engine optimization and search engine marketing is that the latter is being paid for. Besides this, both these techniques are of great use when side by side.


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