In this digital marketing and industry era, knowledge about search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) is something that needs to be understood. Both help your business site rank on Google search pages.
Both SEM and SEO help bring traffic to your website. With increased traffic, your product will be more known to customers.
Understanding SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Search engine marketing is a form of marketing on the internet to increase website visibility on search engine pages through website promotion activities. SEM can also be understood as ‘buying’ traffic by paying search engines like Google.
This method is effective because it can put your website on the first page in search engines. In other words, SEM helps your business reach many audiences.
Understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization is an effort to optimize a website to get a top ranking in search results. By getting the highest ranking in search engines, the potential for organic traffic to your website increases.
Apart from generating high organic traffic, SEO also helps to get the right traffic. To be able to get high traffic that is right on target, you need to follow the rules set by the search engine, namely Google, starting from the algorithm, how SEO works and the main SEO indicators.
1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO are SEO optimization steps that are carried out on your website. Some of the on-page SEO steps include: permalinks, content titles, use of headings, website speed, responsive themes, to internal linking.
2. Off-page SEO
Unlike on-page SEO, off-page SEO is a number of SEO optimization steps outside your website. There are many factors outside the website that affect the quality of your SEO.
The heart of off-page SEO is creating backlinks. Search engines use backlinks as an indication of the quality of the content being linked to so sites with lots of high-value backlinks will usually rank better than equivalent sites but fewer backlinks.
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing the technical elements of a website to increase its page rank in search engines, Google or Yahoo. Technical optimization is the process of making a website more responsive, easier to index, and easier for search engines to understand.
Technical SEO is part of on-page SEO that focuses on optimizing your business website for the better.
Difference between SEO and SEM
1. Free and Paid
The first significant difference between the two is free SEO and paid SEM. SEO is free to use and doesn’t cost you anything when an audience clicks on your business website.
SEO can be optimized by including the right keywords and various other tactics to increase website rankings. Meanwhile, SEM is paid because it uses Google Ads, where advertisers have to pay every time a visitor clicks or what is commonly called Pay Per Click (PPC).
2. The impact of SEM is more instant than SEO
Because paid SEM guarantees that your website will rank on the top quickly and easily compared to SEO. SEO takes some effort and time to see a website in the top rankings and the results can crawl up or down in rank over time depending on several factors.
3. SEM Results Can Be Right on Target for Certain Target Audiences
Through SEM, you can determine your target audience by viewing search results by applying filters based on age, location, lifestyle, income, and more. While SEO can not determine specifically the target audience who will see the search.
4. SEO is better for the long term than SEM
Organic SEO is the best digital marketing tactic with long-lasting results. Websites that rank highly in organic results for certain keywords can get free traffic 24/7.
Websites that use PPC or SEM can still get targeted traffic from search engines but website owners have to pay. If you stop a paid subscription, the SEM strategy is lost.
5. SEM Can Be Used for Testing While SEO Can’t
Because SEM is paid, we can turn it on or off at any time. If you want to test whether SEM can have an effect on increasing sales or has reached the desired target audience, you can activate it.
If you feel you don’t need SEM anymore because sales have reached the target, SEM can be turned off.
What are the Advantages of SEO and SEM?
Advantage of SEO is optimizing your business website in search engines, this is a powerful way to strengthen your website and expand its reach. It then allows you to better connect with your customers and increase the visibility of your business brand.
For you small business owners, SEO can help your website be easily found on search engines. Apart from that, other benefits are:
- A more user-friendly website
- Increase traffic
- Higher conversion rate
- Increased exposure and brand awareness
- Wider reach to new markets
- Competitive advantage
- Make your business available to customers (outside of normal business hours).
Investing in paid advertising ensures that information about your business appears at the right time and place. SEM produces fast results by targeting an audience that is already interested in the products, information, or services your business offers.
This creates a competitive advantage for small businesses as opposed to larger companies. In addition, SEM costs are easy to control so they can be adjusted to any budget and free from any time frame.
SEM is also a flexible and affordable marketing strategy for business owners of any size. With approximately 74% of internet users performing local searches, and 61% of local searches leading to purchases, SEM’s efforts are clearly profitable to acquire customers.