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Crevand Answers Your SEO/SEM Questions

Q: What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

A: While both SEO and SEM have the goal of enhancing website visibility to increase search engine ranking, SEO, or search engine optimization, is often a key part of SEM, or search engine marketing. SEO involves making edits to web pages, content, code, site structure, and images on a website to increase organic search engine ranking while search engine marketing (SEM) involves many methods to increase search engine placement, web traffic, and incoming links. SEO/SEM methods differ and involve more than just search engine ranking. These can include, but are not limited to paid advertisement, social media marketing, video advertising, and paid marketing techniques that are Off-Site and do not involve web site optimization.

Increase search engine ranking
SEM and SEO are the keys to search engine visibility and ranking.


If You Think SEO/SEM Are The Same Thing You Could Be Losing Customers

The terms SEO and SEM are frequently mentioned when it comes to digital marketing campaigns, but knowing the difference between the two is paramount to the success of your business website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are as different as night and day. If you don’t have a clear understanding of the differences between the two, you could be wasting time and money on your marketing strategies and lose out on search engine ranking.

The Main Differences Between SEM and SEO

  1. SEO consists of making on-site edits to code, structure and content of a web page for increasing organic search engine visibility< to create traffic.
  2. SEM covers both on-site and off-site techniques for increasing traffic from search engines, social media, advertising, Pay-Per-Click or any multitude of web marketing techniques.
  3. SEO and site media  optimization is a key component of an SEM campaign.
  4. SEM and SEO are often used interchangeably because an SEO campaign may contain SEM attributes and an SEM campaign typically involves SEO for business success.

SEO is Part of SEM

Let’s start with SEO and how using it correctly will bring traffic to a website and grow a business. The bottom line is that SEO makes it easier for search engines to read the content on a web site. SEO will highlight key phrases or words showing search engines their importance and prominence within your business. The goal of SEO is to increase visibility in organic search results to gain higher rankings. When you rank on the first page it’s more likely that you will acquire more site visitors and increase traffic to key pages on a site. There are many moving parts within SEO that need to be incorporated into your marketing strategy to rank high, and it won’t happen overnight.

SEO is based on quality content
SEM and SEO both require quality content to gain visibility.


Content As A Search Engine Ranking Factor

SEO is reliant on consistent and relevant website content. Websites need to have information that will keep users informed rather than just being stuffed with keywords. The ultimate goal is to provide quality content that will solve a users search query. Other important factors involved in SEO are site attributes (On-Page Technical SEO) like meta descriptions, HTML titles, page loading speed, headers in content, length of content and optimizing digital media on the site.

What Part Does SEM Play In Traffic Generation

Differences Between SEO and SEM

SEM is the umbrella term that includes digital marketing strategies such as SEO, Pay-per-click (PPC), Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), social, email and content marketing. SEM is the marketing strategy that companies use to drive advertising and get more business. Strategies can include using many internet marketing techniques or just a few options depending on the needs of the company. Often times SEO can refer to SEM as well and the two terms are often used interchangeably even though they are quite different.

Keywords and keyword phrases are a significant aspect when it comes to managing SEO and need to be used correctly within a page for a site to rank. But more than keywords are understanding what a search query is really about and what the consumer is ultimately looking for through a search.  Your meta description is a short summary of the page content and should be written carefully to consider search terms. It’s also important to craft descriptions for all multimedia content. It seems like a no-brainer but creating appealing content to attract and keep customers is a key point in SEM. But this content also needs to be optimized with keywords in the correct locations for increased visibility and search engine recognition. Producing a strong presence on social media is also important; both as a marketing platform and as a source for quality incoming site links.

search visibility and ranking
Both SEO and SEM increase traffic and online visibility


SEO and SEM Combine For Increased Visibility

Both SEO and SEM strategies require hard work and attention to detail. Remember that even when you are using the right keywords and publishing valuable web content, you won’t always get the rankings that you are looking for. Best practices for SEM and ranking involve not only SEO and keyword research that is spot on, but also networking with other websites that will backlink to your site.

Should You Implement SEM or SEO First?

Why SEO and SEM is importantSEM is a marriage between marketing techniques and technology. Businesses that are new to digital marketing or are just starting out may want to focus on SEO and content marketing strategies before beginning any SEM campaigns. Having a well-optimized web site is the first portion of any complete search engine marketing campaign. What’s important to remember is that there is no one size fits all strategy in the digital world. Trying out different tactics in an informed way is one way to fine-tune your SEM and SEO practices. Hiring an SEO expert can reduce the cost and time to find the most efficient means of traffic generation.

In the end, finding a way to make your SEM and SEO tactics work efficiently together should be every company’s focus. Keywords and their practical use take the leading role in driving traffic to your site. SEM marketing strategies should be designed for the needs of individual company’s to increase the business objectives and long-term goals.