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SEO & SEM are two terms used interchangeably without explicit knowledge on how they're related. SEO and SEM can be a confusing concept to grasp. But what exactly differentiates both from one another. In this post, we'll take a look at what each abbreviation and marketing channels mean. 

What Exactly are the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

SEO and SEM are subtle. While SEO is the process of getting traffic from organic, free, or natural search results, SEM involves gaining more website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Overview

SEO is the practice of making your webpage rank high on google search. With SEO, brands don't need to pay any fee to rank high on SERPs. Instead, they use a variety of strategies that prompt search engines to show your webpage near the top of SERPs. However, SEO includes hundreds of techniques that can help a brand increase its rankings. These techniques are grouped into three categories.

  • Technical SEO: It involves optimizing your website for the indexing and crawling phase, which leads to higher search rankings. These strategies relate to site speed, site architecture, indexing, mobile-friendliness, structured data, and security. 
  • On-page SEO: It optimizes each page of a site by targeting a specific keyword to helps search engines understand your webpage. These strategies include keyword research, keyword optimization, and content creation. 
  • Off-page SEO: It involves building a website's authority and reputation by linking the site to other high-quality websites. Off-page SEO techniques include link building from other websites and managing directory profiles and local listings. 

A strong SEO plan must focus on these three strategies to produce the best results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Overview

As mentioned above, SEM is a technique that improves your website's position through paid advertisements on search engines. These advertisements are known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads. So, instead of trying to rank on google search organically through SEO and get free traffic, you pay for your webpage to appear in front of the search results. However, there are some key strategies for successful SEM wherever you choose to spend your money. 

  • Use selective keywords to write relevant ad copy 
  • Launch your ad campaigns with a particular audience in mind
  • Create ad groups that include target keyword variations
  • Monitor metrics like clicks, average cost-per-click, and click through rates.

There are other considerations if you are planning to launch an effective paid ad campaign, but these four are crucial to beginner. 

Which One is Better? 

While some people could argue one is more effective than the other, we view Search Engine Optimization as a foundation for Search Engine Marketing. Both have extreme value and should be part of your marketing strategy.

Not sure where to start with SEO and SEM? Give us Net Success USA a call today. Our team has been helping people in Los Angeles get more insight into how their website performs, and our web experts would love to learn more about your business.

Net Success USA
1.800.736.0081
2945 Townsgate Road #200, Westlake Village, CA 91361



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