What are the differences between SEO and SEM

SEO and SEM are currently the most popular abbreviations in the world of online marketing. We may think that their meaning is quite obvious, but when someone wants us to explain the difference, our minds may turn blank. And the differences are quite important if we are thinking of using one of the solutions in our marketing campaign. Before we spend a lot of money, it’s better to know what we’re spending them on and which option could bring us more profits.

What are SEO and SEM?

First, let’s explain what the abbreviations mean. SEO is search engine optimization and SEM is search engine marketing. It’s therefore not hard to assume that the first one is focused on optimizing the website to gain traffic from organic search results, and the latter gets its visibility from paid search with the help of Google Ads. To put it even simpler – the search results in Google are divided into two main groups: the paid ones, usually visible at the top of the list, and the organic ones displayed below ads.

SEO – main characteristics

SEO is a set of advanced, moderately complicated actions that optimize a website to rank higher in the organic search. It can be divided into four crucial categories:

1.    On-page SEO

It’s focused on optimizing the website according to chosen keywords that target our potential customers well. The main keywords should be included in the title tag, meta description, URL, and the site’s content.

2.    Off-page SEO

It’s all about gaining trust from other trustworthy websites. To do it, we need to build high-quality backlinks leading to our site. A proper link building strategy is one of the most essential activities to make our SEO shine.

3.    Technical SEO

Sometimes a website can get rotten from the inside. Taking care of matters such as quick loading, mobile friendliness, and site’s architecture, enables Google and other search engines’ bots to crawl our website easily and successfully index all the pages. Technical SEO may not be easy, but a professional agency like Fabrykamarketingu.com can do it for us.

4.    User experience

Google likes when we take special care of our visitors and it awards websites that provide their users with high quality content and good user experience. The most important thing is to answer the questions asked by our audience. This way, we avoid high bounce rate which may indicate that our content is not good or relevant enough.

How does SEM work?

SEM is all about PPC. Yes, it’s another abbreviation we should be familiar with. It stands for pay-per-click advertising model and is a separate field with its own features. To simplify, it’s a way of bidding on a specific keyword. When an internet user searches for it in Google, our ad may come as the first result on the list if we bid higher than our competitors. When someone clicks on the ad, we pay the amount we bid. It’s called CPC – cost-per-click.

Apart from that, Google has a way of evaluating if our ad is a good match with the keyword someone searches for. The Quality Score is calculated based on combining the CTR (click through rate). If Google ranks us well, we can even count on a discount for our clicks.

Summing up

Whether you choose SEO, SEM or both, it’s worth doing it well. If you don’t, you can lose a large sum of money on something that is worthless. If we don’t know the topic well, it’s better to hire a trusted agency that’ll do the job for us and will guarantee doing it well.


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