What’s the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

SEO and SEM are often confused with each other. People consider them to be the same thing. While they have lots in common, they aren’t interchangeable terms. In fact, SEO is just a set of tactics that falls under the umbrella of SEM. On the other hand, SEM is a broad term which encompasses various marketing methods used for Search Engines. These marketing methods include SEO, PPC campaigns and Advertising. Thus, SEO is one of the marketing tools used for doing SEM. Still unclear? Let’s discuss both terminologies in detail to understand the difference between them.

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation mainly deals with optimising a  website so that it can be easily indexed by web crawlers. The primary goal of SEO is to make a website more visible and attract people to it via search engines. To do this, SEO requires the website to rank highly on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Any website that ranks highly on the SERPs can easily attract web traffic. To get a high ranking, a website must fulfil certain requirements. This is where SEO comes into play. It helps the website fulfil the requirements by making improvements to its design and content.

SEO is largely an organic way of getting web traffic.  This is because you don’t have to pay any money for it unless of course, you need an expert to help you edit your website. All the SEO tactics require hard work, though. You need to find keywords that are often searched by users when looking for your products. These keywords need to be incorporated into the text of the website seamlessly. This includes the title tags, alt text, heading tags, and meta descriptions. SEO also calls for the continuous addition of high-quality new content to the website. This new content can be in the form of blog posts or improvements to the existing page copy.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM or Search Engine Marketing deals with how the website needs to be marketed on search engines. The goal is to not only increase the visibility of the website on the SERPs but also to make sales. Thus, SEM doesn’t just rely on organic traffic. It incorporates the use of paid promotional material like PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns. In these campaigns, you pay the search engine to have your website displayed on top of the SERPs for when your chosen keyword is searched. Each time your website is clicked, you pay a little to the search engine.

PPC is an effective method used in SEM. However, it is only for companies and businesses that have just launched their websites and want to get immediate visibility. The ideal SEM strategy for a business is usually a mix of both SEO and PPC.

Anchor Digital is an established name in the SEO field in Australia. Get in touch with us today if you want to improve your website’s search engine visibility.

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