When it comes to marketing your business, it can be very confusing to keep track of the terms and acronyms. Many of them are often used interchangeably, as is the case with SEO and SEM. To help clarify the difference, it helps to define each, along with its marketing role.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This process of generating reach through free or “organic” means, is made up of two main parts – on-site and off-site SEO. On-site SEO includes internal tools used in your website that will increase its search engine visibility. These tools are mainly centered around keywords used in your content, URLs, titles, tags, descriptions, image tags, etc. Blogs are a powerful way of improving your on-site SEO. For every blog page published, your site is given another searchable page leading users to your website. Making sure your site is mobile-friendly, using social media links, and optimizing page speed, are also necessary to increase your website’s visibility.
Off-site SEO involves the creation of links pointing to your website from other sources. The more links there are from reputable sources with legitimate content, the higher your website’s ranking will be among search engines. Wikipedia is a perfect illustration of this. It’s usually ranked at the very top of most Google searches, because millions of websites link to it for definitions or articles. Off-site SEO can take time to build, and blogs are once again, a great tool. As other sources find and refer to your informative blog posts, the process will create more links and increase your reach.
Now that we know what SEO is, let’s define SEM and how it differs. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, which is the process of using paid advertisements on search engines to increase visibility. The most common paid advertising for websites is through Google AdWords, and can also be referred to as PPC or Pay Per Click. SEM is sometimes considered the most important search engine traffic, since it is targeted. The users are directly inputting questions, and the conversion rates for the top websites showing up as their answers, are quite high.
For your website to have the greatest reach, it’s important to utilize both SEO and SEM. SEM will drive traffic to your site, but in order to continue growing your business and its reach, you must also prioritize SEO by creating quality content and a very user-friendly website.
Visibly Connected is your expert resource for both SEO and SEM. Let us help you grow your business!