SEO VS SEM

It’s not a matter of comparing apples to oranges, but rather an apple seed to an apple.

Posted on October 1, 2015 by David Yovich



Any chance a marketer can create a 3-letter acronym we do. The reason is beyond me. Maybe to make us sound smart, maybe to help us remember, but most likely it’s a combination of the two. This has resulted in widespread confusion on the what’s and the why’s. The entire premise proposed with the title is invalid.


It’s not a matter of comparing apples to oranges, but rather an apple seed to an apple. Often times SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are used interchangeably, especially by markets. However, SEO is an element, and a crucial one, to developing an overall effective SEM strategy.


SEO IS THE STRUCTURE, IMPLANTATION, AND UPDATES OF WEBSITES TO COMPLY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SEARCH ALGORITHMS USED BY GOOGLE, YAHOO, BING, AND ANY OTHER SEARCH ENGINE.


It includes the website is coded, indexed, external links, internal links, and relevant content updates. SEO is an ongoing process that should be constantly evolving. In essence, it’s an inward looking process, which maximizes opportunity for unpaid search result traffic. It’s akin to asking a friend the best store to buy a hat then visiting the store. A SEO strategy can stand-alone.


SEM IN THE SIMPLEST DEFINITION DRIVES TRAFFIC THROUGH USERS PERFORMING SEARCHES ON ANY SEARCH ENGINE. IT’S A MUCH BROADER LOOK.


It can be asking a friend where to buy a hat or can be seeing a poster in the store window saying “We sell hats!” It’s a holistic approach to driving traffic through searches. SEO is an element of SEM. In fact without an SEO strategy, any SEM will not be as effective. In addition to SEO, SEM includes any strategies to drive traffic to a website from a search engine, such as ad words. Ad words in Google is a separate science altogether. An effective ad words campaign has many elements at work, from site structure and landing pages to sentence structure and wording in the ad itself.


Most marketers implement a SEO strategy and combine it with Google ad words and call it a day. It’s a nicely packaged effective SEM program. But success has always favored the brave. It’s time to push the limits of SEM. In fact our problem as marketers is that we segregate and apply all kinds of 3 letter acronyms, and not surprisingly, digital marketing alone has upwards of 65! So the next time your team meets to discuss digital strategies, don’t hesitate to look beyond the digital platform to enhance your SEM.



BEST PRACTICES:


SEO


Proper site structure and indexing

Responsive web coding

Content update

Activity on social media

Monitoring for “Negative SEO” practices

SEM


Implement SEO

Hire a Google certified professional for CPC and PPC assistance

Get Creative, look beyond digital for SEM




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