When we hear about online marketing, terms like SEO and SEM immediately appear, acronyms that for many are unknown or, if they have heard of them, they are not knowledgeable about their differences. In both cases, the purpose is the same, to get in the top positions of search engines and, consequently, be noticeable on the Internet.
The foremost difference between SEO and SEM is one gives organic or natural results, and the other provides results that are achieved through paid ad campaigns in search engines.
SEO is to appear at the top of Google results when a search is done.
SEM is to gain visibility with Google ads.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a marketing procedure that serves to optimize web pages for search engines. The leading search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing, the first being the most used worldwide. It’s a natural process, that is, to appear in the top positions you don’t have to pay for ad campaigns. But that does that mean that it does not have an economic or time cost. Effective SEO does a great job of achieving the primary goal, appearing at the top of the list.
An SEO strategy, in order to obtain the best results, should always consider the algorithm used by search engines, and that lays the groundwork for implementing tasks aimed at reaching the first places. If you fail to adhere to determinants of the algorithm, the search engine can penalize the website by removing it from the top spots and even removing it from its listings.
Good SEO work should consist of many aspects, such as the proper optimization of the website (the use of meta tags, web architecture, etc.), high quality and original content, and the achievement of optimal links. Also, you always have to do a study of the keywords to use in addition to taking care of the design and usability of the site.
SEM – Gain visibility with Google ads
If SEO aims to achieve organic results, SEM (Search Engine Marketing), you can seek to gain greater visibility through paid ad campaigns. That is, advertise the products or services of your website on Google to achieve our goals.
But how do we know when a result is for an SEM campaign or SEO?
Easy, when you perform a Google search, the results that appear at the top and on the right side of the screen next to the yellow label ‘Ad’ are part of SEM campaigns. Those results are there because they’ve bid on a series of keywords, and they pay for clicks and screen impressions.
To carry out an effective SEM campaign, you have to do a study of keywords with which we want to appear, assemble a structure of campaigns and ad groups, and have good quality landing pages related to your ads. Just as important as running the campaign is monitoring, tracking conversions, or optimizing negative words (the ones we want when they’re searched not to show our ads).
So, SEO or SEM?
SEO requires work that delivers medium-term results but will be maintained over time. While SEM allows for immediate visibility, the drawback is the results will disappear from the top positions the moment the ad campaign is stopped.
It is best to design a strategy in which the two options are combined. Carrying out a series of SEM campaigns while waiting for SEO to work achieves goals and results. It is a good strategy to have fast visibility on Google for your products and services. It is proven that using Adwords and organic results provide a greater number of clicks, as well as reinforcing the branding of a company.