3 Differences Between SEO and SEM in Digital Marketing

3 Differences Between SEO and SEM in Digital Marketing

Are you looking to find the perfect digital marketing strategy for your business? Search marketing can work well for you to raise brand awareness, boost website traffic, and increase your revenue. However, to run your campaign well, you must familiarize yourself with the most popular search marketing strategies, SEO and SEM.

3 Differences Between SEO and SEM in Digital Marketing

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Marketing professionals often use the terms SEM and SEO interchangeably. However, these strategies are different, and you need to know their differences to manage your search marketing campaign better.

This post will discuss the similarities and differences between SEO and SEM. But before tackling them, let us first familiarize ourselves with these terms.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Google Knowledge Graph defines search engine optimization (SEO) as the process of optimizing the traffic to a website by making it appear on the first page of the results list of a search engine called search engine results pages(SERP) during a search query. SEO is part of SEM.

Brands employ organic methods to rank high in SERPs in an SEO campaign. You can use several SEO strategies to increase your visibility to search engines like Google during their searches. Experts usually group these SEO techniques and tricks into three categories, namely:

  • Technical SEO

    – Technical SEO involves the strategies to improve the technical aspects of your website to optimize its foundation and backend structure. Among the website aspects tackled by these procedures are mobile-friendliness, page speed, crawlability, indexing, structured data, security, and site architecture. This category aims to improve both the user and search engine experience.

  • On-page SEO

    – On-page SEO includes all activities you do to improve your website’s researchability. Among the strategies in this category are HTML source code optimization, content creation, strategic keyword choice and placement, heading optimization, title tags, and meta descriptions. Implementing an excellent on-page SEO strategy will result in better visibility with search engines and higher SERP rankings.

  • Off-page SEO

    – Off-page SEO includes activities to build your website’s reputation to the search engines. The main strategies include link building to authority sites and managing directory profiles and local listings. Other off-page activities you can do to boost your website include influencer outreach, guest blogging, brand mentions, social networking, and broken link building. If you have reputable website connections, the search engines will consider your site dependable and trustworthy and favor you during their search.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Wikipedia defines search engine marketing (SEM) as a digital marketing strategy that uses paid and unpaid advertising and optimization techniques to promote a website and boost its visibility in SERPs. Aside from SEO, the other SEM strategies are:

  • Display advertising

    – These are image, video, or text-based advertisements aimed at convincing users in digital platforms like social media and websites to make a specific action.

  • Remarketing

    – This strategy involves posting or showing ads to users who previously used your app or visited your website to boost brand awareness or sell a product or service.

  • Shopping/product advertising

    – This is

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