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SEO vs. SEM: What’s the Difference?

Google no longer cares how much you have on your website. What they care about now — understandably — is the quality. You can have 1,000 blog posts on your page, but if they’re not well-curated, the Google bots will pass over your page like a vegan staring at a whole hog on the grill.

So, how do you please the algorithm? One compelling option is investing in your digital marketing campaign. And when you do, you’re going to come across some key terms: SEO, SEM, PPC, and more.

When it comes to SEO vs. SEM, though, what’s the difference? Is there a difference? We understand your confusion — so we put together this article explaining what they are and which you need to improve your site.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization.

SEO is the process of getting your website more traffic. This gets done through free, organic methods that push your page to the top of the search results on search engines like Bing and Google.

This is done through both on-page and off-page tactics.

On-page tactics include optimizing your site with high-ranking keywords, accredited links, and high-quality blog content. It also covers things like site loading speed and mobile-friendliness. 

Off-page includes using outside sources. This means having other high-quality pages link to you, as well as optimizing your social media accounts for help.

What Is SEM?

SEM stands for search engine marketing.

SEO is a component of SEM — the ‘free’ one. SEM relies on paid methods of advertising your webpage.

SEM includes things like PPC, or pay-per-click. With PPC, you pay a host to place ads for your page on that platform. Every time someone clicks on that ad, you pay the host a certain percentage or dollar amount. PPC ads usually target things that prompt action, such as a product page or an app download.

PPC utilizes similar strategies to SEO.

To convince internet users to click on certain ads, they use things like keywords. These keywords are specially chosen to target a demographic that appeals to your page.

SEO vs. SEM: Which Do You Need?

The short answer? Both.

These strategies both accomplish the same goal — increase your page’s exposure, gain more traffic (and therefore business), and get your site to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

One is organic, one is paid — but they are the yin and yang of digital marketing. It’s hard to find an adequate balance without using both.

Grow Your Traffic Today

The SEO vs. SEM debate is easy to understand once you break it down. At the end of the day, you need both organic and paid search strategies to break through the noise.

There are thousands — no, millions — of pages out there to compete with — can you afford to be lazy about your campaign? It’s likely your answer is ‘no.’ That’s where Allied One Marketing comes in.

Click here to request an appointment with our team of advertising professionals today.

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