Perhaps you have run your eyes over SEM and SEO while struggling to boost your website’s traffic and search engine ranking. But how familiar are you with these terms and which strategy you think performs better?
Before you enter the world of digital marketing and decide on the best search engine solution to use, learn first the basics of search engine marketing and optimization. Check out these commonly asked questions about SEM and SEO.
1. What is SEM?
SEM or search engine marketing refers to the process of positioning a website within search engines. Digital marketers perform SEM by building up a website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). They do this through optimization (free traffic), advertising (paid traffic), and social media marketing.
2. What is SEO?
A subset of SEM, SEO or search engine optimization refers to the schemes used to boost a website’s natural or organic ranking in SERPs. Experts consider this as a framework as it involves a number of schemes, stages, and controls. All these improve the quality of the web pages by making them more usable, faster, and easier to navigate. Search Engine Optimization consists of two main pillars: on-site and off-site.
On-site or on-page SEO refers to the rules that make a website or blog search engine friendly. It includes:
– Naturally adding keywords into title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags and alt texts;
– Optimizing blog posts and contents;
– Cleaning and formatting page URLs;
– Enhancing page load speed;
– Including Google author tag; and
– Integrating social sharing within content
In contrast, off-site or off-page SEO makes a site more credible to search engines through the following:
– Creating a high quality, organic back link profile (means obtaining natural links from trusted sites)
– Social sharing signals
– Social bookmarking
3. How do SEO and SEM differ?
As cited earlier, SEO is a subset of SEM. While the latter uses search engines to promote business to customers and send more targeted traffic to a site, the former focuses on giving better organic search results.
4. Which marketing tactic is better?
For new websites aiming to rank high in an instant, creating a PPC campaign (part of SEM) would be a better option. However, it would be unwise to just work with PPC and ignore SEO. Although it takes longer for SEO to show results, unlike PPC, it does its job without hurting your pocket.
5. How long will it take before the SEM and SEO strategies produce results?
For SEM, especially PPC ads, sponsored links could appear on top of SERPs overnight. SEO, on the other hand, may take a few months to come into effect since it requires a thorough website overhaul.
6. Is outsourcing better than hiring in-house SEO or SEM experts?
Outsourcing is best for startups as it offers expert services at a cheaper cost. It also allows business owners to focus more on their ventures. For big and financially able firms, however, hiring in-house experts would be the best choice in terms of security and operations control.
Sources: Reliablesoft.net, QuinStreet Inc., Hubspot
Image courtesy of Wilfred Iven at StockSnap.io