Welcome to the mysterious world of the search engine. It sucks; you’re gonna love it! Kudos for getting that reference, now let’s talk business. So, the search engine has been around pretty much ever since the internet was created. Since then, companies and people have been using it as a tool to convert higher traffic rates to their websites and help make their businesses more successful. Nowadays, it’s much more than just that. It’s become effortless for people to create their own online business with the rise of digital transformation, but how can these people survive in such a competitive market and get other consumers and readers to their websites? Among other tools and tactics, they work hard to optimize and market their search engines, also known as SEO and SEM. SEO is part of SEM or search marketing as it is widely known; however, there are many differences between the two. Interested in learning more about SEO vs. SEM and how to use them to help make your website more successful? Let’s get started!
SEO vs. SEM
SEO vs. SEM, what’s the real difference? As its name suggests, SEO is the optimization of your website to get higher rankings in the organic search results to get free traffic to your website from search engines. This is what is known as ‘organic traffic.’ As for SEM, this involves investing money and paying to get a spot in the higher ranks of the search engine’s results page and get more traffic to the website. These are usually called paid ads or PPC (pay-per-click) and will show the word ‘Ad’ next to the search result, but you only actually have to pay when someone clicks on your site.
Now, let’s take a quick lesson about the three main types of SEO that your business needs to know about. Class is in session! So, the three types of SEO are known as technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. Let’s dive in a little deeper on what each of these terms consists of.
- Technical SEO: this refers to the process of optimizing your website in such a way that search engines can crawl and index your website without any problems. Search engine crawlers increase your chances of ranking higher on the search engine results page. The main components of technical SEO usually include factors such as how fast your page speed is, how mobile-friendly it is, your website’s structure, and how secure it is.
- On-page SEO: this is explicitly regarding your actual website’s pages and content that can be modified in a way to include specific keywords to get better results. This usually includes optimization of the meta descriptions, page title, URL, images, headers, and content.
- Off-page SEO: this is referred to as link building, and it is where your website uses backlinks to other pages to make your website more trustworthy and reliable in the eyes of the search engine. It’s not just about how many links you have; it’s also about the quality of these links.
Making SEO Work for You
Now that you have a better idea of the differences between SEO vs. SEM, you should know what to do to make them work for you and your business. There are several things that you can and should do to improve your website’s SEO.
First things first, test your current page ranking in the search results using tools like Keyword Rank Checker to determine your page ranking based on the keyword search. The goal is to have your website on the top of the list, leading to higher organic traffic and increased ROI from your SEO strategy. Getting there can be quite tricky, but you can do a couple of things to achieve this goal. User experience across your entire website is critical when it comes to SEO. Let’s break it down a bit. Google’s ultimate goal is to give meaningful and high-quality search results to keep people from using another search engine. Google does this by only presenting websites that appear to have user-friendly layouts, meaningful content, and so much more. If your website has that then the bounce rate, which is the rate at which the user bounces off your website and back on to the search engine because it didn’t give them what they asked for, will decrease, making it easier to rank higher. Improve your user experience by making your posts and content easier to read and having a design and layout that’s easy on the eyes. Another thing to do to make SEO work for you is to use keywords. Keywords are so important! There are two types of keywords, and these are long-tailed, which are used for more specific searches, and short-tailed for more general.
Making SEM Work for You
Following the discussion of SEO vs. SEM, if you decide that SEO is just a waste of time and takes too much effort, you can pay for higher rankings with SEM. The first step is to set your goals and decide what it is that you want people to do once they click on your ad. Based on this goal, you can start working on the rest of the process. Checking your competition is crucial; you’re not the only one paying to get ranked, you know! If you thought you were just gonna pay, sit back, and get traffic, you thought wrong. The next step would be to pick the PPC platform that you will be using. While some businesses prefer using Bing, many others prefer to stick to Google as it is currently the number one search engine, and most of the users exist there. Research your keywords; again, keywords are super important! Set your budget based on how much you’re willing to spend and start writing your copy. Ensure that the copy is attractive and compelling enough to get the user to click on your website and take them to your website’s landing page. Another important note is to make sure that your landing page has a clear call to action that will make it easier for the user to know what to do and where to go. Finally, test, test, and test some more. The only way to really know how your website is doing is to test it out and try out different SEM techniques till you get it right.