SEM and SEO: Both Sides of the Same Coin?

When it comes to search engines and using them for online marketing, two divisions can be drawn up. One is SEO or search engine optimization and the other is SEM, or search engine marketing. Both make use of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. There is a fundamental difference in the approach of the two. SEO is all about using search engines to get ranked on the search engine results that are thrown up when an online user searches for something. It is an organic process. SEM, on the other hand, is about using paid online advertisements on search engines to bring in online users to the website. On closer inspection you will find that both of these methods are actually working towards a common objective. Let us find out how.

SEM and SEO

SEO: Organic Way to Bring Online Traffic

Search engine optimization makes use of keywords that are the building blocks for this kind of work. The keywords are drawn up keeping in mind the psychology of the online searchers. You have to ask yourself what the user may type when they want to find your brand of products and services. You can take the help of online keywords tools provided by Google and others. After you draw up this list of keywords, you have to use them in writing your content and also optimizing your website and internal web pages. According to the relevance of your keywords and your website material, you will get rankings on the search results pages when a user searches with keywords that match your list. This is a completely organic process and usually takes quite some time for results to come up.

SEM: Paid Way to Bring Online Traffic

Search engine marketing makes use of paid online advertisements on the search engines to bring in online traffic. A popular method of SEM is PPC or pay per click. By this method, you have to buy online ad spaces on search engines like Google or Yahoo according to keywords of your choice. The keywords must have relevance to your content and website otherwise the campaign will not work. When users search through the search box and types in keywords that matches the one you bought ad spaces for, the ad shows up on their screen. A click on the ad will bring them to your website or landing page. You have to pay the search engines according to the number of clicks that you receive on the ad. SEM is more expensive than SEO and the results come in quicker because online ads are more capable of bagging traffic than organic search results.

A Combination of Both for Online Domination

If you want to rule to search engine scene for your keywords in your domain, you have to utilize both SEO and SEM. While SEO helps you bag the search results, SEM will cover the online ad spaces so that your competitors do not get a toehold anywhere. It is like baking the cake and eating it too! Online marketing companies that have a substantial budget to work on make use of both SEO and SEM for quicker and better results. It also helps them to dominate proceedings in a way that online searchers have no other choice but to visit their website or landing page through one route or the other. However, it is easier said than done! Your competitors are thinking on the same lines and that is why both SEO and SEM are closely fought battles!