The Difference Between SEO and SEM

When talking about ways you can promote your business or website, it’s difficult to get your head around all the different methods available to you. Pay-Per Click(PPC), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are some of the most popular ways to bring yourself exposure online. However, with so many avenues to take – how do you know what is right for you and your business?

Ideally, you can seek advice from a company which offers all the different services, as they will have experience in the niche and can thus give you a balance view on what is best for you. However, we want to look at the differences between SEO and SEM, as they both require different types of marketing and different types of businesses can benefit from the other more;

SEO

SEO is re-modelling the content of your website to fit specific keywords which are there for you to rank for. These keywords are usually specifically researched by an SEO company, to fit in line with your website and what it aims to make, so that you are competing in an area which you can not only draw great business from, but potentially grow in the future.

SEO concentrates on getting your content full to the brim with quality. Then, once your content is full of well-linked pages and calculated use of the keywords you wish to aim for, you slowly start to move up the rankings. Your traffic is generated as you become one of the highest ranks in Google, but it can take a long time. If you are looking to make a quick boom with a potential project, perhaps a product which is fit for a season, then perhaps SEO is not for you.

It can take months to see the tangible results, but the serious work undertaken to complete the job is there for all to see at the end. There is no real way to fool the Search Engines, so it is just a case of waiting. The contracts can be a little expensive and SEO tends to be used when businesses are already doing well and can cover the costs.

SEM

SEM is using the Search Engines, but in a different way. With SEM, you do not have to re-write your website to make it fit with SEO practices and the like, you use the spaces on the different Search Engines to make sure that you appear as a favoured advertisement for the keywords chosen.

This means that you can bring in huge amounts of targeted traffic in a short space of time, and the budgets are not as heavy as the likes of PPC. This means that the budgets are usually fairly affordable, depending of course on what market you are competing in. A fiercely competitive market with big budgets already being spent can see costs soaring, so make sure you understand the potential costs before entering into an SEM contract.

It offers the opportunity to build a short-term traffic burst, while making long-term clients in the process. If you keep up the payments on your campaigns, it will continue to bring you new clients. You just need to make sure you can sell the products to them efficiently – high traffic is useless with a poor sales copy and cheap website.

So what do you think is better for your business? Do you need a long-term strategy, or are you in need of something more rapid that can push you forward quicker against your competitors? You should discuss it with your Web Designer or any business partners you have, as it should be a serious part of your marketing campaigns, no matter what option you choose.

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