SEO vs SEM
What is the difference between SEM and SEO?
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, and SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, both come under the umbrella of Search Marketing (SM) and can be combined to improve your SM effectiveness. The largest distinction between the two branches is that SEM is a paid strategy, while SEO is not. SEO uses organic methods to promote your site and ensure it rises higher in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS).
Again, the point of Search Marketing is to gain brand attention by appearing on SERPS. SEM achieves this using paid strategies to place ads on these pages, based on relevancy to the topic searched and the amount you are willing to pay per click, amongst other things. Once you have set up your account, it is important to correctly target your ad using keywords.
Ad Keywords in SEM
Broad Match Keywords, which target any word or phrase which is generally related to the initial inquiry, including synonyms, misspelling, and anything similar.
Phrase Match Keywords, which target an exact phrase, but includes extra words added in front of or after the words, such as the best.
Exact Match Keywords, which target the user’s intent, accepting misspellings, shortened versions and reordered words to gain results that match the exact search chosen.
Negative Keywords, which encompass all of the types shown above, but that show what you do not want.
How your Placement Works
Within your ad platform, the search engine through which you are displaying your ad, such as Bing or Google, a process then takes place to determine where your ad will be shown. This is known as an ‘Ad Auction’, which takes into account several factors to decide how high up you rank. The formula for this is:
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an organic way of improving your position on SERPS. Importantly, you don’t pay for placements, but use a variety of strategies to become more visible. There are three main categories of these so called white hat SEO techniques which we will go into, but the best kind of marketing strategy involves a mixture to ensure it is right for your brand.
Technical SEO is about optimizing the non-content aspects of your website. Checking security, ensuring it is well-structured and making it mobile friendly are all examples of this, and an improved user experience equals a higher SERPS ranking.