The world of marketing has seen some impressive changes. In the past few years, the total value of e-
commerce sales has skyrocketed. The number of online-only companies too has been increasing. This is
because many people are spending their days in the internet. It is difficult to imagine how their lives
would be if internet was suddenly cut-off. As a result, the revenue generated by a company like Google
is much more than that generated by companies like CNN and Sky. In this article, we will look at the key
differences between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
What is SEO?
SEO is a practice that helps companies appear high on search engines. For example, when you Google a
keyword like SoftwareCy, the website that appears first is ranked better than the one that appears on
the second page of Google. Slots in the first page are very competitive because they tend to lead to
more sales. Most people rarely go to the second page after doing a Google search.
What is SEM?
As mentioned above, websites that appear on the first page usually have more sales compared to those
that appear on the second page. Not all websites can appear on the first page. Therefore, website
developers have the option of paying Google to ensure that their websites rank higher. There are two
ways of doing this. They can pay per click or per impression. When pay per click is used, the website
owner pays for every user who clicks a link on the search engine. When pay per impression is used, they
pay for every person who sees an ad.
SEO vs SEM: Cost
In general, SEO is usually less expensive than SEM. There is a simple reason for this. Every lead that is
generated using SEM is usually paid for. The price may be as little as $0.10 per every lead. However,
when we are talking of thousands of leads, the total costs may add up. On the other hand, SEO is usually
costly at first. This is because it means hiring an SEO specialist to do the work. However, the cost usually
diminishes in the long run. This is because once the website appears on top, maintaining the ranking is
usually relatively easy. Therefore, it is recommended that you invest in quality SEO for your company if
you want to lower the customer acquisition cost.
SEO vs SEM: Effectiveness
Another comparison we will make is on the better option based on effectiveness. In general, when you
search for a keyword like SEO agency San Jose, you are likely looking for a company that does SEO
services in San Jose. Therefore, the first few results will be inorganic while the rest will be organic
results. Research shows that the organic results are usually better than the rest. This is because many
people don’t trust sponsored adverts. Instead, they prefer results that are ranked based on their merits.
Therefore, based on their effectiveness, we recommend that you invest in quality SEO practices if you
want to save money and become more effective.
SEO vs SEM: Reputation
In the previous parts, we have looked at the cost and effectiveness of SEO and SEM. Another core item
when comparing the two is on reputation. Studies show that websites that rank organically tend to have
a better reputation compared to those that are promoted. In the previous part, we have looked at the
search like SEO agency. The reality is that a customer who is looking for SEO services will always go for a
company that organically ranks first. There is a simple explanation for that. If you are looking for a
company to improve your search engine, you will go for a company that ranks high. You will not go for a
company that has paid to appear on the search engine. Similarly, if you are looking for the best cookies,
you will go for a cookie company that ranks high on search engines.
SEO vs SEM: Visibility
In recent years, Google has introduced new tools that are known as Google my Business. Google my
Business is intended to help companies get more visibility when people search. For example, when you
search for a local pharmacy, you will see a Google map list of these stores. You will also see the times
when they are open and the ratings they have received from their users. In voice search, when you ask
about the nearest pharmacy, Google will give you results based on Google my business results. Google
ads are not maximized for this. Therefore, based on visibility, we recommend that you invest in quality
SEO vs SEM: Ease of Use
SEO is usually hard work. You must do a lot of work to ensure that your website is ranked high on
Google. You must do both in-site and offsite processes. In-site work that you must do include content,
mobile responsiveness, security, and image and video optimization. However, SEM is usually relatively
easy. All you need to do is have a website and create an ad campaign on Google. Google will promote
any website provided that it meets key criteria. The website does not need to be good. You can create a
website today and create a global campaign today. It is impossible to achieve this with SEO. Therefore,
on ease of use, SEM wins.
SEM and SEO are some of the leading marketing practices today. Each of the two methods has its pros
and cons. However, a closer look shows that search engine optimization is much better than SEM.