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If you’re marketing your business, you’ve probably heard of both SEO and SEM. The phrases SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) are similar and sometimes used interchangeably, but SEO and SEM are different services.

It would be easy to assume that SEO and SEM are the same thing since they both revolve around getting customers to your website. But they are actually two completely different traffic generation methods though, each with their own disciplines and skill-sets. Part of the confusion comes from SEO being one of the core ranking tactics behind SEM, which we will explain in detail below.



What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as strategies and tactics used to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.

The goal of successful SEO is to obtain a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines). Internet users often do not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search results page is essential for directing more traffic toward the site. The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.



What is SEM?

So, SEM is the marketing process with a goal of getting more visibility in search engines either by getting more free traffic (SEO) or paid traffic (Paid search advertising).

Through paid search advertising you essentially buy advertising space in the search engine results. So instead of trying to rank higher and get free traffic you pay to appear in front of the searches.

The most well-known advertising agency for PSA is Google Adwords. Through Google adwords you can get your ads to appear in the Google search results and you pay only for the clicks on your ads.

This is also the reason why the whole process is called Pay-per-click or PPC. Bing and Yahoo have a similar system but it not so successful and widely known as Adwords.

What You Can Gain from SEO and SEM

When you begin contemplating SEO vs. SEM, it’s important to keep your desired results in mind. Both are means toward attracting customers, and use very different tactics to do so. SEO revolves around a focus on bringing your cdompany’s sales site in line with what search engines want. Google and other major engines are concerned with delivering the top content to users, and they tend to feature sites with clear navigation and easy-to-understand benefits for searchers. SEM relies on creating quick, clear advertisements and bidding on keywords that prospective customers will likely enter into search engines. Companies that focus on SEO vs. SEM should keep in mind that the benefits of both include increased conversion and click-through rates.

So, evaluate what’s best for your specific needs but make sure you fully understand the differences and how you’ll maintain your efforts in long-term. Or if you ever need help, Marketing Connection is here for you. We offer the full range of digital marketing services which includes engaging Social Media Management, SEO services, Google Adwords, online campaigns and so much more! Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.


*Marketing Connection is a digital marketing company that specializes in website design and online marketing in Penang. We love to help new businesses to grow their business further.


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