What’s the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

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What’s the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

The world of websites can be bothersome, with jargon you may not remember hearing before. The acronyms SEM and SEO are two of the most significant terms in the digital world. SEM and SEO, when integrated into your business model, can be just what your brand needs to take the next step.

This post will provide you with a clear understanding of each’s definition and significance of SEO services and SEM services.

Overview of SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the practice of constantly optimising a website in order for it to appear in organic, non-paid SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

Google’s algorithm incorporates over 200 ranking signals. However, SEO is categorised into four main subcategories:

  1. On-Page SEO
  2. Off-Page SEO
  3. Technical SEO
  4. User Interaction Signals

Overview of SEM

Remember that SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a broad term that includes SEO. So, everything we just said about SEO also applies to SEM. SEM, on the flip side, includes PPC in addition to SEO. And PPC is a separate field with its own set of features, best practices and much more.

What Is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

SEO and SEM are different components of search marketing. Thus, when you compare SEO and SEM, you’ll notice that they have some differences too.

1. SEM search placements include the word “Ad.” SEO, however, does not. 

On SERPs, search results that appear as a result of SEO or SEM appear differently. Paid ads that are placed using SEM tactics are often recognised as ads (e.g., by an icon showing up next to the layout), whilst organic SEO search results are not.

2. Ad extensions show up in SEM search results. Snippets show up in SEO search results. 

When comparing SEM and SEO, you’ll notice differences in the look of the search results. Ad extensions, which can include additional links, contact information and callouts, may appear in SEM search results. SEO results, on the contrary, may show up in search with featured snippets.

3. You are charged every time a user clicks on an SEM result. When a user clicks on an SEO result, you pay nothing.

SEM results are paid placements, and your company is charged each time a user clicks on one of them. As a result, you’ll need a budget to keep showing SEM ads and using this type of PPC lead generation. On the flip side, when a user clicks on an organic search result, you are never charged.

To Wrap Up

SEO and SEM are effective marketing strategies that benefit a wide range of businesses, including real estate brokers. It is up to the customer to decide which one to use (or even both at the same time). If you want to increase the value of your website over time while avoiding paying for ad placements, connect with an SEO agency. SEM is the way to go if you want to quickly rise to the top of the SERPs and see an increase in traffic.

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