What is SEO and SEM?

You don’t need to be a marketing guru to know the meaning of these two acronyms. SEO is something people work countless nights toward, write hundreds of blogs about, program websites to the final “t.” All for SEO.
To break it down, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing.
Confusing? Here’s a quick guide to SEO to SEM.

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process digital marketers use to organically (i.e., without artificially aiding the process) bring more traffic to a brand’s website. This can be done by various methods.
  1. Using highly relevant keywords
  2. Constantly updating the information on your website
  3. Writing blogs and articles and publishing them on your website
  4. Improve your page’s loading speed
  5. Optimize your images
  6. Use header tags. This ensures that your content isn’t a big muddle, but is clearly defined and segregated

SEO-based writing is the need of the hour and it isn’t uncommon to see freelance content writers on Linkedin and other such professional platforms advertising their ability to write SEO-based content for their clients. They have good reason to be.

Search engines like Google and Bing have bots that visit every page on the internet and index them according to their topics, relevancy, etc. This indexing also determines which pages will appear on the top when you search for a particular topic/word on the web browser. The more visited your website is, the more prominent it will be on the Google search page. To boost this traffic, websites need to be chock-full of keywords and terms that are used by the average user, thus generating a higher chance of being visited by users on the Internet and more revenue in the long term.
No prizes for guessing why SEO is the most important factor when it comes to digital marketing.
To boost your SEO game, check out the hundreds of free and easy-to-understand articles and videos available on the Internet, after which boosting website traffic will be a piece of cake for you and your team.

What is SEM?

Now that we’ve covered SEO, let us move on to the next term in the world of digital marketing – SEM.
The main difference between SEO and SEM is that while the former focuses mainly on generating web traffic through organic means, the latter is an umbrella term for increased web visibility and traffic through BOTH paid and organic means. SEO can be referred to as a part of SEM.
Why is SEM important?
Here is a list of why SEM is invaluable to your brand’s success on digital platforms.
  • Increase brand visibility
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate more leads
  • Increase sales

Studies show that 41% of marketers worldwide say they get the highest ROI from SEO. What’s more, by 2019, organic search engine results were generating 65% of website traffic.
Tip: While many brands get confused on whether to use SEM or SEO to increase web traffic, an important thing to note is that while both are equally effective, finding out what is suitable for your brand is what makes it successful.

To sum up, SEM is an umbrella term for various marketing strategies that increase website traffic through both paid and organic means. SEO, on the other hand, is focused on only organic methods of generating a greater amount of visibility and awareness, and is a part of SEM.

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