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SEO Vs SEM: How Do They Benefit Your Business?

You’ve got a new website for your business. You worked with an agency to write your content and create the design, but it seems the only views you are getting are your own.

What are you supposed to do with a website that isn’t getting any traffic or leads? Did you just waste all of that money on a website? How do you get new customers online?

Many business owners make the mistake of launching their website into cyberspace and never looking at it again. In reality, your website is an ongoing project that won’t give you any new customers unless you continually work on it.

Marketing your website is essential for your customers to find it. So, how exactly do you do that? Learn the differences between SEO vs SEM and how they benefit your business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is when you optimize your website for search engines, Google being the primary search engine where you want to rank.

You may hear this referred to as organic search, which means that you did not have to pay for your traffic.

Each search engine uses different algorithms to determine search results. Google’s main goal is to deliver the sites that are the most relevant to a query.

There are 2 categories of SEO: on-page and off-page.

On-page SEO

As you may have guessed, on-page SEO refers to the information on each page of your website. It also refers to your website code, site structure, and page speed.

Think about what you wrote on each of your web pages. Did you focus on answering your customer’s questions? In order to attract quality traffic, you need to address a specific topic on each page.

You also need to format your website correctly with proper headings, optimized page titles, and meta descriptions. Use an SEO report tool to see what improvements you can make to your website.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to what you do off of your website to help increase your ranking. Think of it as digital word-of-mouth.

Primarily, when people mention off-page SEO, they are talking about backlinks. These are links to any of your web pages from another website.

If you perform a service well or write informative content, your customers may choose to refer to your website through a post on their own website naturally. You can also create backlinks by submitting your website to reputable online directories, such as Google Maps or Yelp.

Other forms of off-page SEO include online mentions of your business, whether linked or not and being active on social media.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is the digital equivalent to buying an ad in the newspaper or advertising on TV. You can promote your website using online advertisements to increase your traffic.

This is not organic search traffic. The word “Ad” will appear next to your business name or URL in a paid search or display listing.

When considering SEO vs SEM, know that SEO is required to rank well organically. You can use SEM to further enhance your website’s reach, increase brand awareness, or advertise a promotion.

Search engine marketing typically falls into 2 ad types.

Search Ads

When you do an online search, chances are the first couple of listings will be labeled as an ad. Both Google and Bing allow you to purchase ads with the goal of serving your ad at the top of the search page.

The most common type of search advertisement is PPC (pay per click) or CPC (cost per click). To start running a PPC search campaign, create an ad, choose specific keywords to target, determine the geographic area you want to reach, and then set your daily budget.

You will only be charged when someone clicks your ad and your ad will run until you reach your daily budget.

Display Ads

The ads that appear on the sidebar of your favorite website are called display ads. You can have your ads on websites and YouTube videos that take part in Google’s display network. You can also purchase ad space on a specific website.

Display campaigns allow you to target websites that are relevant to your business and audiences that are in a specific geographic region. You can also choose to target people who have visited pages on your website.

Like PPC search ads, you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad unless you purchase ad space directly from a website.

Launching a website does not guarantee that anyone will see it. When considering how to market your website, it’s important to know the differences between SEO vs SEM.