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About SEO and SEM in Digital Marketing

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing are like two different images that are in a coin. Both of them are made up of very different actions, but there are still links to various aspects related to marketing. Sometimes even the two terms are used together to refer to a similar set of activities, and it is not uncommon to get confused about them. So what exactly is the difference between SEO and SEM? And in what ways are the two related and working together? Many of us already know what SEO is, and even feel the benefits and apply a little more existing theories. Therefore, here will only touch a little about SEO.

Search engine optimization refers to the process by which search engines crawl content on the internet, to see how effective the site is to bring traffic. The search engine will judge a number of things on the website, such as keywords, tags, or link titles, then rank according to its ability to attract organic traffic based on these factors. One thing to remember is that Google needs time to recognize and rank the site. So, if the site is a new site, it might not be noticed by Google for a while. In essence, SEO results cannot be immediately seen. SEO not only talks about tactics, but also patience and diligence in optimizing the site.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing, or commonly known as SEM, is one of the most important marketing channels for generating traffic on the web. SEM was once used as a general term, for everything related to online search marketing and included things like SEO. But many marketers ultimately make the difference between SEO and SEM. Search Engine Marketing currently specifically only refers to paid advertising in search engines. With more and more consumers researching and shopping for products online, SEM has become an important strategy for increasing company reach. In SEM, advertisers only pay for impressions that generate visitors, making it an efficient way for companies to spend their marketing money. And as an added bonus, each visitor gradually increases the ranking of the website in organic search results.

Because consumers enter search requests in order to find commercial information, they are in a very good mind to receive marketing messages and to be herded as potential customers. SEM reaches consumers in a timely manner, that is when they are open to the latest information. Unlike most digital advertisements, SEM will not interrupt or interfere with their work. In contrast to SEO where the results cannot be seen quickly, the results obtained by SEM are calculated quickly. This method is arguably the fastest way to drive traffic to your website.

How it Works SEM

The search engine uses complex algorithms to ensure the most relevant results will appear on every search, including the location and other available information. In paid search ads, sponsored advertisements will appear at the top and side of search engine results pages, to get more visibility and excellence than organic results.

For example, you search for products or services online in search engines, then type the terms you are looking for. On the search results page, you will find various company advertisements whose keywords match the keywords in your search earlier. These ads will appear in places that are definitely visible, along with a list of other search results that also match the keywords. The list of paid search results will be very relevant and specific. That’s what allows you, as a consumer, to click on it.

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While from a marketer’s perspective, when preparing a campaign for Search Engine Marketing, marketers are asked to:

Choose several keywords related to the website or product offered
Select the geographical location for the ad you want to display
Create text-based ads to display in search results
Offering prices they are willing to pay for each click on the ad

Text-based ads are easier to produce. You only need to enter the title, the text for the ad body, the call to action or CTA, and the URL for the hyperlink. Therefore, SEM is considered the most efficient way to use marketing budgets.

Difference between SEO and SEM

The main difference between these two terms is that SEO is one component of Search Engine Marketing. SEM itself includes paid search components such as Pay Per Click (PPC) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). SEO is sometimes used as a general term that includes Search Engine Marketing, but because SEM refers specifically to paid advertising, SEO and SEM are separate. Search Engine Marketing is how to get traffic through paid advertising. While SEO is more to get, monitor, and analyze organic traffic patterns that are not paid.

Why Use SEM Strategy?

SEM Focus On Conversions

Usually, money is the main goal of a marketing campaign, but in fact other types of conversions should not be ignored. Other campaign goals such as new customers or new subscribers are alternative types of conversions that marketers might want to achieve. Search Engine Marketing is an important conversion driver for any marketing campaign. Because paid advertising generally links to predetermined pages, which focus on conversions or sales pages that will move traffic through funnel marketing. Organic results are usually not linked to the landing page, and this paid advertisement is then linked to the landing page. With this in mind, SEO can support brand awareness. While paid advertising can really focus on specific goals, namely conversions.

SEM Can Increase Brand Awareness

According to Google, search advertising can increase brand awareness by up to 80%. Even if the ad doesn’t receive a click, the brand name is still clearly visible at the top, and most likely the searcher still reads or recognizes the product, brand name, or URL when viewing the ad. Searchers will also pay attention when the ad enters keywords and search terms for competitors’ brands.

Get results quickly

SEO and other forms of online marketing tend to be long-term strategies, which generate web traffic over a long period of time. Whereas SEM has the potential to provide immediate results. Ads usually take several minutes to create, and although there is an approval process that must be passed before appearing on the SERP, the average time until the ad is run is one business day. After that, you can continue optimizing, because maintenance is part of running a Search Engine Marketing campaign. The point is, since the ad is running, it doesn’t take long to start getting more clicks and even sales keep going. But keep in mind, that this method also requires optimization to obtain long-term results.

So Why Use SEM?

Search Engine Marketing has the potential to offer instant results, conversions, and more profits. In addition, SEM brings brand to the top of SERP. SEM allows you to advertise with Google Shopping and is good for local marketing and mobile phone users. It’s important for a brand to focus on SEM, so they can see results directly and in the long run. Analyze the data for better insight. Then, in time, turn visitors into customers.