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A Detail Research On SEO Vs. SEM

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seo vs sem Search engine optimization and search engine marketing, it can be a confusing concept to grasp. Are they same or is there any difference between them?

 Both terms frequently used interchangeably, which makes this confusion worse. In terms of digital marketing it is very important to understand the difference between the two terms SEO & SEM.

Here I will try to tell the detailed comparison of SEO and SEM on various fundamental objects like:

1. Return on Investment (ROI): SEO: SEO might be slow but it gives long termROI results when it concerns to ROI. If you are successful in getting the first page ranking and staying there, you are definitely to witness a more steady revenue generation and even more stability within the search engines.
SEM: However, when it comes to SEM, you can obviously get immediate and better return on investment and if you can play well with Adwords by mastering the enhanced campaign you can surely boost conversion with minimum spend.
Besides, the frequent algorithm updates, insufficiency of data, need for the unique content and high competition has made SEO more complicated and expensive.

2.conversion Conversions: SEO: If you have optimized your website fine for search engines and have a good ranking on SERP (search engine ranking pages), it will definitely bring traffic to your website however when talks about the conversion rate, it is usually higher for SEM. Besides, you may have optimized your site correctly for Google, but it is Google at last that decides about its ranking based on its relevancy.
SEM: With the help of SEM, you can simply target a range of commercial keywords and create ads with convincing calls-to-action. Besides, other channels like social media, email marketing, reviews and phone number help you traffic conversion immediately, resulting into a better conversion rate for online ads.
Not just that, Adwords allows you to do split testing by setting multiple landing pages for the same keyword that helps you to find out which one performs better.
Besides, remarketing in SEM, helps you target those who are more likely to convert.

3. Results (Short term and Long Term): SEO: Undoubtedly, if it is about short Resultsterm results, then SEM wins as it gives you an instant reflectivity. But with some conditions. SEM is undoubtedly good if you are beginning from scratch but if you have a well-established website and your target is an uncompetitive untapped keyword then SEO is likely to win the race.
Besides, if circulated well, good content created for SEO can really make you win even in short period of time, in terms of visitors and social exposure.
If talk about long term results, SEO is the only choice left, as organic results always come with trust. Only need to be update your website with Google algorithm and enjoy the higher ranking on SERPs.
SEM: As chatted above, SEM is better for short term results. You simply need to switch on the campaign and results start showing immediately while an SEO campaign will need a lot of time in planning and that execution.
SEM allows you a lot of flexibility in targeting your audience.
But in long term scenario, getting result with same ads and same keyword is not a good practice as it loose its attention and attraction. People don’t want to watch same ad again and again. They need new, they want innovation, as ads are good for creating awareness but only not enough for trust development.

4. BrandBrand Building: SEO: As written above, SEO takes time but provide you with more coverage when compared to SEM. In fact, with good SEO practice you can even dominate the entire first page while ads will only give you a all-out of one listing per search.
SEO not only rises brand awareness for you but also indorses your brand and builds its reputation. SEO gives you knowledge graph information which SEM doesn’t.
SEM: When talk about brand building, SEM does not lag behind too. Display and banner advertising and remarketing on the Google Display Network and search partners are amazing platforms to help create a brand awareness. Also, you can target your audiences by demographic settings.

5. High competition: SEO: You can undoubtedly compete in a competitivecompetition niche with SEO by being relevant and noticeable. A lot of things need to be considered here, such as your site should be technically sound with search engine alignment, and unique content, engaging and sharable blogs on your site, all will give you authority in your niche, create good backlinks to your site with authority sites, will add to it and so on. Going SoLoMo, i.e. going social, local, mobile will do the trick.
SEM: It will require good quality scores for the effective and successful competition in your competitive niche. For which, you need to create specific landing pages for the top converting keywords, need to practice remarketing and test in various campaigns to figure out which gets better click-through rate.

6. budgetsBudget: SEO: As we all know, SEO comes with organic result, so first thing which consider as it is free but it is not free at all. You need to consider where you should be spending your money more i.e., in making a responsive web design, or social media or in link creations or whatever. In SEO, “Content is King”, means wherever you spend your money for SEO, content is always need to be prime priority.
And a good SEO can’t rank you on the top in just one day, it needs a lot of practice and patience, and TIME IS MONEY, that’s the more important budget factor in SEO.
SEM: In SEM, the money goes straight into the campaign, though; you need to decide a lot of things like whether you would be placing more stress on product listing ads or else, whether you would be biding more for desktop or mobile devices and so on.

7. Measurability: SEO: There are Rankings, Traffic and conversions, are the measurethree KPIs i.e., Key Performance Indicators for measuring the effectiveness of a SEO campaign.
SEM: SEM measures by Quality Score (Q.S.) majorly. It also consists of three pillars of CTR i.e., Click Through Rate, Relevancy and Landing Page quality.

8. social mediaCompatibility with Social Media: SEO: SEO and social media both are integrated with each other in depth. You need to be present on social platform for building your brand awareness, share your blogs and for getting links for your site as well. Moreover, according to the new updates, social media too accounts for your ranking on SERP as well.
SEM: Social media also have a great connection with SEM. For example, link your Google+ account with your Adwords account, social annotations will be automatically visible in your ads and as per a Google report, there was a 20% rise in CTR by these social extensions last year.

9. The Future: SEO: Though, technology develop more advance continuously Futureand changing in Google algorithm is very frequent which don’t allow anyone to just set the thing once and forget. Everyone need to do work on their SEO continually to be in top.
But it is definitely true that SEO never going to die. Practice will e change with technology advancement as now the time for Social, Local and Mobile trends for success in digital presence.
SEM: From past to now ads were always attract the viewer either in tradition way (Television, radio ads in past) or in digital ways (Google ads, YouTube ads and so on). So online ads will never be in any darkness. You will must to know to manage cross-device campaigns and enhanced bid adjustments. Just have command over Adwords, it will save your time and stand you ahead in the competition.

Conclusion: SEO and SEM both have a lots of differences and similarities but for the success of your business both are equally important. You cannot rely on either, both are important in the past in the present and will be in the future as well.

Resources:  Google Images, various blogs

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