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PPC VS SEO: Which is Better for Your Business?

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Author Topic: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?  (Read 4592 times)

Offline JuliaPayne

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What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« on: December 03, 2012, 02:57:03 PM »
While some people use SEO and SEM interchangeably, SEO (search engine optimization) is actually a part of SEM (search engine marketing).

SEO refers to the process of using on and off page factors (typically free) to get your web pages ranked for your chosen keywords in order to get more search engine traffic to your sites.  SEM takes it a step farther to include using paid search engine listings and paid inclusion to get more traffic to your websites.  8)

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What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« on: December 03, 2012, 02:57:03 PM »

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Offline allenhill

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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 01:31:05 PM »
SEM is Search Engine Marketing.  This can be accomplished by using SEO, but it can also include paid ad listings and sponsored links.

SEO is Search Engine Optimization.  In SEO, your goal is to get your page to be first in the search engine rankings. 
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Offline Gbenga_cfa

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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 03:30:15 PM »
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing, SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of Websites by increasing their visibility in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), through Search Engine Optimization and Advertising.  SEM may use Search Engine Optimization, SEO, by adjusting or re-writing Web contents to achieve higher ranking for visibility in search engine result pages or through Pay-Per-Click, PPC Advertising , referred to as PPC listings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is a process of affecting the visibility or Webpage ranking in search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, in a natural way, which is referred to as organic because it is a natural way of affecting the search engines in a positive way for your Website?s visibility through increased traffic to your site and higher ranking on the search engines
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Offline DON TORO G

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Re: What\'s the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 10:03:54 AM »
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The main difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) is that traffic coming from SEO (organic) is free while traffic generated from PPC is not free (as the name implies you have to pay a cost per click).    This is also the reason why you may sometimes see the terms organic search engine listings and paid search engine listings (or Paid Search Advertising ? PSA). 

Both SEO and PPC are part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is one of the tools you can use as part of your overall Internet Marketing campaign. 

I will try to explain the other major differences between the two by using the following parameters: position in search results, cost, traffic potential, conversion and ease of use. 

Post Merge: June 28, 2013, 10:50:31 AM

The difference between SEO and SEM is simply that Search Engine Optimization is part of Search engine marketing or Search marketing as it is widely known.  Both processes aim in increasing visibility in search engines.  SEO is about optimizing the web property to get better rankings in the search results while SEM goes beyond SEO.  It involves other methods as well which can get you more search engine visitors like PPC advertising.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I have explained before what is SEO and why is it important and I have also outlined what in my opinion are the most important SEO tips.  For the purpose of doing a comparison between SEO and SEM I will re-state the definition of SEO so that it is clear for everybody what the difference between the two is.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing your web site for the purpose of getting free traffic from search engines.  An optimized web site is more easily understood by Search engine crawlers, so there are more chances of ranking higher in SERPS.

On-Site and Off-site SEO

There are 2 main pillars of SEO, what is called on-site SEO and off-site SEO.  On-Site SEO are rules you can apply on your web site or blog so that it?s more search engine friendly.  For example you need to use proper titles, good descriptions, well formatted URLs, correct use of H1, H2 and images and many more.  You can read my version of the 15 on-site seo tips for beginners to get a good idea of how you can optimize your web site for search engines.

Off-site SEO refers to the process of getting votes from other web sites for the purpose of increasing your web site?s trust in the eyes of search engines.  For beginners this may be confusing but try to think about it like a ranking system where the web site who has the most votes ranks higher.  Votes in our case are links coming from other web sites to your site.  That is also the reason why off-site SEO is referring to as link building.

To avoid any misunderstandings it?s not only a matter of how many links you have pointing to your website but also from where these links are coming and a number of other factors I am not going to cover now.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing is over and above SEO but it?s only a subset of your overall Internet Marketing Strategy.  The diagram below shows the relationship between Internet Marketing, SEM and SEO.  As you can see there are many more ways to increase your web site?s traffic besides SEM and SEO.

What is SEM?

So, SEM is the marketing process with a goal of getting more visibility in search engines either by getting more free traffic (SEO) or paid traffic (Paid search advertising).

Through paid search advertising you essentially buy advertising space in the search engine results.  So instead of trying to rank higher and get free traffic you pay to appear in front of the searches.

The most well-known advertising agency for PSA is Google Adwords.  Through Google adwords you can get your ads appear in the Google search results and you pay only for the clicks on your ads.  This is also the reason why the whole process is called Pay-per-click or PPC.  Bing and Yahoo have a similar system but it not so successful and widely known as Adwords.
Importance of SEM Traffic

SEM traffic is considered the most important source of Internet traffic because it is targeted.  It is widely accepted that people use the search engines to find a solution to a problem, an answer to their question or to learn how to do something.  So when searches click on a web site from the search results or click on an ad, they are more likely to convert.  The relevancy of the displayed web sites and ads makes SEM traffic more valuable than any of the other sources.  Facebook and twitter are trying to optimize their advertising platforms to utilize targeted traffic but still traffic coming directly from search engines has a better ROI.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 10:50:31 AM by DON TORO G »

Offline OliverWuhrl

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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 12:55:45 PM »
SEM means "Search Engine Marketing".  SEM includes SEO and context advertising.  SEO is one of the part of SEM.  SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the sole purpose of getting free traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.  You can read more about it here: hxxp: www. semrush. com/blog/articles/seo-and-sem-whats-the-difference-article/

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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 05:09:30 PM »
PPC is risky and expensive.   In addition, the top search engines are now very picky in admitting advertisers.   SEO is more cost effective on the long run and if well done will eliminate the need for PPC. 
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Offline paulfernendes01

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Re: What\'s the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 11:02:03 AM »
Quote from: JuliaPayne link=topic=193784.  msg493126#msg493126 date=1354543023
While some people use SEO and SEM interchangeably, SEO (search engine optimization) is actually a part of SEM (search engine marketing).   

SEO refers to the process of using on and off page factors (typically free) to get your web pages ranked for your chosen keywords in order to get more search engine traffic to your sites.    SEM takes it a step farther to include using paid search engine listings and paid inclusion to get more traffic to your websites.    8)

SEM is a broader term than SEO.   Where SEO aims to provide better organic search results, SEM uses the search engines to advertise your website or business to Internet customers and send a more targeted traffic to your Web site. 
For example, when people use a search engine to query "fashion handbags", the organic search engine results is where SEO technologies can assist your Web site in being more visible.    The paid advertising, or sponsored links are the ones prominently displayed above or beside the organic search results is a product of SEM. 


Post Merge: December 12, 2013, 10:37:50 AM
Quote from: JuliaPayne link=topic=193784. msg493126#msg493126 date=1354543023
While some people use SEO and SEM interchangeably, SEO (search engine optimization) is actually a part of SEM (search engine marketing). 

SEO refers to the process of using on and off page factors (typically free) to get your web pages ranked for your chosen keywords in order to get more search engine traffic to your sites.   SEM takes it a step farther to include using paid search engine listings and paid inclusion to get more traffic to your websites.   8)

Sem entails bidding and is usually paid service while Seo can be used to bring organically traffic and rank,,,,
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 10:37:50 AM by paulfernendes01 »
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Offline valentina24

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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 04:09:15 PM »
SEM is a broader term than SEO.  Where SEO aims to provide better organic search results, SEM uses the search engines to advertise your website or business to Internet customers and send a more targeted traffic to your Web site.

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Offline Jamesina007

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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2014, 12:39:33 PM »
Hi guys,
SEM is Search Engine Marketing.     
SEO is Search Engine Optimization.   
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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2014, 03:14:57 PM »
Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is a process of affecting the visibility or Webpage ranking in search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, in a natural way, which is referred to as organic because it is a natural way of affecting the search engines in a positive way for your Website?s visibility through increased traffic to your site and higher ranking on the search engines
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Offline Alexan

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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2014, 04:56:53 AM »
SEO means Search engine optimization.  And SMO depends on Social media Optimization.  Actually two are different from others.  TargetAdvert. com also provide you largest traffic from SEO and SMO.  You can try it.  Thnks
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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2015, 05:02:26 PM »
When SEO and SEM work together, marketers get maximum revenue from both programs.  SEO and SEM should be friends, not in distant relations.  The first step in combining SEO and SEM programs is to identify where the programs overlap, where they don?t and where they should.  When SEO and SEM teams are operating independently, there are often high-volume keyword terms that drive traffic from only one of the two search channels, either paid search or natural search.  When you find these terms, you can better optimize them.
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Re: What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2015, 05:02:26 PM »

 

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