SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is seen as an offshoot of SEM (Search Engine Marketing), while SEM includes ranking optimization tactics on paid and non-paid search engines. Under the continuous development and transformation of digital marketing, SEO and SEM are gradually separated into two separate, independent but complementary concepts.
Specifically, according to Search Engine Land, SEM is “the process of increasing website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.” SEO, on the other day, is defined as “the process of getting traffic from natural or free search results.” This article will help you distinguish and understand the main features of these two powerful tools.
I. Key Features of SEO
SEO is the practice of constantly optimizing a website to rank in the results pages of a non-paid search engine (SERPs). Google uses more than 200 ranking signals in its algorithm. That said, SEO can be divided into 4 main sub-categories such as:
- SEO on the page
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- User interaction signals
1. SEO on the page
This is where you optimize your website around keywords that your target customers search for in Google, Bing, and other search engines. For example, a best method of SEO on a page is to include your main keyword in the title tag, meta description, and website URL.
2. SEO Off-page
Off-page SEO is all about getting reliable and authoritative signals from other sites. This mostly involves building high-quality back-to-back links to your site. But Google can also use other off-page signals to enhance your site’s authority, such as EAT and social media sharing.
3. Technical SEO
This is where you make sure that Google and other search engines can collect data and index all the pages on your site. Technical SEO also includes things like making sure your pages load quickly and your website architecture is set up correctly.
4. User engagement signals
How users interact with your site helps Google figure out if your page is right for someone’s search. For example, if your page has a high bounce rate, it could be a sign that your page isn’t giving someone an answer to their query. And if Google considers your page to be inappropriate for that keyword, they can drop your rankings a bit or turn off the first page altogether.
II. Key Features of SEM
SEM is a high-level term that includes SEO. So everything in the article above for SEO also applies to SEM. But in addition to SEO, SEM also includes PPC. And PPC is a field that has its own features, best practices and more.
1. Bidding (Bid)
Whether you use Google Ads or Bing Ads, paid ads in search are all about Bidding. With PPC, you bid on a specific keyword. And when someone searches for that keyword, your ad will show up.
The ranking of the ads is usually proportional to how many people are bidding. So if you’re the highest bidder, you’ll appear on all other ads.
And when someone clicks on your ad, you pay whatever amount you bid for. The amount you pay when someone clicks on your ad is called cost per click (CPC).
2. Quality Score
Quality Score quality score is an extremely important Google Ads indicator. Basically, it’s Google’s way of finding out if your ad is right for anything someone is looking for.
Google calculates Quality Score based on a combination of click-through rate, landing page quality, and overall Quality Score of your Google Ad account. And if your ad has a High Quality Score, you’ll get a discount per click.
3. Ad Copy
Writing compelling copy ads is a big part of doing well with PPC. Why? Excellent copy of ads = high CTR. And CTR means Good Quality Score. That means you pay less for the same click.
The opposite is also true. If your copy doesn’t motivate people to click, then your Quality Score will suffer and your PPC will start to become super expensive.
4. Ad Groups and Account Management
The Ads and Account Management team: This is where you use the data in your Google Ads account to optimize your ad spending.
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