SEM and SEO are two techniques that are very famous for us site owners who want to promote our sites well to gain more visitors into visiting our websites. What are they? Talking about the abbreviations themselves, they stand for Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. However, to really know about what they are and how they can help promoting our websites, let us explore the terms one by one.
Search Engine Marketing
When we talk about SEM, we are talking about online marketing done by SEM firms to promote our sites for acquiring more visibility in the Search Engine Result Pages, or what we usually know as Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). It includes advertisements with links to our websites that usually appear at the top or the side part of search engine results pages as we can see in Google result pages.
How much does it cost? Usually, Search Engine Marketing can be calculated with Pay Per Click (PPC) system. It means that we pay the firms when someone clicks our website links placed in the search engine results pages and when someone visits our sites.
This method could be either positive or negative. It could be positive in a way that the calculation is counted from the number of people who visit our sites and click the link. So we can say it’s pretty fair. However, we should also consider that there might be people who click for fraud by just clicking the links all the time without actually having any real interest in our websites.
This means we would pay more than we have to because actually these people aren’t really the real visitors to our websites. Click fraud has been pretty common in the business as there have been people or automated script or program made to click websites in the advertisements. So, being careful is really suggested.
Besides PPC, SEM also includes banner advertisements or placing the advertisements on other people’s websites. Different from Pay Per Click, this kind of advertisements charges the payment monthly or we can also pay the cost per impression.
Just like PPC, this also has positive and negative side. It’s good if we want to avoid click fraud and pay too much only for false clicks from irresponsible people. However, it can also have negative impact as we still have to pay no matter there is nobody clicking or visiting our websites.
Briefly, if we choose to buy an SEM service, we have to decide first our budget for online marketing and think well which kind of method we’d like to use for our sites promotion with Search Engine Marketing method.
Search Engine Optimization
And now, we can have a look on what Search Engine Optimization exactly is. To start, it is a method for improving our websites place in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It consists two concepts, on-page and off-page optimization. What are they?
When we are talking about on-page optimization, we are talking about the best we can do inside our websites; such as the title tag, content keywords, hyperlinks keywords, meta tags, link structure, site map, URL keywords, and original content quality. We must maximize all of them.
For example, when we are choosing keywords for anything in our websites, we have to make sure that the keywords used represent well our websites and that those keywords have enough but not exceeding amount inside the web pages. This is to make sure that our websites can be found well and to make sure that our websites have good positions at the SERP.
Next, let’s talk about off-page optimization. What is it? While on-page optimization works on what are inside our websites, the off-page optimization is the strategies we can do outside our websites. Mostly, it’s about link-building and reputation development to survive well in the business. But how to do it exactly?
We can improve our link-building and reputation by blogging, creating community or group in social networking websites such as Facebook, forum postings with signatures and links back to our websites, directory and search engine submissions, social bookmarking, submitting articles and press releases to article sites and press release sites, and posting testimonials from customers in review sites.
SEO, either it is on-page or off-page, requires a lot of works to do from our part. However, the results coming to us if we do them in the right way and continuously, could be more than our expectation. Moreover, if we are ready to do all the work, Search Engine Optimization could be a more affordable way to promote our sites; but, of course if we have the budget to do both SEO and SEM, we can choose to do both methods at the same time.
So, it’s all coming back to us. Do we have enough budget for the SEM campaign? Or, are we ready to do all the tasks required for SEO campaign? Or maybe, to make it even more perfect, we could choose both of them without having any dilemma.