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  • Frank Aol

SEO vs SEM

Updated: Jan 1

Basically, spoken it is the purposed of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to give a website a good organic ranking. This leads to the question what organic ranking means. Organic search results refer to free, unpaid Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) which take place just because an internet user’s search terms or are relevant in relation to a particular website. That’s also the reason why savvy website builders are aware of placing the right keywords on a site which improves SEO.


On the other hand, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is defined as non-organic, because it refers to a website’s ranking that must be at least partly generated through payments. Businesses can create traffic and thus increase their website’s visibility through paid traffic sources such like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Outbrain Amplify, Linkedin Ads, Twitter Ads to name the most important ones in advance and others like pay per click (PPC). Saying this, a combination of both, SEO and SEM is certainly a very attractive concept to boost online marketing.


SEO can be divided into four main subcategories of which the first one is on-page SEO. This type of SEO is done by including the right keywords in title tags, the website domain, or meta descriptions off-page SEO, technical SEO and User Interaction Signals. Off-page SEO on the other hand is about getting authority from other websites. This is typically achieved t

hrough links to other websites or social media sharing. Technical SEO is referring to technical optimization of a website, namely its speed of loading and its ability to let search engines crawl through it.


When using paid traffics sources like Google Ads, the so-called bidding is crucial which means the creator of the ad must bid that a specific keyword is searched for most. The higher the accuracy of this bidding, the higher the following ranking of the website.


Finally, it remains the question if it is advisable to focus on SEO or on SME, or on both? Evidently it takes a longer time to create organic SEO rating while seeing results through SEM tools like PPC (pay per click) comes at a much faster rate. How to manage SEO, SME and related PPC campaigns, including the evaluation of their cost-performance value will be covered in another post.

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