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SEO OR SEM – Which Should You Use?

In the online marketplace, growing a business is quite a competitive task. You will find several companies within the same category aiming for a similar target. Hence, it can seem impossible to develop an online presence without any promotional strategy. To surpass your rivals and increase brand awareness, you will need to select one of these two methods.

SEM & SEO are considered two of the most powerful tactics to expand an industry online. Here, I will share the difference between these two techniques and a tip to help you get your marketing strategy on the right path.

SEM – The Most Effective Method

SEM or Search Engine Marketing uses paid techniques to advertise a business online and is the fastest way to appear on the search engine results pages. This is where an advertiser has to bid on a particular keyword in order to appear in the SERP. How exactly does this work? Well, when people search using that specific keyword, there is a significant chance of the advertiser’s ad to pop up in conjunction with the search results. 

These advertisements can be displayed in different formats; the most common one being a product listing ad, which is quite beneficial for websites selling products. It allows online users to read reviews, prices, and a description all on the same page. For product-based businesses, this is the most efficient way to sell online. For example, if a user’s intention is to make a purchase, they will search for what they want. When they do this and your ad pops-up on the SERP, they will most likely click on this first.

What is SEO & How Does it Differ from SEM?

SEM is a paid version of online marketing, where businesses pay search engines to display their ads on the SERP. At the same time, SEO is a method that uses its marketing types, where you don’t pay for anything but make an effort to earn a place on the search engine results page.

With SEO, you have to make a plan and prepare for setbacks because sometimes the content unknowingly infringes search engines guidelines. This will cause you to rework a particular page or the entire website’s content, depending on the degree of blasphemy.

Keywords are very crucial because without them, there is no way to develop a significant online presence. Before selecting keywords on your own, it is recommended that you conduct research to help you create a list of them. Once you learn the number of searches per month for each keyword, you will then know exactly where to use them on your website. Your primary keyword will become a part of the URL, meta title, meta description, and headings while the secondary keywords can be used within the page’s content.

Personal Opinion

Search engine optimization is all about how much effort you put into it. In my view, it’s better to utilize this option rather than bidding on keywords that are highly ranked. The greater the competition on keywords, the more pay-per-click will be. This is why for new businesses, it’s a good idea to implement long-tail keywords and keep the website up-to-date. Adding content frequently will enable search engine users to visit the pages on a regular basis, giving your content the opportunity to become visible on the search engine results page.

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