In the simplest terms, SEM and SEO are tools that website builders, especially those who promote and sell a specific service or product, use to get a lot of exposure and better ranking for their website. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, the simplicity ends there.
To make things a bit complex, SEM and SEO are not the same. As the names suggest, SEM or Search Engine Marketing is more concerned with how a website is marketed to get exposure in the various search engines available on the web, while SEO or Search Engine Optimization is concerned with how the web creators perform and the content that Redesign the quality and structure of their entire websites so that their websites have a better chance of appearing on the first search engine results pages (SERPS) when an internet user enters a specific word in the search tab.
To make it even more complex, although the functions of SEM and SEO may seem different, they are more effective when used together. Since the main function of SEM is to get more visibility for a website, the more common means of attraction are online ads, blogs, internet articles, affiliate and sponsored websites and anything that can catch the attention of the internet user. SEM also uses PPC (pay-per-click) and paid inclusion to further increase a website’s visibility. Finally, it is also an important process in SEM to submit a website’s name and URL to various search engines and web directories, if only to inform them of the website’s existence. All of this is done to ensure the popularity of a website.
So how does SEO come together with SEM? Well, despite all the ads provided by SEM, it is really SEO that allows the internet user to find what they are looking for easily and conveniently. Since the function of SEO is to achieve a better ranking in the SERPS, the web creator must constantly optimize their website to meet the needs of Internet users and make it easier for spiders or web crawlers to assess whether the website’s good content is relevant to the word(s) searched for. Optimization is not a simple and easy task. It’s about regularly restructuring the website (by editing the HTML code and meta tags, changing content, reorganizing the sitemap, developing a simpler navigation structure, etc.) to adapt it to the rapidly changing needs of Internet users . Nevertheless, if done correctly, SEO helps a website not only to become more useful and therefore more frequently visited by the internet user, but also to gain more attention as it increases the chances of the website to rank better in the SERPS to reach.
Both SEM and SEO success depend heavily on the words or context that internet users type when searching for something on the internet. Take PPC under SEM for example. PPC is an ad triggered by a specific word or context used by an internet user. As soon as a specific word or context is searched for, a corresponding PPC ad for a website will appear. SEO works the same way. The web creator puts a specific meta tag (or keyword) into their HTML that they think many internet users will use when searching for information, information that the web creator’s website may contain.
Although all these processes related to SEM and SEO are tedious and time-consuming, it all boils down to knowing and serving the target audience. A web designer has to be sophisticated enough to know what the internet users need and want, and at the same time have a genuine passion to educate the internet users and offer them the right service and product.