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SEO vs SEM

Updated: 2021-11-01

When it comes to online promotion and promotion, I believe everyone is familiar with SEO and SEM. But what is the difference between the two? Today, let us start with the definition and compare the location, effectiveness, time and cost of the two one by one.

SEO

SEO is the abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization, and is a technology to improve the natural ranking of search engines. By improving the website structure, enhancing the credibility of the website and increasing the user experience in the three optimization areas, your website will get a higher score than the opponent in the search engine algorithm. The higher the score, the higher the ranking.

SEM

SEM is the abbreviation of Search Engine Marketing, and is the collective name for paid advertising in Hong Kong. However, the original intention of SEM is to include all search engine marketing programs including SEO and paid advertising, and paid advertising is generally called PPC (Pay Per Click) in foreign countries. In order to facilitate understanding, we will also refer to paid advertising as SEM in this and subsequent articles.

Let’s take a look at the following Google Search Results Page (SERP-Search Engine Results Page)

This is the search result page of the first page of the Google search engine. All paid ads will have the word "advertisement" at the front of the page, while the natural ranking does not. Generally speaking, the first 2-4 positions are advertising positions. After that, including Google Business, there will be about 10-15 natural ranking positions, and finally there will be 2-4 advertising positions, which adds up to about 20 positions. To be honest, even if the website displayed on the second page is displayed more frequently, there is basically not much browsing, not to mention the subsequent pages, so the first page of the search engine is a must for all walks of life. land.

The technology that displays the webpage in the natural ranking position is called SEO; the technology that is displayed in the advertisement position is called SEM.

Next, let's take a look at the comparison between SEO and SEM:

Location Comparison

SEM is better than SEO in position.

Regardless of the keyword search, Google Map, Google Shopping and other search pages, the display position of paid ads is prior to the natural ranking, and the position is often more conspicuous.

Achievement Comparison

SEO will cover more extensively than SEM.

SEO: If the natural ranking of the core keyword is on the first page, generally related keywords will also appear on the first page, such as the core keyword "花店" On the first page, related keywords such as "花店边间好" and "香港花店" will also appear on the first page. Moreover, there is no time limit for natural ranking, and successful SEO searches appear on the first page no matter when.

SEM: The coverage of paid advertising depends on the number of paid keywords and the playing time. Although the position of paid advertisements is usually more conspicuous than the natural ranking position, all paid advertisements will have the word "advertisement" at the front of the page, and some users have the habit of resisting advertisements, so the effectiveness of paid advertisements is often not as good as that of natural rankings. .

Time Comparison

SEO takes a longer period of time, but the effect is longer; SEM is effective immediately, but it will stop when you stop paying advertising.

SEO: The natural ranking of core keywords should be on the first page, which usually takes 6-12 months. If it takes longer to build a new website, at least one Years or more. How long the ranking can be maintained depends on the fierce competition in the industry. Assuming that the ranking will be maintained until it is surpassed by the opponent, assuming that the ranking is successfully placed on the first page and then no longer taken care of.

SEM: As long as you are willing to pay, paid ads can appear on the first page of the search page in just a few days. But when you stop paying, advertising will stop immediately.

Cost Comparison

The cost of SEO and SEM depends entirely on free competition in the market. When the cost of natural ranking is higher than that of advertising, competitors will prefer SEM; on the contrary, they will prefer SEO, so the actual cost of SEO and SEM will not be too far apart.

SEO: Natural ranking is a comparison of website quality. It is nominally free, but even if you know the technology of optimizing the website, the credibility of the website must be promoted by publicity, plus improved User experience, high-quality web design, articles, photos and videos are all indispensable, and the actual delivery cost is never lower than paid advertising. However, the cost difference between each industry can be very large. The simplest way is to see who the opponent is on the first page of the natural ranking, and you can probably estimate the cost of the investment.

SEM: Paid advertising, as the name implies, requires you to pay for each keyword. The more keywords, the higher the display position, and the longer the playing time, the more expensive the price will be. Google has always had only one charging model, that is, the higher the price is. There is no such thing as a buyout position. Every time an advertisement is displayed, it is actually a bidding activity. If the website is displayed in a higher position, in theory, it must be higher than your opponent. Price. If the coverage of paid advertising is blindly expanded, it is likely that the money earned will not be enough to pay for the advertising.

Summarize

SEO SEM
Location
Achievement
Time
Cost

In fact, SEO and SEM have different characteristics. Generally speaking, SEO is more suitable for constant core keywords, such as "florist"; SEM is more suitable and shorter Time/promotion/seasonal promotions, such as "Valentine's Day Bouquet". If your website appears in the advertising position and the natural ranking position, the publicity effect is of course the best, but this kind of marketing plan is only suitable for companies with ample budget.

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