SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This contains the strategies pertaining to optimizing websites and appealing to search engines. We have several articles talking about how external links, internal links, backlinks, keywords, and more, help your website appear first when someone makes a search online. It’s a system that anyone can use for free to garner hundreds, if not thousands, of page views and impressions. But that’s not what SEM is all about.

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. It sounds similar to SEO, which makes it understandable if someone confuses the two. SEM contains strategies using paid and organic means to bring in site traffic. What this means is that the strategies you use for SEO are considered SEM strategies, but not all SEM strategies you use are SEO strategies. It’s similar to how, “all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.”

What SEM Strategies Are Not SEO Strategies?

There are two types of SEM strategies, organic and paid. SEO is all about organic growth through site and content optimization. These are things you don’t pay for, discounting the employee who writes the content and the regular upkeep of your site. The paid SEM content is called PPC, or Pay-Per-Click marketing.  

SEO vs. PPC Marketing

SEO and PPC are both a type of SEM marketing, divided in multiple ways. Besides their cost, another important distinction is that the work put into SEO happens on your site. Nearly everything you do for SEO goes towards building your website’s infrastructure and quality. 

PPC is where you go to other sites, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc., and pay for them to show your content on their website in key places and to key groups. When you’re paying for Google Ads, the content for your PPC marketing will resemble the meta titles and meta descriptions you use during SEO, but they aren’t functionally the same.

What is the Strategy Behind SEO?

The content that goes on a website page, including your meta descriptions and meta titles, is focused on having three things: quantity, quality, and keywords. Search engines prefer websites that contain informative content that provides value to users. If they’re not useful and don’t inform the user on anything, it won’t matter that there’s a lot of content. 

Then, if that content doesn’t have enough keywords, Google won’t know what it’s about. The opposite happens when you put in too many. Google will recognize that you’re trying to rank for a page without doing the proper work.

What is the Strategy Behind PPC?

Best practices for PPC content are typically the opposite of SEO. When you create an ad, the content is either a visual or a few words. You’re not trying to immediately give someone a lot of information with PPC marketing. In fact, you want to tell people a perfectly small amount so they become interested and click on your ad. You want to offer just enough information so someone knows what problem your product/service can fix.

Then, when they click on the ad, they should go to a landing page. These are either small sites with one page dedicated to capturing contact information or one page on your own website. It’s typically better for them to be on their own site separate from your website.

Landing pages are not supposed to be full of content like a website’s page. They’re supposed to inform people of what they need to know about your product or service to build interest and feel compelled to offer their contact information. This can be a couple of paragraphs, a few sentences, or all images. 

This is absolutely fine because landing pages don’t need to rank on search engines. They’re attached to ads that will bring people to them. If you put your landing page on your website, it will likely hurt your SEO. Or, if you optimize the landing page for SEO, you can hurt your landing page’s ability to capture contact information.

What Strategies Do They Share?

Backlinks are the only tactic that can fall under SEO or PPC. We’ve talked about backlinks before. This is when someone adds a link on their website that leads to yours. When you contact other outlets, write guest blog posts, or have sites linking back to you out of respect for your content, this would be considered an SEO strategy. This is organic because it’s the quality of your website content and your writing abilities that bring in the traffic.

When the backlinks come from your ads, landing pages, or email blasts, they would be considered a PPC strategy. You’re paying for these, and they are technically links from another site to yours. They also serve to boost your SEO so, in this way, your PPC and SEO strategies are converging when it comes to backlinks.

When you pay for backlinks, you are technically using a PPC strategy, but it’s a poor one. Search engines will notice and hurt your site for doing this. Backlinks that are bought are also commonly from broken or untrustworthy sites, so it’s best to avoid this practice altogether.

To Understand SEM, SEO, and PPC, Contact ENX2 Marketing

Marketing is not easy or simple. There are so many strategies to learn and understand that it can be intimidating to anyone trying to run a business. Understanding SEO vs. SEM vs. PPC can be more than a little confusing so get help from people who know how the system works. 

ENX2 Marketing is a team experienced in SEM strategies across both SEO and PPC. With our help, we’ll make sure that your time, money, and resources are not going to waste. Contact us today.