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Online Business Marketing: SEO Vs. SEM

The marketing strategy you employ for your e-commerce business can either make or break it. Depending on how your marketing campaign turns out, you might make millions of dollars or nothing. SEO and SEM are the two most common marketing strategies for your dropshipping business. However, several online store owners tend not to understand their differences.

What is the meaning of these terms? What do they entail? Which one would be more advantageous to your e-commerce business? This guide will answer all your questions, detailing the differences between SEO and SEM.


What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that helps a website rank higher on non-paid search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google use complex algorithms to determine how prominently your website will appear when a user searches for a specific term.

There are over 200 ranking signals in the algorithms of search engines. Making sure your website contains the attributes search engines value is the basis of SEO. SEO is divided into four main categories:

Technical SEO

This is where you check that all the pages on your website can be crawled and indexed by Google and other search engines. Another aspect of technical SEO is making sure your pages load quickly. It also makes sure your site’s architecture is configured properly.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is where you focus your website’s optimization on the search terms that your ideal consumers search for in Bing, Google, and other search engines. For instance, using your primary keyword in the title tag, meta description, and URL of your web page is a best practice for on-page SEO.

User Interaction Signals

Based on how users interact with your website, Google determines whether your page is a good match for someone’s search. For instance, a high bounce rate could indicate that a user isn’t finding the solution they are looking for on your website. Additionally, Google has the power to slightly lower your rankings if they believe your page is not a good match for that keyword.

Off-Page SEO

The main goal of off-page SEO is to obtain trust and authority signals from other websites. The primary step in doing this is creating trustworthy backlinks to your website. Google may also utilize other off-page signals to gauge the authority of your websites, like social media sharing and E-A-T.


What Is SEM?

Previously, the term “SEM” was used to refer to all forms of search engine marketing. But today, it relates solely to paid search engine marketing. Keywords in paid search advertising are linked to them. Your ad will be prominently displayed in the search results when a user searches for the terms in your ad. Although paid search advertisements may resemble organic search results, they are typically labeled as “ads” or “sponsored content.”

The most popular kind of SEM is the pay-per-click campaign. Pay per click involves charging the ad’s sponsor each time a user clicks on it. The most widely used SEM platform is Google Ads, with Bing Ads coming in second. Several SEM tools are available to make SEM work for business owners, such as keyword tools and Google analytics tools to monitor the effectiveness of your ads.


SEO vs. SEM: Which One Should You Choose?

You may ask yourself why you need SEO when you can achieve the same results with sponsored advertisements. However, it is incorrect to view SEO and SEM as mutually exclusive. The most effective online marketing techniques combine these strategies.

SEO is the foundation of every website that Google considers reliable. If you can have an organic ranking and a sponsored ad at the top of the results page, you will increase the likelihood of users visiting your Shoplazza e-commerce store. Many people will trust organic search rankings more than paid search results.

Using SEM tactics while you improve your organic search results will help your business become more visible quickly. SEM and SEO depend on keywords; finding the correct ones and determining who to target with your ads are essential components of success. You can boost your chances of online success by following both techniques and gaining more knowledge about your brand and its clients.


Final Thoughts

SEO and SEM are essential marketing strategies for your e-commerce business. However, you must understand that it frequently takes time before you notice a significant increase in traffic due to your SEO efforts. For this reason, you may need to execute SEM campaigns in addition to SEO.


(Contributed by Ayotomiwa Omotosho & Hermes Fang)