Differences between SEO and SEM

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Search engines (mainly Google in Spain) are the most effective traffic capture channel for businesses. Within the global online marketing strategy of a company there should be a prominent site for search engine visibility work, either organically ( SEO ) or through advertising ( SEM ).

The SEO (Search Engine Optimization), better known in Spain as search engine optimization, is the process used to improve the visibility of a web getting this appears on the top of the organic results of different search engines.

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The SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is also a process to improve the visibility of a website in search engines. The main difference with SEO is that, in this case, such visibility is achieved through the payment of certain amounts to the engine itself so that it places the web in the featured results.

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The ultimate goal, either through SEO or SEM, is to occupy the top positions of the search engines when a user performs an interesting search from a business point of view. In the example above, we have a search for the keyword (also known by the English term keyword) “buy iPhone 6”.

In addition to having a high number of searches, we see that keyword has a clear purchase intention. These two aspects are essential at the beginning of any job to improve search engine visibility.

The concept of keyword is one of the first to be understood in any search engine visibility project, both at the SEO and SEM level. Appearing in the top positions of Google and in other search engines is necessary for business. But it is a very broad concept. It is not the same to appear when someone searches for the name of a company than to appear when they are looking for a product or service that that company offers. This last case is the really interesting one and the one that will increase the visibility of a certain company, brand or simply a web page in search engines.

Organic positioning (SEO)

The operation of all the large general search engines such as Google or Bing is the same. They all have an index, which is the structure around which the search engine revolves. We can say that the index of a search engine is similar to that of a book. When this index is built, the web spiders scan the World Wide Web for new pages and updates to existing webs. This process of building and updating the index is called indexing.

For a search engine to be able to offer users the most relevant results for a given search, it has to keep its index as up-to-date as possible. To do this, you must have your spiders continually scouring the Net in search of changes and new pages.

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Spiders do not travel linearly across the World Wide Web. To perform a crawl as efficiently as possible, they are based on a series of rules that make, among other things, the pages that change the most and also the most relevant ones are crawled more frequently than the rest.

General search engines order their results by relevance. They are able to calculate which page will best satisfy the user’s need for the search they have made. This calculation can be carried out based on different criteria. One of the most frequently asked questions and most kept secret by those responsible for this work in the search engines is what are those relevance criteria that are followed to order the results.

There is no 100% accurate information from reliable sources regarding what these criteria are In the case of Google, and based on the experience of the community and our work as an SEO agency , there are more than 200 factors that the search engine takes into account for the positioning of the web on its results page, known as SERP ( Search Engine Results Page ). These factors can be classified into two large groups: On-Page , which refer to information that can be collected from within the website itself, and Off-Page , which are deduced from characteristics external to said website.

To optimize a website and make its positioning improve, you have to work on both groups of factors, trying to ensure that the page gets the best score from the search engine for each factor separately.

Search Engine Advertising (SEM)

The SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategy of a business is based on getting visits to a website through ads placed in certain parts controlled by the search engine and that we will call ‘advertising zone’.

If we only look at Google, which, as is obvious, being the search engine with the most users is also the company that achieves the most income with search engine advertising, the advertising areas it contemplates are:

Text Ads – Appear when customers search on Google. They are word ads that contain a link to the advertiser’s website.

Ad extensions they also appear in the search network but the previous type of ad is added more data such as the physical address of the company or the telephone. In addition to the search page, they can also appear on the Google Display Network.

Image ad: they serve to show the product or service offered visually and appears on the websites of Google partners through the Adsense program.

Video ads: can be displayed independently or within a video that is streamed. They allow customers to find these ads on Google partner websites.

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Shopping ads: apply only to products sold online in a specific Google tab for this purpose. In searches with a clear purchase intention, they can also appear on the main search page.

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