Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Advertising (SEA) and Search Engine Marketing (SEA) are terms that are regularly used by online marketers. What do these terms actually mean? In which ways can SEO, SEA and SEM be used? How do these techniques contribute to the performance of my website? These are questions that a starting internet entrepreneur has to deal with. In this short article we describe the differences between these techniques. We also explain with which goals you can use these techniques.
SEM is about search engines, especially Google of course.
SEO are search results, SEA are the ads. Example:
SEO: slowly but surely being found in Google
SEO (search engine optimization) is a term used for activities that help improve your position within search engines. The higher you appear in the search results, the more internet users will visit your website. It is not easy to get higher quickly in Google with SEO. This is also the reason that many online marketers regard SEO as a technology for the longer term and often as a specialist SEO agency switch. One possibility you have to apply SEO to your current website is to periodically add content, optimize existing content, set up a link profile, and so on.
By optimized content we mean content that matches the information on your website and the correct one keyword density has. The keyword density of a text is the percentage that indicates how often a keyword is included in the text. Internet marketers normally recommend that the most important keyword 2-3% be included in the entire text. A good text usually has a length of at least 300 words. But that's just the beginning: Google values informative texts that give answers best. That means that you don't only write for Google: you want to keep your reader on your site. Ultimately, it is also about what the reader does next: conversion. Getting your visitors to your site via Google is only the first step. You get really high in Google with quality content.
SEA: directly above Google for a fee
Where SEO is aimed at the longer term, you can use SEA (search engine advertising) achieve better results in the short term. SEA is nothing more than advertising in search engines. This means that you pay for the traffic that ends up on your website via these search engines. However, this does not mean that SEA is simple! On the contrary, because you want to appeal to the right target group with these advertisements. After all, it is a shame if a visitor comes to your website via a paid advertisement, but then does not purchase a service or product. Especially with products that have only recently become popular, SEA is a smart way to attract visitors.
For popular keywords you pay a higher price per click than for less interesting keywords. This is because the price per click is determined on the basis of an auction. The more parties show an interest in a keyword, the higher the price they offer. For example, advertising on the keyword “mortgage” will quickly cost you 5 euros! The art of SEA is finding cheap keywords that are relevant to your website. Google also uses a quality score for your advertisements, which determines the relevance for the visitor. With a good quality score and low budget, you can still come out ahead of a competitor with a high budget and low quality score. Here you can read how to Google Adwords quality score increases.
Combination of SEO and SEA: 6 tips
SEM combines SEO with SEA. This way you have a solid strategy for the future with SEM. By applying SEO techniques you work on a good basis for high positions in the future. While you use SEA to also improve your performance in the short term.
- Do you have enough time? Then focus on SEO. Later, when you need it, you reap the benefits with good positions, certainly with good content.
- Do you need sales now? Then focus on SEA. Make sure you do not waste money, but keep improving the results.
- Is trust important? With SEO you build your online reputation, while SEA is accessible to anyone with money. If trust is a thing in your industry, choose SEO.
- Do you want to approach SEO professionally? Then outsource it to an SEO agency that knows exactly what works and what doesn't and, above all, what is and isn't allowed by Google. Here you will find a handy one overview of SEO agencies, you can search by place name and you can easily compare the specific services.
- The consumer does not know better. A large proportion (40% in 2013, 60% in 2017) of visitors did not see the difference between organic search results and advertisements. Do you want already address your potential customers? Then SEA is a so-called must.
- Use Google Analytics. This is because you can perfectly see what the visitors are doing on your website. Which channel converts better in the short term? And in the long term? Which assists does SEA offer? What is the final step for conversion, SEO or SEA? Here you can read how you set conversion goals in Google Analytics.