What is the difference, Pros & Cons of SEO & PPC, SEM?
When it comes to digital marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click), SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are commonly seen in articles and blogs. What are the difference between them? What are their impacts? Well, let’s start with SEM.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
SEM, by it means, to utilize search engine for marketing purpose. SEM used to be an umbrella of SEO and PPC. Any marketing activities work around search engine can be classified as search engine marketing. However, people tend to refer SEM as PPC for generating Paid Search Traffic nowadays. SEO becomes on its own to distinguish between Paid Search Traffic and Organic Search Traffic.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
a methodology or practice to improve organic search engine result page ranking, improve website traffic quantity and quality, through on-page and off-page optimization and technical SEO tactics. SEO improves search engine visibility of a website or web page in search engine results. Common practices include keyword research and optimization, backlinks building, website loading speed, SEO content optimization, meta data. Figure 1 shows both Search Ad (highlighted) and organic search result (below search ad appearance).
- generate organic search traffics (traffic type which tent to have higher conversion)
- free organic traffics
- more accurate in targeting by keywords and timing matching
- search ranking acquired via organic SEO, ranking position is stable.
- residual impact after stopped
- slow, take time to improve, progress speed in months
- labor intensive to keep tracking frequently and make adjustment
PPC (Pay Per Click)
PPC (Pay Per Click) refers to advertising activities to increase search engine appearance via paid search ads. There are two major ad types, search ad and display ad. Search ads are triggered and displayed to searcher when criteria matched advertisers target. Display ads are displayed without being searched. However, advertiser still be able to define target audience group by demographic and geographic location.
Search Ads are advertisements those target on specific keywords, with additional targeting on audience location, demographic, and search engine classified audience groups. Search Ads shows when search query match advertiser defined targeting elements. Figure 1 shows both Search Ad and search appearance in SERP when user search a keyword. Highlighted is Search Ad. It shows because query keyword matches Google Ads defined criteria.
Display Ads are advertisements those target are targeting on audience location, demographic, and search engine classified audience groups. Search Ads shows when visitors match advertiser defined targeting elements.
- instant impact to increase traffics (paid traffic)
- targetable audience group by location, demographic, interests/current status etc factors known to search engine
- less effort than SEO
- easy to measure campaign performance
- traffic stops as soon as ad stops
- no residual impact when ad stops
For start up business, it is sensible to utilize both SEO and PPC. SEO produce long term benefits. PPC offers instant search traffics at reasonable investment. For established businesses, SEO is necessary to maintain business in competition and provide solid base for business expansion.
If your business want to initiate traffics or maintain high competitiveness in your industry. We can help.