I can often hear awkward responses from many business leaders and even successful, intelligent and smart managers. All of them are complaining of being confused with the terms of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and adequate SEO explanation. In fact, both concepts are vast and hence are usually referred interchangeably by the industry operators. Let’s face it - most of them are too far from being truly accurate, just bringing a lot of confusion instead.
Let’s make things clear at last. Yes, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are indeed addressed to search engines. But they are doing it in 2 different ways, at least for using a couple of different words. I mean, Marketing and Optimization got very comprehensive and broad definitions, not to say their general application. I suggest looking through a brief list of the most fundamental differences between them, to get the right understanding of SEM, completed in full with clear SEO explanation.
Let’s have a crude analogy to see the difference at once. Imagine that your Digital Marketing is an automobile. For correct operation, your vehicle needs to have a proper care of its engine, in line with maintaining, for example, recurrent fuel supply. Taking these would-be metaphors as the starting point, we can proceed with a simple comparison. Yes, my bold comparison is far from any precise observation, but they must do, at least for now.
Handling engine maintenance would be parallel with the process of Search Engine Optimization. It covers different aspects, such as checking pressure, oil, water levels, as well as involves many other different works to keep the motor working. For better performance, you can always get some extra parts, or replace the existing with newer ones. Doing so, you will achieve the most efficient driving experience for every day. This is what I believe the simplest SEO explanation is. To make this analogy even more convincing, we can easily compare it with this truly unpleasant aspect of automobile ownership hated by the lion’s share of drivers, I shall admit.
On the other hand, Search Engine Marketing can be compared with an inevitable and recurrent need put fresh gas into your vehicle’s fuel tank. Taking the previous reference to equally costly maintenance works for a simplified SEO explanation, it becomes apparent that nearly any sustaining and repair works can be possibly minimized to some basic degree. Doing so (e.g., handling your website only with the uttermost SEO efforts), you will be able to defer most of the too hefty expenses for quite long, but still keep your vehicle running, at least at the rock-bottom level. Fuel replenishment for SMM, on the other hand, is still indispensable, thus remaining the only way to make use of your motor, driving your way where you want and when you need for all time.
Both SEO and SEM are operating in the same field. I mean bringing more visitors to your online platform. For frank SEO explanation, running a well-optimized and maintained commercial website will bring you more quality organic traffic. It’s a long-term and laborious investment, which reassures your stable flow of real customers, and hence revenues. SEM betting on paid search, on the other hand, constantly needs to be fed with cash. It drives your traffic right away, hence showing immediate results, yet in its way.