SEM, SEA, SEO – Differences and Definitions
SEM (Search Engine Marketing : Search Engine Marketing ) stands as a generic term for all measures related to the best possible placement of a website in the common search engines such as Google, Bing and Co. The aim of the SEM is to attract more visitors to a website and thereby increase awareness of a website Increase your brand , sales or leads . The strategies of search engine marketing include paid advertisements, the generation of backlinks, as well as the optimization of the website with regard to texts, images and other content.
The SEM can be roughly divided into the two sub-areas SEO and SEA .
What does SEO mean?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization: SEO ) is a technique in online marketing , to place a website in the search results as possible far forward. In this case, front means in the upper viewing area of the first page of the search engine , since the following pages and their results are rarely or not at all clicked on.
SEO differs from SEA in that no payment techniques (advertisements, paid clicks) are used. Instead, the content of a website, consisting of text, images, videos and navigation , is optimized in such a way that it is helpful to the visitor and offers added value . If the content of a website matches a search query, it will be taken into account by Google in the search results and placed visibly.
Clear navigation , well-structured texts that offer people added value , helpful images that are marked with appropriate titles and labels, as well as internal links between individual sub-pages are just a few SEO techniques. All these steps that are taken to optimize the website itself are called OnPage optimization .
There are also SEO techniques such as external link building. The aim here is to get backlinks from other, well-ranking websites that are thematically similar. These are rated as recommendations by the search engines and are also included in the evaluation of a website. The building of the backlink is part of the OffPage optimization.
In contrast to SEA, SEO is a long-term investment, while with SEA you can “buy” the top spots in search results, you have to earn it with SEO. This merit rewards you with more website visitors in the long term.
What does SEA mean?
SEA (Search Engine Advertising by Abbreviationfinder) primarily refers to the placement of paid advertisements on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Co. The whole thing works like an auction in which you as the advertiser bid on a keyword under which your ad should be displayed.
For example, if you want to appear with your ad when searching for “buy leather shoes”, bid on the keyword “buy leather shoes” and optimize your ad accordingly. You will be billed with a click . Click prices for highly competitive keywords can range from a few cents to several euros.
However, the bid is only one factor after, for example, Google chooses which ads are displayed for a particular search. If the ad matches a search term, it will be displayed directly above or below the organic search results, depending on the bid. The quality of the website and the relevance of the ad also play a role. If the ad generates expectations that are not met on the website, the visitor jumps off again.
The big advantage of SEA is that you can place yourself in the top 3 places of the search engines without any effort and in a short time. So it is a short-term, but not very sustainable measure. As soon as you turn off the ads, there is a slowdown in traffic , unless you have optimized SEO at the same time.
How can SEO and SEA be best combined?
For the perfect SEM you should use SEO and SEA measures in combination. However, SEO is more important and should be prioritized, since advertisements can easily buy visitors, but they would leave a confusing and not user-friendly website immediately. So the content of the website should be carefully placed first. External linking can then be started at the same time as advertisements are placed in order to increase awareness of the website.
Used correctly, SEA can significantly strengthen the successes built up through SEO , but also increase traffic in the short term until the SEO measures take effect.
Which search engines are there and which are the most popular?
According to Statista, Google is the absolute market leader among search engines worldwide, with 70% on desktop devices and a full 93% in mobile searches on smartphones or tablets. In addition to Google, there are other search engines such as Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo, the Chinese search engine Baidu, Yandex, DuckDuckGo and Ask, but their share is dwindlingly small. If you leave out the international and especially the Chinese market , where Baidu has a market share of 12%, Google takes an even more prominent place.
In 2020, Google will have a share of 86% on desktop devices and 98% in mobile search on the German market . Therefore, in online marketing and search engine optimization , it is definitely worthwhile to concentrate fully on Google and its search algorithm. In the B2B environment, however, it can also be promising to use Bing Ads as a supplement, since many companies rely on Microsoft, where Bing is set up as the standard search engine.