SEO vs SEM
October 19, 2018
October 19, 2018
Hey, everybody, this is Adam Arkfield with ParaCore, and today I’m gonna do a little bit of a back-to-basics video because we get a lot of inquiries and a lot of questions, a lot of conversations around SEO, which is different than what we do, which is SEM. I wanted to just talk about the differences a little bit.
If you’re watching the video and you’re just not exactly sure what they difference is between search engine optimization and search engine marketing, or search engine optimization and pay-for-click advertising, this is the video for you because I’m really gonna go over the differences between the two, how they work from an optimization perspective, high level on SEO and on SEM, and then give you some more information about that.
Let’s get started. On this page, what you’re looking at is just a generic search for plumbers in Phoenix. I did plumbers in Phoenix because they actually have a format called Home Service Ads, which is kind of new although not really, it’s about a year old here in Phoenix, but has been around a little bit longer in other parts of the country. At the top here, you can see these three local service ads, they’re called Home Service Ads. They have a different format. It has the number of reviews. Google guaranteed means that the technicians, the plumbers or electricians or whoever’s going into your home has actually been background checked by Google. Going through the process is a little bit elaborate. Google guaranteed means that they’ve actually background checked every employee, every technician at that company in order to even get a local service ad. They also pull in the reviews, which you can see right here and then they have some more information. This is sponsored. You can see the box, sponsored. When you click more plumbers in Phoenix, it’ll take you to a page with more listings. When you’re running a search in Google, you’re gonna be seeing paid advertisements at the top. That’s how it’s been always, for a very long time, and how it’s going to be for a very long time.
That is search engine marketing, where someone’s paying to be at the top of Google. They’re always paying to be there. There used to be ads on the side. Those have since been removed and then as you start to scroll down, you see these more traditional ads. Most ads that you’re seeing on Google are these more traditional ads. Here, we happen to be doing plumbers, so they have the local service ads. You’re typically seeing these as the little green ad box. It’s showing it’s an ad and you’re paying to be here. You’re paying for a certain position. Search engine marketing is paying to be in the top position. As you continue to scroll down, it then goes into the maps listings where sometimes you will see ads here, although right now we’re just seeing organic listings.
Then now, you’re back into the organic listings. This is the search engine optimization world. When you are, from talking to a marketer about SEO or SEM, or SUR-PPC, that’s the real distinction. Here, you’re buying your way into the top. You’re paying for these listings, you’re paying for the ads, you’re getting to the top. When you search, you’re buying these keywords and you’re buying your positioning. You’ll notice that my window’s not all that big right now because of this video, but it takes up the entire screen. You don’t see any organic listings right away. Even if you’re ranked number one on Google for plumbers in Phoenix, like Yelp is, you’re not even seen until you start scrolling down. Then you start getting into these organic categories.
It’s funny that Yelp, I mean maybe not funny, but Yelp not even being a plumber has the number one listing for plumbers in Phoenix because that domain has such strong domain authority and they’ve done so much with their SEM. They’ve been on it for so long that they’re just gonna show at the top. They have the best 10 plumbing in Phoenix, Arizona. Then you have Plumbing Masters, then you have HomeAdvisor, which again is not an actual plumber but a website that allows you to find plumbers.
Then you have Angie’s List, again not a plumber. Then you’ve got a George Brazil, Yellow Pages, Diamondback Plumbing. You’ll see that even if you’re the best, even if your website is optimized for plumbing in the Phoenix area to the best extent possible, for you to get to number one is almost impossible. You’re competing with Yelp. You’re competing with HomeAdvisor. Competing with Angie’s List. You’re competing with Yellow Pages. You’re competing with all these companies. Plumbing Masters AZ, they’ve done a very good job. They’re number two. Then you have George Brazil. Those companies have been around for a very long time, they’re very reputable. They have very high positioning and organic SEO rate because of it. When you’re optimizing for organic SEO, you’re doing different work than anything related to paid.
It’s like paid is getting to the top quickly, within a day you can get there and it’s just a matter of how much money do you wanna spend. With organic, you are selecting keywords to optimize your webpages with. You’re optimizing the titles. You’re optimizing the URLs. You’re optimizing the descriptions. You’re building content. You’re really putting a lot of work into the content of your website in order to rank higher organically, which is great. But, it does take a long time. Sometimes people say “Well, it’s quote unquote free. “Organic is like free traffic.” I will say that the ROI on organic traffic is probably better in the long-term, but you do pay someone to optimize your website. It’s not free. You do pay people to create content, to keep on getting more traffic, so that’s not free, either. Don’t be mislead by thinking that organic is free. You don’t get to the top of search results just by accident anymore or by doing some keyword stuffing in the keyword section of your metatext. It’s a very concerted, strategic approach to rank high organically.
Again, if you haven’t done much in the way of SEO or SEM, at the top is always SEM, search engine marketing, PPC ads, and then as you scroll down, then you get into organic. Those are the basics of the difference between the two. If you are starting a new business, I typically recommend that you maybe start with some paid to get some activity early, if you have the budget. You can certainly do organic, but it just takes a very long time.
If you have any questions, again my name’s Adam. I’m the owner of ParaCore. Please comment below. Like the video, subscribe if you enjoyed the content. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks a lot.
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