SEO or SEM?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are Internet marketing tools. SEO includes, for example, website building and content editing features to make websites listed among the first ones in a search result (e.g. in Google). SEM means purchasing visibility from search engines each time an ad is displayed or clicked.

Paid and 'natural' search engine results are separated from each other. In the picture below you can see search results detached by Russian Yandex search engine. Paid links (SEM) are at the top and on the right, and "natural" search results (SEO) can be found in the middle of the page. Other search engines follow the same logic.



Yandex search engine results, paid and natural ones, are separated in boxes.

Besides that, SEO and SEM are those measures that can have an influence on the webpage visibility in search results by clicking links, or bringing qualified traffic.

You can often hear the comment that no one clicks paid links of the search results because they are just ads and not so much based on the "right" content of websites. Relying on this statement, we can say that people seem to prefer the first link of "natural" search results. Statistics have shown that the click rate of paid links is only about 50% of the rate first-listing 'natural' search results have.

Therefore, should a company do search engine marketing, or all of the resources should be directed to search engine optimization, a good investment into the "natural" search results listing?

Although statistics are not in favour of paid links, as they bring less click quantity, a number of studies still attest to their power. Even if a person does not click this paid link, the company will still appear in the search results and thus remain in the customer’s mind.

Studies have shown that the best result (the best conversion rate) is achieved by those companies that invest into SEO as well as into SEM. In the picture below, the presence of both commercial and "natural" results brings more clicks, increase the number of visitors and time spent on the website, etc.

The reason for this phenomenon has been known since a long time: the number of repeats and the presence in various places increase consumers' willingness to make purchases, and arouse interest in the subject. A thing occurring in several locations seems remarkable, reliable and more attractive. This is how the human mind works, and companies should take advantage of it in Internet marketing.

Internet search engines provide companies with effective tools to bring the message about their products and services and thus attract customers’ attention. These tools are Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and both of them are worth investing for the best results.