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The difference between SEO & SEM

SEO & SEM are two very different approaches to becoming visible on search engine results. Read the benefits of using SEO and SEM together.

The difference between SEO & SEM

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are two different marketing channels that dental practices can use to reach their targeted patients on search engines (Google).
SEO & SEM are two very different approaches to becoming visible on search engine results.

The difference between these two marketing channels is pretty simple:

  • SEO uses organic (unpaid rankings) methods to appear in search results;
  • SEM uses paid methods to appear in search results.

What is SEO?

With SEO, we optimize your website through On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

What is the difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO?

  • On-Page SEO is all about optimization techniques used on the website that help search engines understand the content, examples of techniques:
    • Content/Keyword optimization is one of Google's main ranking factors, and without great content that properly matches the prospective patient's search query, your website will struggle to rank in the top spots;
    • Page keyword density optimization;
    • Meta tag creation and optimization;
    • Improving website/URL structure;
    • Content optimization;
    • Call-to-action in content optimization;
    • Use heading tags;
    • Crawl & indexing issues;
    • Anchor text for links;
    • Image alt tags;
    • Image size & compression level;
    • sitemap.xml creation;
    • robots.txt creation;
    • Check Core Web Vitals;
    • Check PageSpeed Insights;
    • Structure Data;
    • Rich Snippets;
    • Schema.
  • Off-Page SEO focuses on improving the trustworthiness and authority of a website in search engines' eyes and its users by connecting it to other high authority and relevant sites. If search engines see that users trust a website, they will be more inclined to rank it in a higher position. This authority and trust typically come from link-building, PR, and other similar tactics.

What is SEM?

SEM is a strategy using paid tactics to gain visibility on search engines. It is also known as PPC (Pay-Per-Click).

While SEO can often take months to see results, with SEM, you can be driving clicks and conversions in a very short period. You can take full control over when ads show and who they show to, making the channel perfect for testing out new strategies, sending traffic to a leads, or for accelerating traffic during quieter periods.

Which one should you use?

If you want to drive quick traffic to a leads, or if you have a slow month, SEM should be your choice. If you want to drive long-term growth, SEO may be preferable.

If you already have strong organic visibility, SEM could be a great way to supplement this with additional visibility.

The benefits of using SEO and SEM together

When we combine SEO and SEM, we have the ability to integrate the channels and use data insights from your SEM strategy to supercharge your SEO approach.

Combining these two marketing channels, we make sure you are visible both in the ads space and organic listings.

If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to schedule a call with us.

See how we can help

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