It’s no secret that search engines have massive control over online traffic, but you may not know the extent.

Believe it or not, Google Ads alone generated over $147 billion in revenue last year, far ahead of any other ad platform.

When it comes to dominating the search results, you have two options; SEO or SEM. So, what’s the difference between the two, and is one better than the other?

Well, we’re here to clear that up for you. Let’s settle the score on SEO vs SEM and determine the best strategy for your business.

What Is SEO?

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website’s content to rank higher on specific search engine results pages (SERPs).

For example, if you sell cars and you want to rank higher for the keyword “Subaru Forester,” then you could make plenty of web pages and blog posts dedicated to “Subaru Forester features,” “Review of the new Subaru Forester,” and others.

Then, assuming you’re posting quality content, Google will eventually recognize that your brand is a credible authority on this particular car model, and will be more likely to match you with users who seek out that information.

However, there’s a lot more that goes into it than that. Google has high standards based on the quality of your website, the technical code on your website, and even off-page factors.

Essentially, without doing much else, you’re trying to make Google happy just by eliminating red flags, demonstrating industry competency, and allowing them to crawl on your website.

Consequently, when Google rewards this strategy, it will pay off by driving free, organic traffic to your website.

There are three arms of SEO: content marketingSEO Link building and the On-page SEO optimization of website data. Content marketing deals with the type of content that is placed on your website,

Link building refers to off-page SEO through backlinks to your website, while the on-page optimization of analytics data involves meta titles, meta tags, website speed, and other search engine crawler readable data.

Website SEO Optimization

Two categories affect your website when it comes to search engine ranking: on-page factors and off-page factors.

On-Page SEO Factors

On-Page Factors are items that are under your control and can help your website to become more search engine friendly. Let’s take a look at what you can do to help boost your on-page SEO.

SEO Content Marketing Is Key

No matter what you do, if the material that is displayed on your website is not written and presented in a useful way, you will have a difficult time ranking your site on SERPs ( Search Engine Result Pages) Organically. You must provide more than just a product or service. You must also provide value.

If you are not updating your website content regularly, most search engines will minimize the crawling of your website and assume you contribute little to no value to the consumer. So, if it’s been a hot minute since you’ve updated your website, relevant content creation would be the first place to start.

Structuring the URL on your Webpages

On your website, every page and link will have a URL. When you create the URL on the backend, make sure that you are using keywords that are common in your industry within the URL.

Title Tags of your Website Pages Mater

Every web page that you have on your business website needs to have a title tag. These tags are used when defining the title of the search listing. Keep it short and sweet, and always include keywords that you are trying to rank for without over doing it.

Check your Keyword Density

This metric helps to identify how much a particular keyword appears on your page. You want to go for a ranking of 1.25-1.5 for true optimization.

Website XML Sitemap

An often overlooked portion of the website, the XML sitemap, is crucial in helping search engine bots to index the pages on your website. Be sure to have this as it makes it much easier to rank for your desired keywords.

CSS Validation

This factor helps ensure that your website runs free of bugs that could cause needless crashes and frustrated consumers.

Image Alt Tags

When using images on your web page, always make sure to label them with keywords pertaining to your product or services.