A wide variety of terms exist around the topic of search engine marketing. This can sometimes lead to confusion. We explain what the individual areas are all about and provide an overview of SEM, SEO and SEA and visibility on the web.

What Is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

SEM is the abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing. Search engine marketing includes all online marketing measures aimed at attracting additional website visitors. SEM is divided into two further categories, namely search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA). The overall goal of search engine marketing is to make one's company or website more visible in search engines for specific search queries.

Search Engine Advertising (Sea) - The Paid Search Results

Search engine advertising (SEA) is always about the paid ads that are displayed to users on the search engine results pages (SERPs). These are the elements that appear at the top of the SERPs, i.e. before the organic results, and at the bottom. These must also be visibly marked as ads. The major search engines such as Google also provide the respective ad formats here, such as Google Ads or Bing Ads. With search engine advertising, the aim is to achieve placements of the ads placed for certain search terms above the organic search results. The aim is to ensure that advertising is not placed indiscriminately, but rather that only those who are interested in the company's offering are addressed by means of ads. To achieve this, the company specifies in advance the search terms (keywords) for which its own ads are to appear. The company then pays per click on the ad. Accordingly, the advertiser's willingness to pay also influences the display of the ads.

The Google search engine also ensures that you only see relevant ads that are also related to the content of the respective search query. Google also tracks whether the keywords match the ads and, subsequently, the offer behind the ads. If this does not match, Google concludes that it has no relevance for the user, as his search intention is not satisfied.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - The Organic Search Results

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works similarly to SEA, but in an organic way. SEO also aims to generate website visitors, but the model is different. 6.8%* of clicks on Google are on paid ads, the rest are on organic search results, which is where SEO comes in. If one's site is optimized for search engines in the right way, it will result in ranking higher in search results. A higher ranking in turn means more traffic to the website in most cases, as almost 60% of clicks are on search result number 1, 16% on number 2 and 8% on number 3. A ranking outside the top 10 (i.e. from Google page 2 onwards) records only 0.9% of clicks.

How Do I Do Search Engine Optimization?

Basically, SEO is divided into two areas:

  • OnPage optimization

  • OffPage optimization

OnPage optimization refers to all measures that can be taken on the page to be optimized itself. This includes first and foremost the creation of a page structure that enables crawlers to optimally find and index existing content. In addition, OnPage optimization includes the creation and optimization of relevant content as well as keyword-optimized text.

Basically, the goal is a technically perfect and fast-loading website with the best unique content of all websites for a specific search term or topic.  The content should optimally satisfy the user's search needs in their particular search situation. This direct relevance to the user is the be-all and end-all for Google and one of the most important signals for ranking. Google wants the user to be provided with unique information that optimally satisfies his search intention. If the user feels otherwise, Google evaluates this as a negative signal for the value of the respective page.

Technology and performance should ensure that the content is optimally crawled and indexed by the Googlebot and search engine crawlers and can later be perfectly consumed by the user with any device. This includes (a selection):

  • URL and web page structure

  • HTML Head and HTML Body

  • Internal links

  • Crawling and indexing

  • Pagespeed, server accessibility, mobile optimization, https certificate

  • Content (Technically correctly prepared, check for: Completeness, accuracy, relevance, timeliness, readability)

  • Semantic Web

  • UX

OffPage optimization concerns the optimization outside of one's own website and mainly deals with link building.

What Does Linkbuilding Mean?

Linkbuilding is about building backlinks that link from another website to your own site. The more trustworthy the other site, the better. Put simply, you get a share of that trustworthiness or reputation transferred with the link. A natural and strong backlink structure is one of the most important signals for Google, as it tells how recommendable your site is. By optimizing the backlink structure, the page can increase the values in the areas of trust, authority and relevance. This, in turn, has a positive effect on Google ranking.

How Can I Do Linkbuilding?

  • Building natural links: These are the links that a website receives without its owner having done anything to obtain them

  • Manual, editorial link building: The links that could be obtained through deliberate linkbuilding efforts, for example, asking customers for links or journalists, influencers, etc.

  • Self-built, non-editorial backlinks: This includes entries in (industry-specific) online directories, but also press releases with optimized anchor text and comments in forums and blogs.

P8 Marketing will be happy to advise you on how to improve the visibility of your website and thus bring your product or service to your target audience in the best possible way. Make an appointment for a no-obligation consultation!

  1. What Is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
  2. Search Engine Advertising (Sea) - The Paid Search Results
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - The Organic Search Results