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22 March 2022 - Reading time: 8 minutes

SEA/SEO, differences and complementarities

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If you’re in the middle of a debate with a colleague who spends a lot of time providing editorial content and trying to get the best possible click-through rate, then you may have noticed how commonly the two concepts are discussed alongside each other. And it makes sense: the tools of success that are natural search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search strategy (SEA) are inseparable from each other.

Converting customers is the way to grow your business. You have a choice of methods and tools to achieve your goal. Some are quick and effective, others may take longer but are more economical. Finding the perfect combination is a challenge in itself. The various marketing options (SEO, SEA, SMO) will allow you to respond to this challenge with solutions that suit you.

What is SEA?

Search engine advertising, or SEA, is a strategy for optimizing the positioning of sites on search engines. It aims to improve the positioning of web pages and therefore the visibility of companies and products on search engines through paid advertisements on search engines. These advertisements will allow you to generate clicks and therefore to develop the traffic of your site.

SEA is often known as a marketing tool and is often used by companies who want to boost their visibility in a specific niche or segment. SEA is a very important technique for companies in their development.

What is SEO (search engine marketing)?

SEO is a method of combining the two words “search” and “optimization”. Simple as that, and yet it’s more complex than it sounds!

SEO, in the world of web marketing, is a word that makes a lot of noise. We talk about these sites that we manage to boost the visibility of the site pages on Google. Why do we talk about it? Because Google is the first search engine on the web and SEO is what allows the site to have results displayed on Google.

SEO is the technique of natural referencing. It consists in making sure that your site has the best place on search engines on qualifying terms in relation to your profession (if I am a photographer in Lausanne and I am first on Google when someone types the expression “photographer Lausanne”, I necessarily maximize my chances of receiving requests for quotes from people in search situations). Basically, it’s about creating links between your site and other sites that contain the information you need to be recognized.

The main goal of an SEO optimized website is to achieve better visibility in search results. This is also called “ranking”, as it consists in obtaining a top position in the list of Google results.

For this, we surround ourselves with techniques and information to offer users structured content and organized highlights. We also use keywords to attract visitors to our site. The vocabulary used to find relevant keywords, is generated by the natural referencing in Google search. The position of the keywords is therefore very important in SEO.

SEO is a very common practice; it is one of the main means used by companies to optimize their website, and to attract traffic to it.

SEA vs SEO: What are the differences?

SEO takes on a more technical aspect than SEA. The goal of SEO is to optimize a site based on the most frequent queries and key terms, while the goal of a SEA is quite different. The SEA can allow you to stand out on the same term that you target in SEO tomorrow by entering the bidding system of Google according to a cost per click logic.

The SEA is a paid optimization strategy while the SEO is something totally free but takes resources and time to get a return on investment. You must therefore take into account this budget factor to determine which strategy to adopt.

However, this paid referencing will allow you to have a very fast visibility of your site because it will put it at the top of the search engines. On the other hand, the natural referencing (SEO) does not allow you to have a high place on the search engines in a snap of fingers. SEO is a regular work to be done on your site to optimize it and make it climb to the top of the searches. SEO is a tedious job that requires good knowledge to get the best results as soon as possible. No matter what, a strategy based on SEA will allow you to be visible much faster than a strategy based only on SEO.

Another difference between SEA and SEO is this: reactivity. You will be able to control your SEA campaign in real time at any time. You can for example modify and adjust your budget and any other element of your ad in real time. With a rather affordable budget, you will be able to have immediate results whereas it is necessary to wait a little more before seeing the impact of an SEO strategy.

In addition, SEA will generate an audience that will be of a higher “quality” than the one generated by SEO. Here’s why. When you choose a SEA strategy for your

When you choose a SEA strategy for your search engine optimization, your site will be directly at the top of the list with the other ads if you are willing to pay a sufficient cost per click. The ads correspond directly to the search performed by the user. There is therefore a greater chance that the user who clicks on your site following his search will be interested.

SEA vs SEO: What are the complementarities?

This is a question that comes up a lot with our clients: Are SEA and SEO complementary, or conversely, does SEA replace SEO? The answer seems obvious. Especially for individuals who do not necessarily know how the web works, we imagine that SEA complements SEO, while these two actions are intimately linked.

The visibility of ads on the Internet is necessary for any company that wants to make a good impression, but SEO and SEA are two modes of action that must be combined to effectively defend its positioning. The collaboration between the two is therefore almost indispensable to get the best of both worlds. We can optimize an SEO page with lessons learned from what is done in SEA and vice versa. It will then be necessary to test different elements in order to optimize its pages as well as possible.

There is a sharing of tools and especially a sharing of their strategies and techniques. As we said above, SEO and SEA go hand in hand with a whole range of digital marketing strategies that can bring a lot of benefits to the development, maintenance and sustainability of your business.

Both methods offer enormous business opportunities. That’s why SEO and SEA campaign management are necessary and complementary and are indispensable techniques for SMO.

Digital marketing agency, Habefast's expertise in SEM

Our digital agency Habefast helps you optimize your campaigns and create or develop a digital strategy that fits perfectly with your overall marketing strategy. Our team of digital marketing experts, web designers and developers will be happy to help you create or develop your online presence to increase your visibility by using the SMO, SEA and SEO strategies mentioned in this article to attract more visitors to your site.

We look forward to working with you!

You want to implement a growth and development strategy for your company? Contact our experts.