Differences between SEO and SEA

In this article I would like to discuss the difference between SEO and SEA. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising. They are very similar, yet they are different. You can use them in your online marketing strategy in a completely different way to achieve the desired results. What are the differences between SEO and SEA, and how do you get the most out of each method?


SEO - Search Engine Optimization

In short: With SEO you score higher in search engines like Google and Bing in an organic way without extra advertising. The goal is to get as high as possible on the search page to increase the visibility of your page.

How does SEO work?

These are the main means to work on your SEO:
- Write texts based on specific keywords.
- Organize the navigation of the website optimally.
- Ensure that a lot is linked to your page.
- Increase the number of visitors, which gives you a higher relevance.
- Optimally set the HTML code and page titles.
- Promote your page via social media.

Benefits of SEO marketing online:
● No high advertising costs.
● Increase your ranking organically.
● Relatively cheap solution.

Disadvantages of SEO marketing online:
● Much time investment required.
● Much knowledge about the subject required.
● Results are not guaranteed.

SEA - Search Engine Advertising

In short: You purchase advertising space from the search engine so that you are directly at the top of the results page. You can even determine under which conditions, the method of payment can vary per advertisement and campaign.

How does SEA work?

These are the main means to work on your SEA:
- Perform extensive keyword research.
- Write good promotional texts.
- Clearly determine what the target group is.
- Perform continuous analysis of each campaign.
- Adjust SEA campaign where necessary and optimize.

Benefits of SEA marketing online:
● Achieve fast results.
● Directly reach the right target group.
● Suitable for time-dependent campaigns.

Disadvantages of SEA marketing online:
● Advertising costs.
● Often additional costs with high response.
● Good analysis requires knowledge and insight.


Why choose between SEO and SEA?

Fortunately, it is not a black and white choice, you can use both SEO and SEA. You have to make the right decisions based on your objectives. Do you have a store with products, a full warehouse and do you need to get turnover quickly? SEA is then the most obvious solution. Do you want to build your brand and do you have a longer vision of the future? Then SEO will give you a lot of results. You can make a flying start with an SEA campaign and at the same time build on your SEO strategy.

Can you arrange this yourself?

In theory, you can arrange this yourself with Google Adsense, Adwords, and Analytics. In practice, this is usually not recommended. Having an accountant do your accounting saves money, this usually also applies to online marketing strategies. As an entrepreneur, you have to be busy with the company, not with search engines. If you have a lot of available time it is wise to give some of the SEO and SEA yourself, so you also understand better how your company is connected to your audience. With SEO, most of the work is in planning and output, while with SEA the most work mainly comes afterwards with analysis and evaluation.

By correctly using Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Advertising, you will probably quickly run out of time. And when you are an ambitious entrepreneur, it will sound like music to your ears!