Difference Between SEO and SEM

If you are not familiar with SEO and SEM, you might think these two terms are same because sometimes they used similar activities. But they are different from each other. They looks like the two sides of the same coin. In this article we are going to discuss about the difference between SEO and SEM.

Both SEO and SEM are related to marketing. But they have very different actions. If you are interesting in digital marketing, you should know what is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), grasp in these two terms and importance of them in digital marketing.

What is SEO and How Does it Work?


SEO is a key part of the digital marketing strategy. There are many search engines available like Google, Bing, Baidu and Yahoo. In 2017 Google grabbed more than 79% of search traffic, while other search engines grabbed less than Google. There are more than 66,000 searches per second on Google each day. 

When you search something in Google, it tries to give you best results. Which means Google tries to give you what you exactly want. Search engine optimization comes in here. Google or any other search engines “crawl” content to see how effective it will be to attract traffic. Search engines look at many things in your website to rank it in search results. Some of the factors that search engines look for are given below.

  • Quality Content: If you have a good content, which means if you have fully details about what searchers looking for, Google will find them and give you an higher rank.
  • User Experience: Your website should gives users a better experience. It must be fast and easy to navigate. Users should be able to meet their end goals easily like making a purchase
  • Link Patterns: You need to backlink to authority sites where your inbound links come from.

If you are running a online business or any kind of website that needs digital marketing, it’s important to knowing SEO. If you do it well, it will bring more traffic to your site. If you don’t have enough technical knowledge, you can get support from a SEO expert and make your website bring more conversions. But you cannot do it hurry. It takes some time for Google to recognize and reward your website. Specially if you have a brand new website, it won’t be noticed by Google for quite a while.

What is SEM and How Does it Work?

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is used for various types of paid search advertising. To get better results, you need to have extra knowledge and need to use some strategies. If you haven’t cleared it yet, look at the below SEM-based advertising activities.

  • Targeted (paid) ad campaigns
  • Writing copy using selective keywords
  • Make sure to advertising activities fall within an allocated budget
  • Applying key performance indicators such as click-through-rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) towards future advertising activities.

If you give some time to design your ads while using SEM strategies, you will be able to get a higher rank.
There are many benefits of using SEM. It is a great for brand recognition. It will bring targeted traffic to your website also. it’s really easy to understand your ROI in a direct way because SEM has to do with paid ads. Because of being able to monitor the traffic on your site and then you can create campaigns based on this information.

To get best results with SEM, it’s essential to have good technical knowledge and experience in web marketing and ad campaigns. It’s better to hire a SEM expert for this purpose. And also you have to use some tools with SEM like Google AdSense.

The Differences Between SEO and SEM?


SEO and SEM are really different from each other. SEO is about acquiring, monitoring and analyzing organic traffic patterns(unpaid). But SEM is about getting traffic from paid ads. The marketing techniques used for SEO and SEM are different. But both of them rely on keywords to drive traffic to websites and web pages. They focused on traffic flows and how these flows relate to marketing activities also.

People use search engines to find what they want or get solutions for their problem. When someone search something, they can find it through the organic results (SEO) or through the paid results (SEM). SEO is for organic traffic and you don’t have to pay for it. But SEM is for targeted ads that you pay for.

If your website is SEO friendly, it has a good chance to being successful. SEO is the foundation to get good SEM. If you set them up properly, this combination will give you a high-quality traffic and they will improve conversion rate also. They boost your site’s visibility in the long term.

Firstly you need to create your site SEO-friendly and then use sponsored ads with right keywords. Don’t ignore your SEO because it’s important Google to identify you as a credible website. If your website is a new one, it’s better to give PPC campaign the first place because your site needs some time to establish SEO rankings.

SEO and SEM: Future Directions

Search engines are changing their parameters for rankings. Therefore it’s hard to say exactly what’s going to happen in the future. We listed some directions that can be happened as we believe. User experience will continue to become more important for SEO. That makes sense because Google wants to reward the most user-friendly sites.

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) will be more popular. AMP creates a massive open source library with the collaboration of developers and other industry professionals. It gives users more chances to create quick and smooth mobile friendly web pages. The use of AMP has increased mobile searches and traffic from major publications like the Washington Post and Slate. Using AMP will be the end of slow-loading pages that rank low.

SEO and SEM: Future Directions

AI will be involved in SEO and other search activities more than today. This will change the nature of searches while allowing us to create more targeted ads for SEM. Creating targeted and personalized campaigns will be easier because everything will become more data focused. But users will concern about their privacy more than today.

If you are looking for the digital marketing you need to have an clear idea about SEO and SEM. What is called SEO and SEM, how do they work, what are the difference between SEO and SEM and so on. Both SEO and SEM will be charged with the new technology. But having a good knowledge about the will give your website a higher rank and more traffic and good conversion rate.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the marketing and advertising of a product business, or service using online channels, digital technologies and electronic devices. Social media, email, pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO) are examples for digital marketing.

What are the types of digital marketing?

Digital marketing can be categorized into 8 main types. They are Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Pay-per-Click, Content Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing.

What are the benefits of using digital marketing?

There are many benefits of digital marketing. Global reach is one of them. Your website can find new markets and trade globally with only a small investment. It also much lower cost than traditional marketing methods. All you need to do is create a well targeted digital marketing campaign and plan properly.

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