What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

Difference between seo and sem

What is the difference between seo and sem?

It’s a question that drives your nuts.

Don’t worry.

In this post, I’ll share the difference between SEO and SEM.

But as well, I’ll reveal my SEO & SEM strategies, which will help you to get more traffic and sales.

Let’s get started.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is the practice to optimize the website to get more traffic & ranking.

The primary reason to do seo is to bring more people to your site to buy your product or find out about your services.

But wait – there’s more.

As digitization is massively increasing day by day, the more businesses are moving to the digital universe.

Every business wants to grow its online presence to ensure that it could reach more potential customers.

And everyone small to large companies wants to invest in seo to increase online sales.

But How Does SEO Help Your Business Grow?

SEO helps your business grow by optimizing your website for search engines, making it faster & user friendly.

As a result, it brings more qualified customers to your site and increases your business sales.

What are the Most Important Aspects of SEO?

The 3 main important elements of SEO are –

  1. SEO Audit
  2. On-Page SEO
  3. Off-Page SEO

SEO Audit is the process to identify the main roadblocks of the website, which stopping the website properly from crawling and indexing.

Make sure to follow this seo audit checklist to keep track of any technical seo issues.

On-Page SEO methods are to make changes in the individual pages in the content, meta tags, header tags so that it can rank for that keyword on top of the page.

Off-Page SEO is the process to get the backlinks from other websites to increase your website authority & ranking in front of search engines.

In off-page seo, you need to build the links from other high authority sites; as many links you will make, as much higher you will rank in search results.

Related – On-Page vs Off-Page Seo What is the Difference?

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing refers to buy the results in the search engine result pages to show your ads to the potential user.

Instead of ranking your site higher in search result pages organically through seo, you pay to show your website in search results.

Both SEO and SEM are parts of search marketing.

Where seo is the way to get free or unpaid organic traffic, the same SEM is a way to get traffic by paying for search engines.

There are various essential elements of SEM are –

1. PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)
2. Product Listing Ads
3. Remarketing
4. Display Advertising

PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)PPC is the form of advertising where you select the keywords and pay when someone clicks on your keywords.

Product Listing AdsProduct Listing Ads are also called PLA Ads. Mainly these ads are used to show the product ads in the search engine.

PLA ads used by e-commerce sites to display the products in search results.

RemarketingRemarketing is the form of advertising where we used remarketing to show our ads who have already visited on your site through ads.

Display AdvertisingProduct Videos or product images using in display advertising to showcase your product or services.

Difference Between SEO and SEM? 

SEO VS SEM Results in SERP

SEO is a Long Term Process – In seo, the only thing is that you need to invest more time and resources to get the first-page spot.

Because to build authority and trust of your site in the eyes of search engines, it will take time.

PPC Gives You Fast Results – In SEM paid advertising, you will get instant results as you start your PPC campaign. SEM refers to PPC or paid advertising.

SEO is Free – The cost of SEO is Indirect; you can’t pay search engines to get the first-page position in SEO. You need to pay for SEO services, but if you can do it yourself, then you don’t need to pay for anyone.

SEM is Paid – Whenever someone clicks on your ad, you will charge by search engines.

Unlimited Traffic –  Once you started ranking on top of the pages for high quality & competitive terms, you will get traffic & leads 24/7.

Unlimited Traffic But You need to Pay – In PPC, you can get instant clicks, traffic, and leads, but you need to pay whenever someone clicks on your ads.

Does SEM Help SEO?

Both seo and sem rely on keywords. But in both seo & sem, to show the results in the search results pages, the search engine uses different algorithms.

In seo to get robust results, you should have a robust online presence. Your website, content & backlinks play a significant role in seo to get the organic traffic.

Whereas if you use sem (PPC) to get search engine traffic, it doesn’t affect your seo.

In sem, you need to pay to get the traffic, and in seo, you need to rank high in SERP to get the traffic.

SEO ranking algorithm takes hundreds of ranking factors into account while ranking a site in SERP, whereas SEM (PPC) algorithm use auction-based factors to show the results in Top of the Search Page.

SEO vs. SEM Which is Better?

Both seo and sem (PPC) methods used to increase the visibility and traffic of the website.

In SEO, you need to optimize the website to get a higher ranking for specific keywords. Whereas in SEM (PPC), you need to pay for every click to get instant traffic.

To rank higher in seo will take time, but once you are there, you get the results for a long time.

But in SEM (PPC), you will only get results as long as you pay.

If your website is new or you want instant results, go with SEM paid advertising.

But if you have the patience to get the results, invest in SEO as well to get the long-lasting organic traffic.

I hope this post will help you and clear all your doubts regarding the difference between SEO and SEM. I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

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Pankaj Sharma is a digital marketer, a blogger who loves to write on SEO and digital marketing. He helps small businesses to grow their business and revenues.


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