SEO Vs. SEM: How Are They Different From Each Other?

June 30, 2022 Reading time: 3mins
SEO Vs. SEM: How Are They Different From Each Other?

In the world of digital marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are often used interchangeably. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise since both processes are focused on improving the digital presence of websites by making them more visible to users.

Despite sharing the same objective, SEO and SEM are actually very different when it comes to achieving their goals. Basically, SEO is focused on optimising the various components of a website in order to get traffic from organic search results.

SEM, on the other hand, relies on both organic and paid search to improve a site’s traffic and visibility. In other words, aside from organic campaigns, SEM also utilises pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic to a website. Since this process takes advantage of both organic and paid marketing techniques, SEO can be considered part of the SEM process.

SEO Overview

SEO is a process that involves optimising a website to enable it to reach the top positions in the organic search results pages of search engines. This can be done in a number of ways, such as conducting keyword research to identify the terms used by users when searching for topics, services, or products related to the one you’re offering on your website.

Once the targeted keywords have been identified, they can be incorporated into the content of web pages in order to increase their visibility in search engines. Link building is also another SEO strategy that can help a website’s visibility. Through this technique, you’ll be able to improve your site’s trust and authority signals, which can prompt Google to rank it higher.

Don’t know where to start on getting your brand abuzz?

SEM Overview

As mentioned earlier, SEO strategies can fall under the entire SEM process. This means that all SEO efforts can be combined with an SEM strategy to improve a website’s visibility and traffic. Aside from organic actions, SEM also uses paid ads or PPC. This involves bidding on a specific keyword in order to rank at the top of search results when users use that term in their search.

Whenever someone clicks on your ad, you’ll pay for that amount that you bid. Although putting in a higher bid increases the chances of your ads appearing in the top positions of search results, this isn’t the only factor that you need to consider when running paid campaigns. Of course, you also have to write effective ad copies to encourage users to click on your ads.

How Long Does It Take To See Results With SEO And SEM?

One of the main differences between SEO and SEM is the amount of time that each process can produce results. In SEO, the optimisation efforts that you implement for your website can take about weeks, months, or even years before they can produce noticeable results. However, don’t let the long timeframe discourage you from investing in SEO since this is still more cost-effective than relying on ads.

More importantly, a properly executed SEO strategy can provide you with long-term results. In other words, through SEO, you can stay within the top positions of search results for a long time.

SEM, on the other hand, can produce instantaneous results once you’ve launched your ads. Although you can expect to see a spike in traffic and leads within just a few days, these outcomes will most likely end once your ad budget runs out. This is the main reason why SEO is considered a more sustainable lead-generating strategy than SEM.

Over to you…

If you want to take advantage of the benefits of both SEO and SEM for your website, make sure to get in touch with Digital Marketer Bee. Aside from providing tailored SEO solutions to rank your site higher in Google, we also offer Google ads services that can help your website reach a significantly larger audience. With both SEO and SEM, we can help your brand or business gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.

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