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SEO Vs. SEM: Which One to Work On


    SEO VS. SEM 

    The evolution of brand marketing brought considerable changes in marketing techniques and strategies. Even the language used by marketers has considerably progressed. As digital marketers, we all are at fault of using words and acronyms that our audience is unable to understand. Some of the newbies in digital marketing don't understand many terms that are frequently used. SEO and SEM are the abbreviations frequently used in the marketing field.  

    Both these terms are symbolically related to each other and, when implemented with full potential, can give amazing results to the marketers—around 93% of the online experiences with the search engines. Google, or any other search engine, shows two types of search results, i.e., organic and paid. SEO is the organic way of increasing your website traffic, whereas SEM encompasses paid search. 

    The significant difference that helps in differentiating both the abbreviations is two different ways of gaining traffic on your site. One is through purchasing ads while the other one by natural tactics. This article will give you a clear insight into both these terms and which one to choose. 

    SEO Vs SEM

    Brief Overview of SEO 

    Search marketing is an approach that helps business owners to drive more traffic towards the website. There are two types of search marketing SEO and SEM. The dissimilarities between these two abbreviations are elusive. 

    SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to achieving top ranking on the search engines through organic, free, and natural search results. These search results are calculated by google algorithm and give websites worth to rank. Similarly you can search over google for academic writing help to understand this phenomenon. The primary search results shown on search engines such as Bing or Google are based on web pages and content present on these websites. Payment is the only factor that separates SEO from SEM. Other than the content search engines, consider other factors too that contribute to enhancing the search results.  

    → 1. Technical SEO 

    This factor optimizes the non-content elements of a website. Technical SEO helps in improving the website foundation as well as its backend structure. It encompasses making technical changes that aid the search engines in the ranking, crawl, and indexing the website more competently. Technical SEO comprises of:

    • Making website mobile friendly 

    • Enhancing the page speed

    • Web security

    • Indexing and crawling 

    → 2. On-page SEO

    On-page SEO

    This factor refers to optimizing every page of the website to gain more traffic and increases its rank on the search engine. On-page strategies consist of:

    • Improving the page content and HTML source code

    • Using keywords in meta descriptions and title tags 

    • Readable content 

    • URLs with specific keywords

    → 3. Off-Page SEO 

    Off-page SEO refers to those activities that are carried out away from the website to increase its ranking on the search engine. It includes:

    • Receiving backlinks 

    • Acquiring shares from Social Media Platforms

    • Positive reviews

    Brief Overview of SEM


    SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. It is considered as the most efficient way to grow the online business. SEM makes use of paid search advertisements that are usually seen on the top of the google search results. The website owners that use SEM bids on keywords that the Google or Bing users most likely enter when finding a certain product. This search marketing employs various strategies. 

    Strategies Used in SEM

    For a successful SEM, you have to set an advertisement budget, launch campaigns focusing on the targeted audience, crafting ad groups that include relevant keywords. Moreover, make sure that the ad copy you create must have the selected keywords, and lastly, analyze the page per click (PPC). Whichever AdWords you choose makes sure you implement these strategies.

    Which One to Choose for Your Website?

    As a marketer, you have two options: either to choose SEO or SEM for your website to drive greater traffic. But which one will drive more effective results? Marketing Advocates argues over the fact that one is better than the other. When you compare these two elements, you will find many resemblances that overlap and dissimilarities that splits them from one another.

    → 1. SEO and SEM Employs Keyword Search

    Both SEO and SEM rely on keyword pursuits to discover the search terms and generate traffic on your website. This is the initial step where the main keywords are targeted and researched. This keyword exploration considers the keyword density to identify the top keywords that your targeted audience will search for.

    → 2. Constant optimization and Testing 

    Both these elements, once implemented on your website, cannot be left and forgotten. SEO and SEM both need to be continuous optimization, testing, and metrics monitoring to enhance performance.  

    → 3. Showing results to the targeted audience 

    SEO and SEM both elements are driven by the factor of gaining the audience's attention.  When you work on SEM, the results are only shown to the potential audience. It allows you to select the targeted people you want to show your website to. Whereas, in SEO, you cannot select your audience.

    → 4. Immediate Influence on the Visitors

    Working on SEO and getting results may require patience. It takes time for a brand to get the higher ranks on the search engine.  SEM involves payment. It is based on paid ads that immediately bring your website on the top with just a few clicks.

    Key Take-aways 

    If you are launching a brand-new idea, then working with SEM would be a good option for you as it will instantly make your website visible until you include organic credibility. But when your landing page, blog, and web pages are not optimized, the SEM strategies won't work due to poor quality. It's better to invest in implementing SEO strategies as it is low cost and benefits in establishing search reliability. 


    We have compared both the search marketing tactics that can be used by the marketer for their brands. Some businesses will find SEM best fit for them while the other will work on SEO. Based on the similarities and dissimilarities, decide the one that will bring your business more profitable.

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