Home Marketing SEM vs SEO: What’s the Difference?
SEM vs SEO: What’s the Difference?

SEM vs SEO: What’s the Difference?


When it comes to search engines, the first five results that appear after pressing ‘enter’ account for 67.60% of all total clicks.

If you’re a business-person looking to grow your online presence, it’s clear that you need to get your page positioned at the top of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. You may be wondering how this works- after all, you’re an entrepreneur, not a magician that can wave a wand and manipulate search results!

Well, as it turns out, there are a lot of ways to do boost your position in Google, including SEO and SEM.  If you’ve heard of these terms before, but don’t know exactly what they mean or how they differ from one another, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn the distinction of SEM vs SEO and boost your organic traffic in multiple effective ways.

What Is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of using various methods to rank your page more highly in search engines like Google. When you hire an SEO expert, these people will use the resources at their disposal to check out what organic keywords bring the most traffic to your website. They will then use these keywords to create original blog posts filled with useful, engaging content that site visitors are sure to love.

Another important aspect of SEO is backlinking. SEO writers will incorporate links from different credible websites into the blog post for your page. This will tell search engine algorithms and crawlers that your webpage is high-quality and credible so that they display it more highly on their pages.

SEO is, in the most general sense, the processes that get posts from your webpage itself to appear in higher positions on Google. It has nothing to do with additional advertisements- SEO is meant to get traffic to your webpage itself.

What Is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM), on the other hand, is meant to get your advertisements displayed in search engines rather than your blog posts themselves. SEM packages will place paid advertisements at the top of a search engine (or in its sidebar) to those in specific locations, age or gender demographics, or who search specific keywords.

Advertisers can bid on these keywords. Invest more money, get a better promotion!

These ads are known as Pay Per Click (PPC) ads and come in many different formats. While some are text-based, you’re going to want to use graphics and engaging visual content in order to get the most clicks. These ads will drive traffic back to your site so that more interested consumers will get the memo about who you are and what you do.

The main advantage of SEM is the ability to target PPC ads to those who are ready to make a purchase.


SEM vs SEO: What Are the Differences?

Now that you know what SEO and SEM are, you may be wondering what the key differences between them are. After all, to those who haven’t heard of them before, they do sound pretty similar! Read on for a run-down of the key differences between SEO, SEM, and the way that they function in promoting your webpage.

What’s Being Promoted

As you may have guessed, the main difference between SEO and SEM is what’s being promoted by the search engine.

SEO promotes your page itself in the direct sense. People will see your website in search engines and click them rather than those of your competitors.

On the other hand, SEM promotes a special advertisement that you have created to the people who search for keywords that you bid on. Your blog itself won’t necessarily outrank the blogs of your competitors. People will just have more opportunities to see and interact with your advertisement.

Length of Visibility

SEO will also cause your page to have a longer visibility timeframe than SEM will.

While SEM advertisements will be displayed for a month or two, you can reap the benefits of SEO for years. The more people click on your website, after all, the more it will climb up in search engines. Think of an SEO package as the training wheels necessary for your blog to eventually flourish within your industry!

Having your page be displayed for a long time is a huge boon to your business. People will see it across time and come to view you as a reputable service. You’re more likely to build more repeat customers and brand loyalty.

There are also many types of SEO that you can work with. Local SEO, for example, is a great way to get the word out about your product for a long time while having it associated with the area that you operate in! Check out these packages and figure out what works for you in the long-term.

Timeframe for Benefits

While SEO’s benefits are more long-term, though, they also take longer to be realized.

After you purchase SEM and bid on keywords, your ad will go live within a couple of days. However, even once an SEO blog post is published, it can still take months to see the effects you want. In fact, most people who use SEO services claim that they don’t see definitive results until four to six months after the post went live!

For this reason, a combination of SEO and SEM is likely the best way for you to go. SEM will get you more immediate clicks, while SEO will boost your site in the long-term.


Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

While SEO and SEM are very different from each other, both are key aspects of growing your business website. With both of these technologies working together to optimize keywords and improve your site traffic, your website is bound to rise to new heights of success.

Now that you know all about the distinction of SEM vs SEO, it’s time to hire a digital marketing agency to ensure that your blog gets the visibility that it deserves. Click here to contact us and get more information about how you can boost your website traffic. You can also request a quote for your project or schedule a consultation to get started.

Good luck!