SEO vs SEM: Are SEO and SEM the Same Thing?
Last Updated on July 21, 2021 by Team Trafficzon
SEO is a process to increase the organic traffic (unpaid) to a particular website. While SEM also increases website traffic with the help of paid advertising and promotion.
If you are new to digital marketing then you must have been finding difficulty in understanding both the terms SEO and SEM like “What is the difference between SEO and SEM”, “Are SEO and SEM the same thing”, or “SEO v SEM”.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Digital marketers use a conventional method for driving traffic to their website by applying some strategies and techniques known as SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a very wide term that has many layers. Website owners find it a bit difficult to truly understand SEO and call it a mystery.
SEO is a process of maximizing the number of visitors and increase website traffic to a webpage or site. By ensuring that the site appears on top of the list of results provided by search engines.
And you must know that the SEO industry is continuously evolving because of changes in Google’s algorithm. The only aspect of SEO that remains constant always is that SEO is made up of on-page and off-page activities.
What are the components that SEO includes?
As I told you earlier, SEO consists of two different activities. Here is what both of them include.
- On-page SEO It involves the selection of keywords naturally into title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, alt, text, etc.
- It involves easy to understand and short page URLs (Permalinks).
- It also includes blog posts and pages that are well-written and optimized with high quality.
- On-page SEO also involves mobile-friendliness, rich results and optimized pagespeed.
- First and foremost, it involves creating a quality and natural backlinks from high authority websites.
- Off-page SEO also involves guest posting, broken link building, and press release.
- It also includes brand mentions, social sharing, and social bookmarking as well.
What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
Wikipedia defines search engine marketing as a form of internet marketing. Which involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in SERPs. It does this with the help of optimization and advertising.
What are the various components that SEM includes?
- SEM includes the use of paid search and advertisement that is called pay-per-click (PPC).
- SEM includes pay-per-click campaigns and other promotion activities but if you are an SEO then you must know that it comes under SEO efforts.
What is the key difference between SEO and SEM?
The prime difference between both is that SEM is a component of Search Engine Optimization. And as I told you earlier SEM includes various components such as; paid search, internet marketing, etc.
Therefore, you need to know that these terms can’t be used interchangeably. They may work hand in hand but they are never the same terms. SEO doesn’t generally involve money expense if you have enough information about its strategies and techniques. Rather in SEM, you will have to continuously spend money for the promotion of the website. SEO doesn’t give results very soon. It is a slow process and takes time. But SEM gives quick results.
Which is better: SEO or SEM?
Marketers have continuously debated this particular question. When some of them believe SEM is better. Others think without SEO, SEM is not possible. But don’t you think that both are equally necessary.
You may think that SEO is the best approach, but you need to know that both are equally important. And none of the two can take place of the other. Yeah! SEO is more important, more important because it may take time to show results but the benefits provided by SEO are long-term and cost-effective. It allows website owners to establish a search credibility that they can’t establish with the help of SEM only.
Plus, there are many situations where PPC is better than SEO. Suppose, you are a newbie and you wish to launch your website. You may be seeking immediate results or visibility. Then it will be good for you if you create a PPC campaign because it always takes lesser time than SEO. But PPC would be very expensive and can’t be run for long time.
Conclusion: If you wish to choose the best tactics for your website, then you just can’t stick with SEO or SEM. Before choosing any of these, you first need to evaluate the specific needs of your website and truly understand the differences, your goals.