If you try to grab the maximum target audience for your brand, search optimization is a must. But before going for search optimization, you should know the difference between SEO and SEM. Both these strategies may sound the same to many, but their approaches are different. If you don’t know the difference and use both the terms interchangeably, you can’t prepare a clear and effective strategy to improve your brand’s visibility.

In this post, you will come to know about the definition of SEO and SEM and will get a clear understanding of below questions:

• What is search marketing?
• What is SEO?
• What is SEM?
• What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
• Which one is perfect for your brand?

What is Search Marketing?

Before creating any search optimization strategy, let’s understand the terminologies of this type of marketing.

Search Marketing is a tactic that helps brands to gain maximum traffic on search engine result pages (SERPs). It helps in getting better ranking and visibility to increase traffic on a website or its specific page.

Two major categories of search marketing:
• SEM: It uses paid strategy to boost up the website ranking
• SEO: It involves organic ways to appear on the search engine page.

This is the basic difference between the two: SEM is a paid strategy, and SEO is an organic way that doesn’t involve any money.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is one hand of search marketing that employs ORGANIC tactics to get outcomes. In SEO brands need not pay any single penny. Instead, brands use various tactics to compel search engines to highlight their website on the top. SEO employs multiple white hat techniques, which are often explained in three categories:

On-page SEO

It optimizes all the website pages through different keywords and appeals to search engines. Such tactics involve keyword research, keyword optimization, and content creation. In On-page optimization SEO allows the search engine to understand the website and give it a better ranking.

Technical SEO

It optimizes non-content elements of the website by improving its backend structure and foundation. Such aspects include site speed, crawlability, mobile-friendliness, structured data, site architecture, indexing, and security. This strategy focuses on both search crawler experience and user to give the website a better ranking.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO services enhance website reputation by making connections with other high-quality websites. Such a technique covers link building, local listing management, and directory profiles. When multiple websites give backlinks to a particular website, the search engine knows that this website is trustworthy and reputable. This increases the website ranking.

All such tactics of SEO marketing boost up website reputation along with ranking.

What is SEM?

Search engine marketing is the second hand of search marketing which employs PAID tactics to improve SERPs ranking. It involves setting up and optimizing ads and budget setting to place ads on search engine pages.

This strategy is also known as pay-per-click (PPC) marketing.

Google is the commonly used search engine for this strategy. In this marketing, brands come up with specific keywords and create campaigns based on them. They target the best keywords suitable for their products, services, and industry. When users look for those keywords on Google, these ads come up at the top and bottom of SERPs. The brands need to pay Google each time a user clicks on the ads.


SEM vs SEO: Differences Between Them


SEM places ads on the search engine page with the ‘Ad’ designation. SEO doesn’t:

Search results from SEO and SEM look different on search engine page. This is because paid ads that appear through SEM come in the category of ads. Whereas SEO are not marked is such a manner.

The brand pays each time user clicks on the paid ads. Brands pay nothing when a user clicks on the website ranked through SEO:

Because of paid placements, brands are charged each time user clicks on the website ads. Thus brands need to make some budget to show their ads on search engines continuously. On the other side, no budget is required to rank your website through SEO. Also brand pays nothing when the user clicks on the website through organic results.

SEM gives instant results, SEO takes time:

With ads, you can start placing results in front of an audience with few clicks. As soon as the campaign is launched, you can see the ads placed on the search engine. Any time you can turn on or off the campaign to increase or decrease the brand’s visibility. On the contrary, SEO needs time. It takes months to build a brand on the internet and rank the website on the first page of the search engine.

Which one is perfect for your brand?

While comparing both SEO and SEM, SEO never gives you instant outcomes. Some businesses may choose to go for affordable SEO services, while some may believe in SEM for instant results. Even it is a better idea to go both with SEO and SEM simultaneously. Implementation of any one of them solely depends on your business’s goals.


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