SEO vs. SEM: What’s the Difference?


So you’ve made the decision to tailor your content. Great stuff! It’s a perfect choice that will really help you get more conversions in the long run.

But now comes the tough part: research. Should you tailor your content for SEO or SEM? What’s the difference, for that matter?

Even if you’re familiar with most online marketing terminology, it can get a bit confusing.

That’s why we’re here to guide you. Here are the major similarities and differences between the SEO SEM marketing techniques.

What Is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a technique deployed to get as many visitors to your site as possible by ranking highly on a search engine.

If for instance, you were in the laundry business, you’d want your content to use keywords consumers use when searching for laundry services.

When it comes down to it, SEO is all about visibility and getting your website seen. The bigger picture is all about your search engine ranking.

What Is SEM?

SEM, on the other hand, stands for Search Engine Marketing. Here, you’re less focused on bringing users to the site through organic content and instead may pay for advertisements.

Take a moment to head to the search engine of your choice and type in a product. Most of the first results will likely have an ‘AD’ button next to them. That’s to help you decipher who is paying to have their advertisement listed.

It’s a more direct method than SEO and it’s certainly more upfront with your consumers, but it can be more costly. It’s a paid advertisement strategy that focuses on PPC or Pay Per Click. You’ll pay, you guessed it, per user that clicks on the ad.

What Are The Biggest SEO SEM similarities?

Now that we’ve got a good grasp of our terms, let’s consider the similarities.

For starters, the methods are different, but your ultimate goal remains the same.

Get visitors to purchase your goods or services. Both SEO SEM techniques focus on conversions and getting visitors to add items to their cart.

Also, they both rely almost entirely on the power of the search engine algorithm. You’ll need to know how to tailor your content so that it appears on the front page, no matter which strategy you use.

What Are The Biggest SEO SEM Differences?

Aside from getting users to buy what you’re offering, SEO SEM techniques are pretty different.

They each have their distinct advantage. SEO allows you to use keywords in your blog or website so that your site organically shows up on a search engine.

In contrast, SEM can save you precious time if you’re willing to spend a bit upfront. The biggest advantage SEM has is that you’re guaranteed a great spot at the top of Google.

Now that you’re well-versed on the SEO SEM similarities and differences, it’s time to get to work! If you want some help getting your site or blog the views you rightly deserve, get in touch!

We have a great history of helping businesses just like yours increasing their reach.

SEO vs. SEM: What's the Difference?
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SEO vs. SEM: What's the Difference?
What are the differences between Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing anyway? We're breaking down the great SEO SEM debate right now!
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TSB Web Consulting
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