The Difference Between SEO and SEM

The Difference Between SEO and SEM

As I’m sure you’re aware, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are popular practices which play an integral role in your online presence. Even though many people are aware that SEO and SEM are necessary for a successful online marketing campaign, they may not know what each is, exactly, and/or they may be unsure how to implement these strategic factors. However, I can give you a run-down

Well, before I can give you a rundown of these approaches, it’s important we’re all on the same page.

That said, I’ll define our terms, so we can talk about how they can couple with your current marketing strategy.

First things first, SEO is something you do when you engage in SEM. In other words, SEO is a part of the whole, i.e., SEM. Where SEO speaks to getting your business’s website higher rankings within search engines, SEM takes this exercise a bit further. Not only does SEM include performing SEO-related tasks, but it also has to do with many other methods as well. For instance, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a way of gaining customers through paid subversion, rather than making it to the top of the list “naturally.”

Nevertheless, what is SEO and SEM?

Generally speaking, SEO is a method of getting online traffic to your website. It’s about getting better rankings too! Taking advantage of this practice means that you’re actively refining your site with the intent of being more readily seen on search engine results.

More or less, the way that the algorithms work is by implementing crawling formulas which pick apart the web and analyze relevance based on frequency.

At the same time, SEM goes beyond SEO and considers your entire digital marketing strategy. SEM is a promotional method with the purpose of making your website more conspicuous on search engine results. By the same token, it can be organically through SEO or by paid advertising.

So, what’s the difference between SEO and SEM?

I took the liberty of making a basic relationship diagram for you to get a better idea of how SEO and SEM correlate to one another.

the difference between seo and sem.png

At the End of the Day…

You can see that the difference between SEO and SEM lay in their tactics. Where SEO employs structured practices mixed with organic content, SEM uses SEO practices along with Social Media Campaigns and Mobile Marketing to achieve the best results. SEM even uses Email Campaigns, or “drip emails” as they’re known in the industry, to generate traffic.

Another significant difference between the two is that one targets a specific audience, whereas the other one is more generalized. Can you guess which one is which? SEM is targeted marketing and SEO is more widespread. To put it another way, SEM makes it a point to reach a specific audience. Meanwhile, SEO tries to funnel as many people as possible toward a particular site. Of course, it’s a tad more complicated than that, but that’s the short and skinny of it.

In any event, the chances are that this brief introduction to some differences between SEO and SEM isn’t enough to make you feel comfortable with your approach.

Don’t worry; it’s ok!

If you need help with your SEO or SEM strategy, let’s talk about it! What’s more, if I can’t help you with exactly what you want, I’m sure I have someone who can.

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