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SEO vs SEM – What’s the Difference?


The difference between SEM and SEO is simple; the search engine optimization is a part of search engine marketing which is widely known as search marketing. Both of the processes aim to increase the visibility in search engines. SEO is all about optimizing the web property to achieve better rankings on search engines while SEM is a collective category to keep in check all other measures. It includes other methods such as PPC advertising.

SEO refers to the strategies that are used in a way to increase a website ranking in search engines. The goal of SEO is to attract visitors (traffic) for the specific website. There are numerous techniques used to redirect traffic to your website such as;

  –    Using appropriate keywords

  –    Revamping the website architecture

  –    Link building

  –    Keeping a close check on analysis and reports

   –    Making sure that there is quality page content

   –   Using social media as a lethal tool

   –   Using informative blogs to increase readership and audience

SEM on the other hand, refers to the overall internet marketing efforts to increase the traffic as well as the customer leads. Although SEM uses SEO techniques but SEM is recognized as a complete digital marketing strategy to boost business online especially via search engines. SEM uses PPC advertising or paid search in this regard.

PPC (Pay-per-click) campaign is a sure fire way to bring in traffic. While SEO takes weeks to earn high rankings, SEM can give you a jump start-up with multiple online campaigns. SEM campaign comes in with numerous benefits which are incomparable from the traditional marketing techniques. The most noticeable advantage is cost effectiveness. You only have to pay a nominal amount when your ad is clicked instead of a large sum to advertise it via TV or magazine. These ads also target special audience, thus, this triggers the customer conversion rate.  

Which one is best for your business?

It’s all about determining what your business needs. If you are looking for a low-cost immediate result, PPC will work great. But once you decide not to pay for those advertisement techniques, then hiring an SEO expert is a worthwhile decision. For majority of businesses SEO and SEM work simultaneously. When they are working hand in hand, these two can generate the significant result for your ROI.       


Mir Hussain
Mir Hussain
Mir Hussain is a passionate writer who loves to read, write and blog.

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