SEO vs SEM: What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM


As the market continues to evolve so does the language that marketers use. Every marketer is guilty of throwing around different jargons and acronyms each day, which many at times tends to leave the clients impressed and confused at the same time.

As a matter of fact, there are also some e-marketers who may not clearly understand the full meaning of certain terms and acronyms. Two terms that continue to cause confusion among many digital marketers is SEO and SEM. While many marketers might believe that these two terms are one and the same, SEO and SEM are totally different terms.

They not only relate to different aspects of e-marketing but also consists of different sets of actions. That said, what is the difference between Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing? To fully understand the difference between the two, let us first begin by dissecting each term.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

As discussed in the previous post, SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website for the purpose of ranking higher in SERPs and getting more traffic. An optimized page is not only easy to crawl but also easy to understand. Thus, it’s important for business owners, blog owners and webmasters to ensure that they market their content correctly at all times.

What is Search Engine Marketing

While Search Engine marketing is above SEO, it’s still a subsection of web marketing. Search Engine Marketing is a combination of processes and procedures to ensure that a website gets more visibility on the internet through pad traffic and free traffic.

If you opt for paid traffic, then that essentially means that you are purchasing advertising space on the search engine’s results. Instead of making efforts to rank higher, your website will appear in front of internet searches.

One of the most common service providers is Google Adwords. Through Adwords, you will get your advertisement to feature on Google’s SERPs. The great thing about Adwords is that you will only get to pay for the clicks (PPC) in your advertisement. You probably have heard of the term PPC which means Pay Per Click. Other search engines have similar systems, but unfortunately, they are not as successful as Google’s system.

Importance of Search Engine Marketing

Many marketers consider SEM as an important web marketing source since its targeted. People use search engines to find solutions to certain problems, answer queries or alternatively learn something new. Through search engine marketing, business owners will be able to access specific market segments without necessarily having to get involved fully in Search Engine Optimization.

Thus, when business owners click on an advertisement when doing their searches, chances are they will end up converting. However, it’s your duty to ensure that you have all the marketing fundamentals in place on their website to ensure a higher conversion rate.


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