SEO VS SEM - Friends or Enemies? Which is Best?

SEO VS SEM: – Friends or Enemies? Which is Best?

SEO vs SEM, the most debated topic to increase website visibility. Creating brand awareness and increasing the visibility of the brand is what most of the marketing specialists are concern about.

Making a customer is very difficult in this competitive market, but there are technical mythologies that are being popular in the market to reach to the customer.

In the world of digitalization, customer first search their requirements on the search engine rather than going physically to the store to get the product they want. As customers are going virtual nowadays thereby, it is essential for the business to go virtual as well.

Reaching to the customers through the virtual platform has been the core power for the business to reach to the customers. Though marketers are shifting to a digital platform, there is always a debate on preferring SEO or SEM for marketing.


What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an online marketing technique that refers to all processes of driving traffic. And most importantly it increases the visibility of the brand’s site, and it includes both creative and technical parts. This help marketers and business person achieve top rank, website traffic, and brand awareness.

Main components:

SEO consists of two main components: on-site optimization and off-site optimization.

  • On-site optimization: On-site optimization refers to the setting that can be applied on your website so that it is optimized for search engines. You can do this by structuring the website properly, creating user-friendly navigation, using attractive text, optimizing title and description, creating a mobile-friendly page, providing high-quality fresh content, and user-friendly 404 pages.
  • Off-site optimization: Off-site optimization is the activity that is done to raise the ranking of the page with search engines. For example: if you’re writing a guest post for another blog or leave a comment, then you’re doing off-site promotion.

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) increases website traffic and enhance visibility at search engine sites through a mix paid and free digital techniques. This can be taken as a form of paid advertising, which requires paid search ads on a website to gain popularity.


Evolution of SEM

The market specialist uses various strategies to increase their popularity in the search engine.  The following are the techniques that you can incorporate for your business:

  • PPC (Pay per click), a popular method of internet marketing in which advertisers pay each time one click on their ads. In other words, it’s a way advertisers buy the visits to the site, rather than attempting to gain appointment organically.
  • Ad campaigns are designed to reach a targeted campaign. These campaigns help in gaining high visibility, increase quality site traffic, improving brand awareness, and impressive ROI. Investing in these campaigns is sure will give tough completion to competitors.
  • Hiring copywriter is a plus point for your business as a copywriter creates relevant ad copy using particular keywords. Using those keywords, the copywriter can create relevant content that answers all the questions of your customers. Content that has everything your customer is considered to have the highest customer reach giving better traffic to your website.
  • Managing metrics like impression cost per click and click-through rate.

SEO vs SEM: Why should a business invest in the virtual market?

Businesses now days are improving their business model to fit in the digital market. Going digital has been the most crucial strategy for the company to implement if you are thinking of increasing your customers in a short period to gain a competitive advantage.

SEO for business

For a business to make visibility in the search engine, you don’t need to be technically a specialist. It’s all about creating digital content that your customer wants to read and share. This means reaching to your customer through writing content that answer their curiosities.

For a newly established business, this method for organic search results tends to be exceptionally useful. With the use of this method, you may not be able to reach all of your potential customers, but it can be a perfect start for the business to climb the height of success.


Evolution of SERPs


SERPs in 2020

Important of SEO for the business:

  • Marketing investment that surely gives you the highest return doing your business jump to the top 3 places on the first page in search engine.
  • Gives the 24/7 service to the customer. Your customer can get excess to your site anytime they wish to, this inevitably increases the sales massively.
  • The free marketing strategy that gives your business the highest value of the return.
  • Making your brand better, well recognized, and building your brand trust are the primary aspect of SEO.
  • Long term strategies that help your business grow in the virtual market.
  • Better user experience which results in better user engagement

Do’s and Don’ts of SEO: Following specific criteria can surely guide you to grow business.

Developing a proper content strategy to write high-quality content that focuses on engaging the customers, include links to your sites, incorporate videos that are labeled for reuse and resize to optimize the page’s loading time.

Certain things are to be eliminated to increase performance—avoiding keywords that negatively affect readability and preventing the use of the same title and meta descriptions for different articles.

SEM for business

Search engine marketing is a part of a digital marketing strategy that is used to gain business goals and ultimately increase the sale of the business. This business strategy is massively used to increase the reach of the business to customers, which eventually increases sales.

Most of the businesses which have already made their place in the market prefer using this marketing strategy. As this strategy cost you to advertise your business, startups doesn’t give this many preferences. But if your startup can afford to pay, then using this strategy, you can increase the market share in a short period.

Do’s and Don’ts of SEM: Taking the best advantage of SEM to take your business to a certain height.

There are tools available in the sites which are used to analyze your top competitors and show your customers’ patterns helping you develop the strategic business models to overcome all the marketing difficulties

Writing a content targeting all the customers might not reach the customers you are looking forward to the target. Therefore, to eliminate these, you need to know who your customers are before writing the content.

Things that are marketing specialist need to keep in mind before promoting the business in SEM:

  • Know the computer goal: Know what your business is targeting, lead, or sales? Is your business is more focus on creating awareness or aim to increase sales.
  • Maximize your budget: when customers are going digitalize, it becomes essential for improving the business model to fit the digital marketing strategy.
  • Prioritize Ad Scent: Ad Scent is being ignored by the marketer but should know that it can create the most potent ads possible.   Marketers must focus on landing pages, and attractive delivery and, most importantly, should concentrate on converting visitors.
  • Split testing generate better result: The primary goal of spilled testing is to improve a website metric, such as clicks, form completing, or purchases.

SEO vs SEM: Similarity

Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are different from each other, have some similarities too. These similarities can be beneficial for small businesses to make a reach to the customer.

  • Brand appearances: The most common similarity is that they both aim to help a brand appear in a prominent position on SERPs. The motive of both is to show up the brand in the search result.
  • Design to drive more traffic to a website: The goal of both is to increase click-through-rate (CTR) and to get more used to click on the search result.
  • Understand your customer: Both require knowing your customer and understanding the pattern of the customer’s act. Buying personas and psychographic segmentation guide you create valuable content that shows up when they search for the product.
  • Use keyword research tools to reveal popular search terms: The initial step of both is to identify the best keyword to target. The research includes searching for the popular keyword that your customers are searching for.
  • Require testing and continue optimization: In order to increase performances, both require to continue testing, monitoring, and optimization.

SEO hats

So, SEO and SEM are doing the similar purpose of work, then what is the exact difference between these to.


SEO vs SEM: The Differences

  • SEM place ads and SEO does not. Paid advertisements that receive placement through SEM tactics are often identified as an ad, whereas the search result that appears as a result of organic SEO is not marked in such a manner.
  • SEM search result has ad extensions, and SEO search results have featured snippets. When comparing these marketing strategies, you’ll also find changes in the appearance of the search engine result page. SEM search results include ad extensions, which can add on additional information i.e., links, phone numbers, and callouts.
  • You have to pay each time a user clicks on an SEM result. You don’t pay anything when a user clicks on SEO and when a customer clicks on the result.
  • SEO results do not show to a select target audience, but SEM does show. SEM can select what audience you want to see the search result by filtering the age, location, income, habits, and more. But with  SEO, you cannot correctly choose who will see your search lead.
  • Through paid SEM ads, you can show your result in the search engine with just a few clicks. On the other hand, SEO acquires over time and typically improves performance over a long time.
  • With SEM paid ads, you can quickly revise your ad copy, target new audiences, and change landing page content to test your new tactics, but this is not possible with SEO.

SEO vs SEM: Which is the best for the business?

Promoting your business through any of these strategies is your choice. Marketer debate which one is better than the other. Some marketers said that SEO is better as SEM cannot succeed without the use of organic SEO. Although organic SEO takes longer show results, you will establish a search credibility that you might not establish with PPC.

Before you implement any of these strategies to promote your business, you need to take certain factors into consideration.

  • Competitor analysis: keeping a watch on what competitors are up to and how they are performing in their search marketing are the core factors that are needed to be analyzed.
  • Know your industry well: valuing your customer is the x-factor of searching marketing. Knowing your customers’ desire and being able to deliver the content that answers all the questions also increase the search result.
  • Average cost-per-click in your industry: Before considering SEM is better for the business, you should know how much you’ll need to spend to show in the paid search result. And if your cost-per-click is low, SEO is the right strategy to use.
  • Age of the business: SEM is beneficial if you just have opened the store. Launching your website takes time to develop your SEO and begin to appear in the search.
  • Length of the customer buying cycle: using SEM is beneficial if your customers have a short customer purchase cycle, which means your customers know what they want.

SEM growth


Now you know all about SEO vs SEM marketing strategies. Understanding the differences and similarities between SEO and SEM is the foremost thing to understand. The next step is to figure out how to implement the strategy you use. Before this, you need to estimate the budget to promote your business in a digital marketing platform.

After this, you just need to create your business website, or if you already have your business website, you have to add new content that incorporates keywords, links, and calls to action.

Getting your customers online increases trust and loyally among the customers, increasing the number of potential customers.  If you haven’t created a website yet, now it’s time to create one.