SEO vs SEM: What’s the Difference?

What is SEO?

SEO is the short abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. It’s the method of optimizing websites to make them reach a high position in Google’s search engines – search results. SEO helps to improve your website and content so that it is easily visible to search engines.

SEO is a method of enhancing the visibility of a website on organic (‘natural’ or un-paid) search engine result page). This is accomplished by implementing the search engine friendly website architecture, adding relevant meta tags, and link landscape. Moreover, it also includes optimization of the content which includes improving and grammatical corrections.

What is SEM?

SEM is a term which encompasses the steps taken to increase relevant traffic to any specific website, to enjoy the higher ranking in the search engines. Generally, SEM is made up of two different processes 1) “organic” search engine optimization (SEO) and 2) pay-per-click advertising (PPC) (or cost-per-click (CPC)). However, the field of SEM is not constant it is changing and expanding field thanks to constant new developments.

Difference Between SEO and SEM

OrientationOrganic search research-oriented / Unpaid and paid optimization of webMarketing oriented/ Paid campaigning, like PPC and SMM.
Listing & CredibilityFree listing of relevant keywords. Moreover, organic listing helps to gains credibility.Paid list based on (pay per click). Its credibility is always questioned as it is not reliable.
ElementsOn page optimization: Quality blog posts, formatting paging URLs, social sharing or your content, optimizing page load speed, etc.

Off-page optimization: Creating high-quality natural links, social sharing signals, social bookmarking, etc.

Track conversation

Managing budget

Quality content

Fine and unique keywords.

Visibility and conversionIt is always time consuming and continuous process.Instant & fast process.
CostRelatively cheaperQuite expensive.
RankingUnpredictable & changingPredictable

Instant top rank

RelationshipSEO is just a part of the SEM processSEM is a broad term which means traffic generation and is a superset of SEO.
Traffic VolumeEasily controllableVery much obscure
Search typeNaturalPaid
AdvantagesLow cost, Trusted can target any terms.Fast, Url not matter, Easily measurable.
DisadvantagesSlow process,  Can target any terms, Need well-made site, Harder to measure.Ongoing expenses, not trusted by searchers,  ROI requires conversion.

Which one to use?

For, the purposes of online marketing both are equally important processes. However, if you don’t want to spend more money and ready to wait for at least six months and wants to enjoy search engine rankings for the longer duration of the time then SEO is certainly the best alternative for you.

However, if you don’t have time and passion to get the organic results and ready to send more bugs to anyhow to find in the search results, then SEM is the way to go for you.

In the end, we can say that it largely depends on the website and business that you want to increase. However, above all, it is depend on your budget and overall approach to your company.

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