In the English language, we have a lot of words that people tend to use interchangeably. Continuous and continual. Accept and except. Infamous and famous. But in reality, just because many use words like this interchangeably, doesn’t mean those two words actually mean the same thing.
The world of search and SEO has the same issue. Take a look at SEM and SEO. There are people who are still using the terms to mean the same thing. While both SEM and SEO aim to enhance website visibility and traffic, their methods and channels differ from one another.
For those who didn’t know, yes, there is a difference between the two.
What is SEO?
In short, SEO is used in order to optimize the content and structure of a website so that it can rank rank higher in organic search results. You’re not spending any money to appear in the SERPs. The goal is is to rank well by making sure that your website is easily found by Google, and properly ranked so that people can get answers to any query that they’re searching for. This is achieved by optimizing website content and structure, conducting keyword research, and building high-quality backlinks.
What is SEM?
This technique is, in short, paid advertising. You spend money to appear on search engines. This incudes PPC ads, display ands and remarketing ads on platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads. Using SEM helps you get in front of people quicker than SEO, but requires that you spend money to do it, rather than time. It doesn’t matter how well optimized your website is in this case.
Although both SEM and SEO are used to get a website or webpage in front of people in search engines, there are some general differences. With SEO, it’s an investment that takes time to cultivate. You need to put time and effort into making sure your content is well written, and everything is optimized. SEM utilizes paid advertising to drive traffic to your website. Basically, we’re looking at a long-term strategy, while the other is short-term. Make sure you take the time to choose the right strategy based on your goals and advertising budget.