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What is the difference?

A lot of perceptions circle regarding Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. Making it confusing to understand what is the use or is there even a difference? The terms SEO and SEM are perceived as interchangeable. But, that is not the case. They are both different in regards to their use in search engines, and it is important to learn the difference.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a practice for optimizing your website to get more visitors in an organic manner. This results into a higher rank in search results returned by a search engine. It is, however, a component of the larger category, SEM. According to Google’s Knowledge Graph, SEO is the process of maximizing the number of unique visitors to your website. And, also, ensuring that the site appears high on the search results.

The path of SEO is continuously changing due to continuous changes made in the algorithm of search engines. Still, there is a constant pattern to how SEO works: On-Page and Off-Page activities.

Components of SEO

As mentioned above, SEO includes two different activities.

On-Page Activity:

  • The natural usage of keywords in title tags, heading tags, meta descriptions, paragraph, etc.
  • Well-optimized posts and page copy that have quality writing.
  • Social network sharing integration.
  • Formatted and Clean page URLs.

And a lot other!

Off-Page Activity:

  • Social bookmarking (Reddit, Stumbleupon)
  • Social sharing signals
  • Creating high-quality backlinks (having other high-quality websites naturally linking to your site)

And the list goes on!

Here are some of the best White Hat SEO Techniques to follow!

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM for short) is a form of internet marketing which involves SEO and advertising. The purpose is to increase your website’s visibility on a search engine results pages (SERPS). SEM requires SEO techniques and several other search marketing techniques.

Components of SEM

Other than SEO, Search Engine Marketing includes components like pay per click (PPC) listings and advertising. Mostly, SEM strictly includes PPC campaigns and activities. Using paid search like Google Adwords and SEO falls under SEM efforts as well.

But what is the actual difference between SEO and SEM?

It is not about the difference between the two but why, how and when do we use them. We’ve covered why and how has earlier and, now, we will take a glance into ‘when’.

Starting from the ground is the game. To optimize your sites, you will be using SEO techniques and to advertise your sites, you will incorporate SEM techniques. SEO and SEM, placed in the same bracket by many, have a complete difference approach from each other.

Many marketers argue as to which tactic is better to get leads. If you are looking to get quick visibility for your new business website, then SEM should be the choice for you as it will show results faster. Still, don’t forget about the SEO as it might not show the results quickly but, on the long-run, it will establish an organic search credibility for your website.

Both are profitable in their way. Invest heavily and make the quick bucks; SEM. Start slowly with zero investment; SEO. It comes down to your approach, what your specific needs are.

However, when used together; SEO for organic optimization and SEM for advertising, the leads could only go one way and that is off the roof.