Difference Between SEM vs SEO


There is a very slight difference between SEM and SEO. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, whereas SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a method that is used to increase website traffic organically. On the other hand, SEM uses paid methods to appear on search engine pages.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about the difference between SEM vs SEO
  • Know-How do SEM and SEO work?
  • Learn in-depth about SEO and SEM

What is SEM?

SEM is Search Engine Marketing is a sort of method that runs paid ads to improve the visibility and ranking of the website, it is also known as Pay Per Click. Search engine marketing tends to use the Pay Per Click platforms like Google ads and Bing ads to improve the visibility of the website in search engine pages or results.

SEM covers all paid search advertising, which includes:

1. Google ads

Google ad is a tool that allows you to display your ad within the search engine pages to promote your business or product and services that you are offering to run a google ad you need to buy space to run it through Ad sene.

Some types of Google Ads that generally people use to run Ads that are

  • Standard Text Ads
  • Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)
  • Dynamic Search Ads
  • Video Ads

2. Retargeting

Ad retargeting, also known as retargeting or remarketing, is the marketing process in which you target ads to users who have previously engaged with your website or social media platform, and haven’t converted to a sale.

3. Geotargeting

Geotargeting is a type of process that tracks the audience online according to their geographical location. Geotargeting is one of the best tools for an online business for offsite digital marketing purposes.

How Does SEM Works?

To use search engines tend to use complicated algorithms This ensures that the search queries give the most relevant results depending on the location and other information that may be available. This paid search advertising works in such a way that the sponsored ads appear either at the top or beside the very first search engine results.

SEM is the most effective way to create brand awareness instantly in search engines. It also helps to generate revenue quickly.

Also Read : What is a Website Marketing Strategy?

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is a tool that improves the ranking of your website organically without any paid promotion. Companies often use SEO to reach their target audience and increase traffic on their website which helps them to get more consumers and getting more consumers means getting more revenue and income. And if you are planning to start your business online then SEO becomes a very essential component of the business when done in online mode.

The different types of SEO that are commonly used by Businesses that are

1. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is mainly responsible for optimizing the website content. This Includes keywords, headers, meta titles, meta descriptions, and images, On-page SEO is an effective way to optimize the content which can improve the ranking of the content.

2. Off-Page SEO

An off-page optimization is a tool that does not include optimizing the content on the website it helps in link building backlinks and hyperlinking of the website to gain traffic and reach by doing backlinking hyperlinking and link building it improves the visibility of the website as well.

3. Technical SEO

Technical SEO helps in crawling the website and improves the user experience. Technical SEO works on the three main parts that are to improve the website speed, Mobile-friendliness, and site structure. 

How Does SEO Works?

SEO works by optimizing a website’s pages, doing keyword research, and getting inbound links. You can generally see the results of SEO efforts once the webpage has been crawled and indexed by a search engine. digging: There are a ton of ways to improve the SEO of your site pages, with the help of methods like

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Ranking

Also Read : How to Rank My Website on Google?

Difference Between SEM vs SEO

  1. SEO is a method that is used to increase website traffic organically. 
  2. SEM uses paid methods to appear on search engine pages.
  3. The cost of using SEO is comparatively low in comparison to SEM. The price of using SEO is around: $750-$2000 per month.
  4. The price of SEM is around  $9000-$10,000 per month which is any day more when compared to SEO.
  5. To generate reach and traffic SEO uses an organic approach by doing Onpage off-page SEO.
  6. To get reach and improve visibility on search engine pages SEM runs ads with the help of Google ads and bing ads.

Strategies of SEM vs SEO

Strategies that SEO uses are 

  • Optimized metadata: Incorporate target keywords into page title tag, meta description, heading tags, and image ALT tags.
  • Optimized page copy (that’s also well-written) using strategic keyword research.
  • Simple, well-formatted page URLs with selective keywords.
  • Optimized Social sharing integration within your content.

Strategies that SEM uses are

  • Indexing the pages with different search engines.
  • It runs google ads to reach the target audience.
  • Yahoo search marketing is one of the best strategies for using SEM. 
  • Bing ad is also one of the best marketing tools that SEM uses for improving Visibility. 


difference between SEM vs SEO in SERP

SEM uses paid ad method to appear on Search engine results pages and SEO work to optimize content organically to improve its visibility and ranking on search engine result pages. With SEM one gets faster results in search engine result pages whereas SEO takes time to display the output on SERP because it uses an organic approach for ranking.

SEM vs SEO: Which one is giving faster results?

Well, there is no doubt that SEM gives you the faster result in search engine page results by running and displaying ads but if you are looking for consistent results then you should consider SEO for constant and consistent results. So in short you can say that SEM gives you faster results.

SEM vs SEO: Which one is better for your business?

SEO is cost-effective in comparison to SEM because the cost for handling SEO can be well within the budget of any website user But with SEM it’s the opposite because it runs ads to function and SEO is a purely organic method that you can use to scale your business and website.


SEM and SEO both are the souls of online business that helps online companies in various ways. They both help the companies to improve their visibility and ranking on search engine pages one uses the organic method and the other uses ads to appear in SERP but both works to scale the business and website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an SEM example?

Google Ads, Bing Ads and Yahoo are some of the examples of SEM.

Is Facebook an SEM?

No Facebook is not an SEM.

Is SEO better than PPC?

Yes because SEO can help you get consistent results but SEM can’t.

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