SEM vs. SEO, Do you know the difference? Are you looking to create an online marketing strategy for your brand? Then this post is just for you!


SEM vs. SEO Blog Article 2021

Search Engine Optimization Vs. Search Engine Marketing – a dispute not so old but divides the online marketing community into two. Whether you are a marketer or a business owner, you must know the factors that make them different. And that’s precisely what we will help you with here. By the end of this post, you will have a complete understanding of how SEO and SEM function and which one of the two is more beneficial for your brand.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search engine marketing is the online marketing strategy that involves running paid advertisements on Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs. This strategy usually consists of creating and optimizing advertisements and setting a budget for those ads to run on selected placements.

PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising is a prime example of SEM, where marketers use the popular Google Ads platform to create and run ads. Here’s the process of creating a Search Engine Marketing strategy:

SEM Agency
SEM Agency

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is the online marketing strategy used to optimize the overall online presence. The process is to drive organic traffic to the brand’s official website. Unlike SEM, SEO is a more optimization-driven marketing strategy. It involves deploying organic marketing tactics to help websites rank higher on a search engine for specific search terms.

SEO Tiles

Here’s what SEO usually entails:

So, What is the difference between SEM and SEO?

Now that you are well-acquainted with SEM and SEO, it’s time to understand these two online marketing strategies’ differences. Let’s discuss them in detail, shall we?

1.   Appearance

When you execute an SEM campaign, your ads are shown on the search placements you have selected. The posts have an ‘ad’ designation mentioned over them. On the other hand, you can never figure out if a brand is running an SEO campaign. Another difference you can quickly figure out is ad extensions in SEM ads. Paid search ads can have ad extensions for adding phone numbers, CTAs, and site links. On the contrary, SEO search results don’t have extensions but can be found on featured snippets.

2.   Result visibility

The SEM results are only visible to an online audience that you selected while designing the ad campaign. SEO results, on the contrary, are open to everyone on the Internet.

3.   Cost involved

The cost involved in creating and running an SEM campaign is way higher than executing SEO campaigns. Since SEM results are displayed on paid search placements, you will be charged every time an internet user clicks on the results. SEO, however, doesn’t require maintaining an ad budget to show results, nor are you charged when a user clicks on your website link.

4.   Time to deliver results

You begin to get results from SEM as soon as you make your ad campaign go live. But, it might take weeks (sometimes months) before you start getting results from Search Engine Optimization.

5.   Value with time

Time is a crucial factor in understanding how effective SEM and SEO are in the long run. SEM campaigns stop functioning when you pull the plug off of your ad budget. However, that’s not the case with SEO. Once you get it right, SEO can keep delivering results for years on end.

6.   Average CTR

Lastly, it all comes down to the CTR you get through these campaigns. To be frank, SEO can give you better CTR than SEM if you can “GET RANKED” on top of major search engines and ahead of your competitors. If you are not on the first page, SEM can deliver a better CTR.

What should you choose for your brand?

We are so proud that you have made it to the end! Now’s the time you decide which online marketing strategy suits your brand. But before you do that, let us suggest several factors that you must consider to make a better marketing decision. Want to know which factors will help you make the most of your marketing budget? Connect with us today!

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SEM vs. SEO Blog Article by | Larry O Miller | SEO After Coffee | Greenville SC | All Rights Reserved.

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