SEO or SEM: Are They the Two Sides of the Same Coin?


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a common online marketing technique that is known to all. However, a new term has been coined, which is called Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The Internet is still growing as new technologies keep on cropping up at an astonishing rate. As these technologies continue to evolve and change, the terminology also changes with them.


But due to ignorance towards the in-depth or complete know-how of the technology, most people get confused as to which is what.   Many people consider that both SEO and SEM are same although the latter one is relatively new. However, the reality is that they both are completely different terms.

Peeping into the Difference

SEM can be seen as a wider term than SEO because it entails everything that a Webmaster can do to use the search engine technology for promoting a site and getting more traffic. There are many search engine marketing aspects that actually tend to fit in SEM, and not in the realm of SEO.

Paid Strategy

As the name implies, this is a practice of paying a directory and search engine for adding the business site immediately in its hit list instead of appealing these directors to rank the site through good content and design. More the pay, the sooner is your site made available in the database.

This strategy is fine for a few search engines and directories. However, for the rest, it is an option. It s considered when you desire to make frequent content changes as you will be able to see the effects of the changes when the crawler crawls your site.

Advertising (Traditional and Pay-Per-Click (PPC))

PPC involves text-only ad campaigns that are totally managed by the advertiser. You need to take the decision as to how much you wish to pay and which keywords should appear in your ads. The pay is only made when someone clicks your advertisement. One of the PPC networks to consider is the one managed by Google. Overall, this is a time and money consuming way of fetching traffic to your site because it needs constant monitoring.

Talking about the traditional ad strategy, it entails putting paid advertising on the search result pages. The ads are seen as per the keywords used in the search boxes and pay is charged according to the number of appearances.

The biggest benefit of these strategies is that they offer propinquity unlike pure SEO. It is ideal for those who can spend a considerable amount of money for increasing traffic. Through the ads and paid strategy, you have convinced the visitors that your site will really cater to their needs.

So now, they expect to get what they are seeking. However, the point is that is it that easy to find? With only a few seconds in hands to make an appeal, will you be able to convince them that you deliver what they seek? If not, they will simply click the back button! So, this is the challenge that you have to face in SEM. Your business site needs to be ready for them with proper and structured content such that they can easily find what they want.

Making a Conclusion

Although SEM and SEO are different, no SEM movement is absolute without SEO. Because SEO aims at improving your site for both visitors as well as search engines, it alone can suffice to get your job done. Moreover, even if you are willing to have more budget on the SEM strategies, the benefits and uses of SEO is such that it needs to be a primary marketing strategy for fulfilling your goal of online promotion.

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