Differences between SEO & SEM

Searching for something on the internet is fairly simple for the end-user. We simply enter what we are looking for on Google Search and we open the first result that comes up in order to get our answers. However, this is not as simple as it seems. Imagine the number of websites that would consists of the answer to the query your entered in Google Search, there can be millions of results, but only one websites shows on top, why is that?

There are techniques that go into bringing these websites on the top, namely SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). We are going to dig deeper into what these terminologies actually mean and how they are work.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is a technique that optimizes a website in order to get traffic from a search engine. This is a completely free technique, but requires a list of factors that eventually help in ranking the website higher in a search result.

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing is like an umbrella that covers Search Engine Optimization as well. The idea behind SEM is to buy advertisements that relate to the content on a website. When people click those advertisements, they are directed to your website and that is how your rank higher. Keep in mind that SEM requires purchasing of advertisements and is not free unlike SEO.

Advantages of SEO

  1. It is a free technique that is widely being used on the internet because it works!
  2. 80% of the people ignore clicking on advertisements and prefer clicking on actual links that SEO ranks.

Disadvantages of SEO

  1. SEO is a slow process which can take months before it can produce results.
  2. There is no way to evaluate whether SEO is generating any results or not.
  3. Google keeps updating its algorithms, which means SEO techniques have to be changed accordingly.

Advantages of SEM

  1. It is a fast process and you don’t need to rank higher, the advertisements will take care of everything.
  2. New websites can have an immediate boost with SEM and it is an effective option.

Disadvantages of SEM

  1. Buying ads can be costly, especially if you have a competitor with deep pockets.
  2. The number of visitors drops as soon as you stop paying for the ads.
  3. People have started using Ad-blockers that result in the advertisements not showing up on their web searches.

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