What is the difference between SEO and SEM - Ultimate Guide
31 January, 2023 by
Tanseer Ahmed

What is the difference between SEO and SEM - Ultimate Guide

Do you own a website or thinking of starting your own blog? Then without these two phrases (SEO and SEM), you can’t survive in the digital world! Wait but isn’t SEO an outdated thing and SEM brings fake leads or spam impressions? And blah blah blah…. These are definitely going through your mind once you started to learn about SEO & SEM. But let’s dive deep and see what is actually the terms SEO & SEM, and how these can be implemented correctly.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of getting the top grade in your school, but here is something different. SEO is the process of making your website or specific page rank on the top/first page of the SERP.

Now, what SERP could even possibly be? It’s the whole school itself called Search Engine Results Page. When you type or find something on google and the page you get results with is known as SERP!

How does SEO even work?

So, there are many different types of SEO techniques and we will discuss the top 3 in this article. But doing these can make your website/pages rank on SERP? Well that you’ll find out after trying these techniques. So the three main types of SEO are

  • On-Page SEO

  • Off-Page SEO

  • Technical SEO

And then there were three…. (that was just a catchphrase!)

On-Page SEO

The SEO which could be done on the page of a website is known as On-Page SEO, and the techniques include

  • Creating Engaging content

  • Keyword Research

  • Keywords placement 

  • Image Optimization like alt txt and alt attributes

  • Internal and external linking 

  • Title, description, meta tags, and meta description optimization

  • Heading tags optimization H1, H2, H2, H4 and so on

  •  User-friendly URLs creation

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO is the process that is followed outside the website or pages to be ranked! the techniques include

  • Link-building or Backlinking

  • Social sharing

  • Guest posting

  • Podcasts

  • Reviews 

Technical SEO

These processes can be done with the help of developers or with someone has basic technical knowledge and the techniques include solving 

  • Site speed issues

  • Security issues

  • Indexation issues

  • Pages duplication or canonicalization issues

  • Accessibility

  • Making the site/pages crawlable

  • Creating proper robots.txt with allow and disallow tags

  • Having the URLs with proper redirects and make sure to have the 500, 400, 300, and 200 error types! Whenever required

Once doing these with perfection, you could see your website or page ranking better than the previous results. And to get on the top of the first SERP, along with these you must have to do some ground-work like 

  • Content research

  • Keyword research

  • Generating unique content

Tools Like Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz, Ubersuggest and so on can help you achieve these goals.

What is SEM?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and can be done with money! I think that was like on point, let us simplify SEM. When you want to get the results without wasting any quality time, then you must go with this process. 

These process includes runnings campaigns around Search engines, social media handles, and so on like Google ads, and Facebook ads. Consumers are reached through search marketing at the ideal moment when they are receptive to fresh information. PPC advertising is discrete and does not interrupt users' tasks, in comparison to the majority of digital advertising.

You will see a number of corporate advertisements on the search results page whose keywords coincide with the search terms you entered.

These advertisements, along with the other search results that match your criteria, are shown in prominent areas on the website. As a result of the paid listings' strong relevance to your particular search, you are more likely to click on them.

When running a campaign a marketer is required to

  • Identify a collection of keywords connected to their website or product by conducting keyword research.

  • Choose a region for the advertisement to appear in

  • Make a text-based advertisement to show in the search results.

  • Bid on a price they are willing to pay for each click on their ad

SEO & SEM which is best?

Starting with SEO, once you have done with all the On-page, Off-page, and Technical SEO you can see the results in few days or months. But you must need tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to continuously monitor how your website or pages are doing with the SEO you have implemented.

If you have everything on the place, there might be no doubt that you could even rank at the first position of the SERP

When compared to SEO, you could have quick results like getting leads, conversions, impressions, and so on. But to get there you must go through many small processes like bidding, creating ad copy, inserting proper keywords, setting up a budget, and finalizing the end result. SEM can be done perfectly by experienced professionals as we do at EWall.

The Bottom Line

Let’s say you have a website with great content and no budget, then we would suggest having a proper SEO done to rank on SERP. Similarly, if you have a website with moderate content or an ecommerce website and the end result is to have leads or conversions, then we would suggest going with SEM for better results. 

SEO or SEM whichever has been done with perfection having analyzed the previous results or reports can make a huge impact on your website. Even new websites with less content can be ranked higher with SEO and even websites with Proper PPC/ads campaigns can get quality leads or conversions.

Tanseer Ahmed 31 January, 2023
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