SEO SEM and SEO: Differences in Benefits and Uses

SEM and SEO: Differences in Benefits and Uses

SEM And SEO: Differences In Benefits And Uses

SEO and SEM are unfamiliar terms. For those of you who are business people in the digital field, you may have heard these terms but don’t understand what the difference is between the two.

These two terms are often used interchangeably, never used together. When someone uses the term SEO, usually he does not necessarily mention the term SEM. The solution? You need to read our article to understand it.

We’ll start with a basic understanding of what SEO and SEM are. We will also explain the difference between SEO and SEM and mention what the application looks like. Finally, we will answer your big question, which is the best marketing technique for your website/business.

Let’s start explaining the difference between SEO and SEM!

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

What is Search Engine Optimization  - SEO

SEO is an abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization which means the process of optimizing a website and all its aspects (content, systems, etc.) so that it ranks well on search engines like Google.

If you want to get more website visitors and get more potential customers, SEO is one of the main ways. How can we do it? So, when a Google user searches for recommendations for cellphones under 2 million. For example, he will type the keyword “mobile phones under 2 million” and the results that appear on the first page will be accessed/read.

If you are lucky, the reader will read your article and intend to buy cellphone products at your place too (if you are an e-commerce website that sells cellphones).

What appears on the first page of Google search results is a page from a website that has been optimized (through SEO). This is the importance of SEO, when almost all internet users depend on the giant search engine, Google.

SEO is actually a component of a larger category that is Search Engine Marketing (SEM) itself.

SEO laws and unwritten rules do continue to change along with changes in the search engine algorithm itself from time to time. However, there is one aspect of SEO that remains consistent: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. These are the core components of SEO. Learn more about both through the following list!

On-Page SEO

  • Incorporating natural target keywords into blogpost titles, heading tags, meta descriptions, etc.
  • Fix the URL format of your page / page.
  • Optimizing the loading speed of your website pages.
  • Integrate social media sharing with your content.

And many other optimization activities including On-Page SEO. We have created a special article in the form of a comprehensive guide on On-Page SEO.

Off-Page SEO

  • Create high quality backlinks and place them naturally.
  • Implementing Local SEO.

In addition, there are other important Off-Page SEO activities. We have created a special article in the form of a comprehensive guide on Off-Page SEO. 

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing which means a form of marketing on the internet through website promotion activities by increasing the visibility of the website itself on search engine results pages such as Google (SERP).

This SEM covers the SEO tactics we previously covered, as well as some other related marketing techniques. These definitions are summarized from Wikipedia .

Components in Search Engine Marketing

In addition to optimization for search engines, SEM also includes the use of paid search as a component. What are some examples? Such as pay-per-click (PPC) listings and ads such as Google Ads. So for the most part, the form is a campaign (advertising) and PPC activities. Now if you do SEO, this also includes SEM efforts.

So, What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

SEO increases the number of website visitors by making the website appear in the highest rankings on search results pages on search engines.

SEM is marketing through search engine web visibility through organic and non-organic results. So SEM includes SEO activities as well as other search engine marketing tactics/strategies.

That is the main difference between the two terms which is that search engine optimization (SEO) is just a component of search engine marketing (SEM).

As we mentioned earlier above, SEM includes paid search components such as PPC and even includes SMM (Social Media Marketing).

It is important to note that you should not use the terms SEO and SEM together for a specific purpose. Why? Because even though they work side by side, they are not the same term. There is a hierarchy there (SEO is part of SEM, SEM is not part of SEO, SEO is one of the SEM strategies).

SEO vs SEM. Which one is better?

Many marketers/marketing divisions in a given area of ​​business debate whether one is better than the other. As a marketing representative, I think organic SEO is the best approach.

Why do I think so? As you can see, SEM really can’t work smoothly without using organic SEO tactics.

You may be tempted to do Black Hat SEO techniques, the results can be instant but the impact, especially the risk of penalties from Google that you can receive, can also destroy what you build in an instant.

In addition, there are indeed many situations/cases where PPC (one of the components of SEM) makes more sense than SEO. For example, if you are launching a website for the first time and you want to quickly increase its visibility to internet users out there.

Logically it is faster and more effective to create PPC campaigns. Why? Because this campaign requires less time than SEO activity (which results are unlikely to appear in a short time).

However, even though organic SEO takes longer to show results, it will be cheaper in the end if you can develop your website’s credibility IN search engines (you can’t build credibility with campaigns like PPC)

So, how are you? Run both at the same time. Both are equally important. However, when it comes to which time to start, it’s important to evaluate your specific needs.

However, again make sure to fully understand the difference between the two regarding your goals/interests and how you can afford to sustain your efforts.


By reading this article, you have got basic information about SEM and SEO and the differences between the two. 

Keep visiting our blog to get other informative articles related to website development and business in this digital era. Good luck, good luck!

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