SEO vs SEM: We explain the differences between organic visits and pay-per-click advertisements.

One of the essential steps to manage the online presence of your blog and website is this question: what is the difference between SEO and SEM? Those who have been working in this sector will be used to the structure of web marketing.

Each element is related to the other. What does this mean? You can’t talk about social media marketing if you don’t work well with the website copy on which you get users. And you can’t create a quality landing page if at the base is bad AdWords work.

The actions are related, not compartmentalized. But they have specific objectives. That’s why the question is legitimate: what is the difference between SEO and SEM? You know that the first acronym refers to search engine optimization, but the second? I think the time has come to give a correct answer to this question, with relative definitions.

What is SEO for a website?

We can’t talk about the differences between two terms if we don’t first know those terms. Here, what is SEO for a website? With this acronym, we refer to search engine optimization, search engine optimization. Through these techniques and strategies, we work on the positioning of web pages, not on indexing.

With the latter term, we refer to the procedures for adding a site to the search engine archives, a fairly simple activity nowadays, since Google updates the archives with great speed and accuracy. Positioning, instead, refers precisely to the position of the pages in the SERP. That is on the results page. If your pages are at the top, you have a better chance of attracting people to your domains and converting people into leads.

That is if there is a basic strategy. An inbound marketing strategy for precision, able to guide SEO optimization towards concrete actions. Taking as a reference the possibility of intercepting informational research (linked to the need for instructions and knowledge) and transactional ones (which aim to do something, such as buying and booking).

SEO doesn’t just mean entering keywords and earning links. All this is fine, but at the base, there is a powerful and articulated reflection, able to structure a project when you decide to create a website. It not only has to bring visitors, it has to give the best possible content.

What is SEM and what does it mean?

The definition of SEM is equally simple: it is the acronym for search engine marketing and includes all the techniques that allow a web project to gain visibility through search engines. If we think about the concept of inbound marketing, the goal is simple (at least in appearance): to be found by the right people.

When? When they need you. Then you study the context, consider competitors, and create content to intercept the needs useful to the business in question.

Now, this content performs different functions and must be pushed through context-dedicated solutions. You can use email marketing, or perhaps social media marketing. One of the most widespread roads concerns the SEM sector, with the corollary of the activities necessary for search engine marketing. Within which there are 2 sectors:

  • Organic results.
  • Paid results.

The first are those that are defined thanks to SEO optimization work (which is divided into on-page and off-page activities), while the latter relates to search engine advertising (SEA) which in Google is substantially reduced to the AdWords program related to PPC.

What is SEM and what does it mean?

The difference between SEO and SEM is clear, and while we often tend to conflate this combination with the organic vs. PPC positioning comparison in AdWords, the boundaries are broader and include persuasive copy, with all the techniques to optimize title and meta description tags to increase the click-through rate of organic results and sponsorships.

This is all part of a broader strategy that looks at the bottom line and not positioning pure and simple. In other words, you can also put yourself in the first position, but what happens – do people convert into customers? So, SEO and SEA and SEO have the same objectives within SEM, but the focus is always on the overall strategy.

The difference between SEO and SEM in your opinion

Often, titles and tags get confused, it goes beyond the simple title. This is because, fortunately, we aim for a different goal: to bring the right people to a website designed and engineered to meet clear needs. Increasingly, today, being first on Google is a superfluous goal if you can’t convert their visit into something more.

Of course, at no point have we ever said it is useless. Precisely for this reason, it is crucial to frame the difference between SEO and SEM, perhaps even working on the concept of SEA. The fact that organic positioning is important does not mean that Google Ads does not offer great results. The differences are obvious and everything always points to the final result.

It is important to know the distinctions between these terms. But it is especially important to know what their applications are in order to study which of these strategies is the most suitable for the project you have in mind, in what way each one should be improved, how much it will cost to carry them out, and how we can work them simultaneously to improve and make our brand grow and become the big and successful project we have always dreamed of being able to achieve.