SEO vs SEM: Which One Should You Use?

When it comes to having your online presence for your business, you need to be sure that you do everything possible to get the most out of it.

Two of the ways are by using search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Both can help get more traffic to your website, but they have their own pros and cons. Plus, both sound similar, don’t you think? But there are differences between them.

So you may be wondering, which one is better?

But first, let’s take a look at what SEO and SEM are.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a method to increase the number of visitors to your site through organic means. It involves optimizing your content so that when someone searches for something related to your product or service, they will find your page in the top results. 

This is done by making sure that your keywords appear in your title, description, URL, and other relevant areas.

Types of SEO

There are three types of SEO that are usually known, which are

Technical SEO

Improving the technical side of your site includes things like how fast your pages load, whether or not your images are optimized, and if any errors exist on your site.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO includes all the elements that appear on your web pages. These include things like titles, descriptions, URLs, headers, alt text, etc.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to activities that aren’t directly connected to your web pages. These could include social media posts, press releases, guest blogging, etc.

Why use SEO?

There are many reasons why you would want to use SEO. The main reason is that it helps you rank higher on Google than if you were not using it.

Another reason is that it makes people who visit your site more likely to convert into customers. Furthermore, SEO also improves your brand image and reputation and builds trust among your target audience.

How Does SEO Work?

The process of SEO is straightforward. You start off by creating high-quality content and then optimizing it to rank well in search engines.

Now that we know what SEO is, let’s venture further into what search engine marketing entails.

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing or SEM is an umbrella term used for different strategies that involve promoting websites via search engines. There are two major categories of SEM:

PPC (Pay Per Click)

Pay-per-click advertising is where advertisers pay each time users click on their ads. PPC is usually displayed on the search engine results page (SERPs).

Google Ads

This is probably the most popular form of SEM. Google Ads allows businesses to create campaigns that promote products and services. They can choose from a variety of ad formats, including text ads, image ads, videos, and mobile ads.

You may be confused that SEM could also refer to organic search, but nowadays, SEM usually stands for paid search marketing efforts.

Why use SEM?

There are many reasons why you should use search engine marketing. Here are some:

SEO takes time

It can take months before you see results from SEO. However, you get instant results with SEM since it is paid advertising.

SEM is Cost-Effective

SEM is cheaper than traditional forms of advertising. For example, a company can spend RM500 per day on SEM versus spending, say, RM10,000 on TV ads.

SEM is Measurable

With SEM, you know exactly how much money you spent on ads. With TV ads, you don’t really know how much you spent until after the campaign ends.

SEM is Flexible

SEM allows you to test out new ideas without having to invest too much money upfront. You can try out different keywords to see which ones perform best.

SEM is Targeted

Unlike TV ads, SEM only targets potential customers who are actively searching for certain products and services. This means that you will reach only those interested in your product or service.

Talk to our experts, we will help you find the best solution and integrate SEO and SEM effectively.