SEO SEM: Search engine optimization/marketing

SEO SEM: The Basics in Digital Marketing


The world of digital marketing is one that encompasses complexity and excitement. Young and vibrant entrepreneurs move into the digital marketing business not as spectators but as active participants such as writers, freelancers, and web designers. Small businesses incorporate lean digital marketing strategies to accelerate the growth of their online presence and gain new customers.

Web search is among the most powerful marketing tool available for entrepreneurs and large businesses today. People from all works of life are using search engines like Google, Bing to learn new things, find solutions and understand the world around them. The two main components of search utilize by people are SEO and SEM. These two search-based marketing drives are suitable for businesses with online profiles.

What is SEO & SEM?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are two different search-based marketing technique aimed at bringing your business product or service to the willing and searching consumer. They are designed to increase visibility in search engines.

While SEO is about optimizing your website to acquire improve rankings in the search results, SEM, on the other hand, is dedicated to the use of different methods capable of getting you more search engine visitors such as PPC advertising. SEM is a channel of funneling in relevant traffic in higher and reliable quantity by means of targeting multiple and relevant keywords.

So, while the two terms share the same purpose—to bring more visibility to your business, they are different in functionality. The main difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is a just a component of SEM.


SEO and SEM Basics

Are you still confused about the meaning of SEO and SEM? Don’t be. As described earlier, the two terms function differently but with one major goal in mind—make your business more visible for people to see and patronize your business. Here are the basics of the two terms.

SEO Basics

  • Researching keywords and making proper use of them on your website
  • Writing rich and powerful content that captivate visitors, enjoy and share it on social media
  • Optimizing and accelerating the loading pace of web pages and multimedia
  • Building top-notch backlinks from other relevant domains in your genre
  • Providing comprehensive yet simple navigation for people that use your site
  • Decreasing your site bounce rate while creating ways for people to visit more pages, as well as increasing their time on your site.

The primary aim of your SEO is a complete focus on your website to streamline the process of how it shares information with customers.


SEM Basics

Below are some of the more commonly used search engine marketing tactics:

  • Maximizing and accelerating the organic optimization of your search engine
  • Creating web pages that are thoroughly optimized for sale or leads
  • Incorporating Pay-Per-Click campaign within the confines of the search engines
  • Using sponsored post and placing ads on social media
  • Posting as a guest on authoritative site that excels in your genre
  • Creating email marketing campaign and newsletters
  • Sharing sites while building communities on forums

Remember that the primary aim of search engine marketing is to use multiple channels bring traffic to your website and convert it to into becoming loyal and customers and followers.


SEO vs SEM Infographics

We have stated earlier that if you own an online business, you might have come across terms like SEO and SEM a lot. But the fact remains that these two marketing strategies are not the same. You might want to have a clear understanding of the difference between these two terms.

Below are two examples of SEO and SEM Infographics that will assist you to have a better visual understanding of how the two terms differ in operation.


SEO and SEM Strategies

The marketing relationship between SEO and SEM strategy incorporates both parts of internet marketing. The strategies of SEO and SEM work in cohesion to create a more efficient strategy. Your own SEO can be leveraged by a number of strategies to assist your SEM, and vice versa.

The first step that should be taken in the creation of an effective SEO and SEM strategy is to bring together the teams on both sides to function on the same page. The integration of both strategies will most likely and instantly create a more effective one.  Coordinating both strategies can help reveal any form of overlap and loopholes between your SEO and SEM campaigns.

For example, assuming there is a high-volume keyword which converts into just one of the channels, the SEM and SEO teams can employ this information to their advantage. Effective communication and interaction between the two can drive traffic; accelerate increment in revenue, as well as improving the entirety of your marketing drive.

Plan your SEO and SEM keywords

The brain behind every successful SEO and SEM strategies is your keywords. Keywords play vital roles in leveraging your SEO and SEM coordinated strategies. The various keyword employs by your SEO strategy provides an excellent window of opportunities for your SEM campaign to thrive. A lot of SEO strategy makes use of Long-tailed keywords, which brings in a little amount of traffic for the benefits f a large volume of keywords, which in turn creates an effective SEO strategy. Such specific SEO keyword list is considered to be a market research tested list with lots of benefits of SEM.




Ensuring Quality SEO to Drive Quality SEM

The key factor in determining SEM spends and position is having a quality score.  The higher the quality of the score the lower the cost of SEM. However, this will be subject to factors like relevancy of Ad copy, click-through rate, landing page quality and landing page load time.

The campaign teams of SEO and SEM can come together to coordinate and improve the level of a landing page’s quality score, which will sharply decrease the overall SEM cost. Regarding SEM cost, the quality of a landing page refers to the original and relevant content, including how navigable the site is.


SEO SEM Marketing Strategies

Not at all different from the SEO and SEM strategy mentioned earlier, SEM is on purpose related to SEO because both of them is focused on digital marketing outreach on search engines like Bing and Google. SEM and SEO both rely heavily on keywords as their main marketing strategies. While SEM relies on quality scores to drive traffic to specific ads that are paid for in particular search engines, SEO relies heavily on keywords that prove relevant in rich contents that will appear on the front pages of search engines.

While the marketing strategies of SEM and SEO look different, both are dedicated to increasing visibility for your website and business in general.

SEO SEM Specialist

An SEO/SEM specialist is someone who is highly experienced in search engine optimization and search engine marketing strategies. The specialist is usually responsible for the initiation and management of SEO and SEM campaigns with the aim of improving the search engine visibility of a particular business or company. The SEO/SEM specialist is also tasked with the responsibilities of driving visitors to the company’s website as well as new leads.

Below are some duties of an SEO/SEM Specialist:

  • Closely working with the company’s marketing team to support marketing initiative
  • Implement paid and SEO advertising strategies for each brand
  • Focused on developing and improving SERPS for websites of different brands
  • Create and implement new and link building strategy, and more
  • Estimating and managing monthly budgets
  • Creating contents and optimizing them for blogs, websites and other digital platforms as may be required
  • Researching and identifying target keywords, as well as implementing them within content and paid advertising campaigns.

These and many more are some of the qualities and expectations that define an SEO SEM specialist.



Whenever you hit the search button on your system, whether you’re using Bing or Google, you are going to have two results. One is the organic result—free—and the Ads—paid results. As for organic results, they are determined by a combination of Chosen URL, links, content tags, etc, and the paid ones are just what they are.

Whatever result you get, there are some dominant terms that help in shaping and determining what type of results you will get from your search. These acronyms have a profound effect on your website and business visibility. These are:

SEO—which stands for search engine optimization and it refers to implementing a variety of techniques created to increase a business ranking on search engine listings and smart SEO strategies. It uses a variety of keywords to enhance a site relevance and visibility to search.

SEM—on the other hand, means search engine marketing is the bedrock on which all digital marketing strategies/tactics rest on—whether free or paid. The main aim of SEM is to increase the visibility of your company in search engines.

As for PPC—which means Pay-per-click marketing is a different ball game entirely. PPC make use of a technique to gauge and determine the price and value of online ads each time user click on that ad, advertisers pay a chargeable fee, irrespective of the outcome. PPC means that companies pay for the clicks whether the user finally orders a massive service/product or simply exit at the early stage.

Ads offer by PPC are the typical banners you see on the corner of a window each time you perform a search. In most cases, they are the listings you will see first in search results, and are usually marked as ads or sponsored results.

The main advantage of using PPC is that you are sure of being prominent in user searches because you are paying for the ad space. Compared to SEO, PPC is very easy to setup and utilize.

If for the moment your primary aim is to improve visibility for your business, then SEO, SEM, and PPC are the way to go.