SEO vs. SEM: The Difference between SEO & SEM [2022]

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a person typing on a laptop to optimize a website with seo and sem techniques

If you’re taking your business online and you are planning to get a great website rank, you need to be aware of how tough the competition is online. According to the most recent statistics, there are a total of 1.86 billion unique websites online. This doesn’t mean you’re going to have almost 2 billion competitors. Online retailers represent a fraction of that, but the larger point is that the Internet is unimaginably crowded; that’s why it’s hard for new websites to establish any sort of SEO amongst existing retailers. What is SEO and how it works? Why should you differentiate between SEO and SEM?

The key lies with the search engines. Although Google holds 86% of the market share, Bing, Yahoo etc.. contribute to the dispersal of all internet traffic. Before you can get consumers to notice your website, you need to get search engines to notice it. Several factors go into earning a solid search engine ranking, including SEO Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. But what is SEO and how it works? What is SEM? In this article we will also highlight how they’re different.



What’s SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is all about designing your website with the search engines in mind. The goal is to achieve a high website rank in a search engine’s organic search results, as opposed to paid search results.

Those who understand SEO know what a search engine looks for when it determines the order in which it lists its search results. While there are a few different criteria for this, when people mention SEO, they’re usually referring to SEO keywords. These are specific words or phrases based on popular search results that – when worked into the content of a website – will usually ensure a decent ranking. In other words, they help search engines notice you, which means they’ll place you higher.

Once again, SEO is all about building a website that will show up near the top of the page when people search for the type of content you’re providing. If you run a website about poker, you want to be at the top of the list when someone searches for “poker strategies.”


The Difference Between SEO and SEM: What’s SEM?

The truth is that comparing SEM to SEO is a bit like comparing apples to oranges; but because the acronyms both deal with website visibility and they’re only one letter off, it’s easy to get them confused. What’s even more confusing is that web SEO is part of SEM.

SEM means Search Engine Marketing. This is a strategy devised to help your website rank better in search engines. When coming up with a digital marketing strategies, one of the most powerful tools that can help bring traffic to your website is SEO; hence SEO being part of SEM. It’s like talking about cordless drills and power tools. A cordless drill is a power tool, but there’s more to power tools than just cordless drills.

Similarly, there’s more to SEM. Earlier we mentioned organic search results and paid search results. These paid results, sometimes referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, are another important part of Search Engine Marketing. Buying ads will ensure that they appear near the top of the list, while effective web SEO will help you climb the list of organic search results.

Disclosure: Links and ads, inside this article, are sponsored. If you purchase through them, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
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I'm the founder and editor of this tech blog. My mission is to help people providing tech news, reviews and tutorials of the products that I consider essential to be successful in traditional and online entrepreneurship.


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