SEO and SEM: What they are and How they Influence Each Other

For successful digital marketing, you need a strategy that involves some combination of search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Unfortunately though, many marketers don’t realize that they can be used in conjunction with each other to increase a brand’s visibility and traffic. In fact, here is a basic explanation of SEO and SEM, as well as their roles in influencing one another.

SEO and SEM: What is the Difference?

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of techniques and best practices that work together to enhance the quality and quantity of organic website traffic. Businesses also use these digital strategies in order to improve their ranking on search engines.

Ideally, the goal is to be one of the top entries on a search engine results page, since that’s what users are mostly likely to click on. Companies intensely study and utilize keywords that are relevant to their business, products or services.

The idea is that, by using certain keywords and phrases, you can attract a more qualified audience to potentially become customers.


Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of acquiring more website traffic by purchasing advertisements on search engines. One of the main differences between SEO and SEM is that SEM uses paid ad placements, while SEO is mainly earned through the use of best practices.

Some of the most common search engine marketing practices include:

These types of advertisements guarantee that your brand will appear at the right time in the right place. Essentially, they are only broadcast to those searching for products or services related to your company or industry.


How SEO and SEM Go Hand-in-Hand

Although most marketers mistakenly refer to them as separate entities, SEO and SEM actually go well together. When combined correctly, these two practices complement each other, drive more traffic and create more profits for your company.

On one hand, SEM is used to quickly and efficiently capitalize on targeted keywords through purchased results. On the other hand hand, SEO involves creating the foundation to convert and retain the traffic and customers brought in by SEM.


At their core, both of these processes focus on attaining a greater amount of traffic for your website. When you put hard work and dedication into optimizing your webpages with SEO, it will only enhance the effect of your SEM.

Although they may seem like completely different processes, SEO and SEM actually go together like peanut butter and jelly!

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keywords, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, Search Engines, SEM, SEO
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