The difference between SEM and SEO is one of the issues that those interested in this industry must know about. Search engines like Google offer two modes of results: paid and organic.

Paid results are displayed when a company pays Google for user clicks.

Organic results are also results that Google considers relevant for the user’s search term.

What is SEM, what is the abbreviation of SEM, what is SEO


Business owners can increase their traffic by ranking in the organic and paid results using SEO and PPC.

In this article, we want to see how we can use SEO, PPC, or both to make our search engine marketing (SEM) strategy more complete.

But first, we need to check the basics.

What is SEO?

Before anything, you need to know what SEO is and what it is. SEO (search engine optimization) means optimizing the content so that it can be placed in the organic results of the search engine.

Google and other search engines look at hundreds of different factors to determine which pages should rank for a user’s search terms. No one knows exactly what these factors are, but the most important factors fall into three categories:

Internal SEO

Internal SEO means optimizing each website page. For example, the following can be mentioned in internal SEO:

  • Match the user’s search intent
  • Investigate a topic in depth
  • Use descriptive and short URLs
  • Writing attractive tags for effective titles and meta descriptions
  • Use alternative tags for images (if possible)
  • Write simple content that anyone can read.
  • Use keywords in important parts

External SEO

External SEO is all the work done outside the website to improve its ranking.

Examples of external SEO include:

  • Get backlinks from reliable and relevant websites
  • Mention of the brand name in other sources
  • Create documents
  • Optimizing Google My Business listings
  • Get positive reviews

technical SEO

Technical SEO means making technical changes that allow search engines to better review, index, and rank your site.

Examples of technical optimization include:

  • Improve site speed
  • Using canonical tags to prevent duplicate content
  • Using Hreflang tags for multilingual content
  • txt optimization to improve site crawlers
  • No indexing poor content

What is PPC?

PPC (pay-per-click) is a type of advertising in that every business pays for clicks on their website on popular platforms such as search engines.

With a simple Google search, you can easily see websites that have been ranked through PPC.

What is SEM?

Now we have to check what SEM is and what it means. SEM means search engine marketing, a general term that includes SEO and PPC.

Should we use SEO or PPC, or both?

When we are familiar with the basics of search engine marketing, it is easy to conclude that SEO is a much better method because organic traffic is free, sustainable, and better.

But things are not always so easy.

Sometimes SEO works best; Sometimes PPC is a better option. And sometimes we have to use both strategies at the same time.

In the following section, we will introduce you to four ways to use SEO, PPC, or both to get the best results and traffic in search engines:

  1. Run ads for keywords that have a lot of competition.
  2. Using PPC and SEO for keywords for which there are many ads.
  3. Using SEO for informational keywords
  4. Using SEO and PPC to monopolize search results

Now we will explain each of these things to you:

  1. Run ads for keywords that have a lot of competition

It may take years to rank for some keywords.

For example, if you own a sports supplement store and you want to be ranked for the phrase “buy protein powder”, your chances are very low in the short and medium term.

Because you have to compete with famous brands like Amazon, Walmart, and GNC.

But you shouldn’t abandon SEO and just run ads.

Because ranking for competitive search terms is a long-term game, you can work on ranking your pages and reap the benefits of PPC at the same time. A simple search reveals that even successful websites do this.

A) You can earn money immediately.

Paid traffic is generated instantly. You can enable or disable it with just one click.

Send this traffic to the relevant optimized pages to convert customers and you can make a sale in minutes.

But remember that income does not always mean profit.

If you sell a product for ten dollars, pay $1 per click, and have a 20% conversion rate, that turns every dollar you spend on advertising into two dollars; So you will benefit anyway. Of course, be careful that your calculations should not be less than a specific number that you have spent on advertising. Only then will you lose?

Without increasing the price of the product, you can solve this problem in two ways:

  1. Increase conversion rate
  2. Lower cost per click (CPC)

It can take months to implement these strategies, so when you’re tweaking your pages or ad programs, you’ll need to spend money.

b) You can test and optimize your conversion rate

Most advertising platforms have conversion rate evaluation features. They know that if the publishers see a positive return from their ads, they will pay for the ads again.

You can use this opportunity to gain a better perspective on the average cost per conversion and conduct controlled tests on your site to improve your conversion rate. When you profit from your ads, you will increase your ads on other platforms as well.

c) You can get valuable data related to keywords

The “Search terms” report in Google Ads display conversion data for keywords that appear in your ads:

The difference between SEM and SEO, the difference between SEO and SEM

You can use this feature to identify high-converting keywords and do SEO on them.

For example, let’s say you sell protein powders.

Ads on a phrase like “protein powder” may get a lot of clicks, but the conversion rate will be low. For a specific phrase like “wheat germ protein,” you might get fewer clicks, but your conversion rate will be higher.

Well, then here’s what you need to do:

You get the search report from Google Ads, identify the profitable terms, then enter it into a suitable keyword research tool to get your SEO metrics. Then, based on keyword difficulty, you categorize these phrases so you can identify those that have an easier time ranking.