Acronyms! Acronyms everywhere!

When it comes to anything and everything to do with the web and digital marketing in particular, it can be overwhelming to not only have to understand new material but to try and decode it as well.

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of SEM (search engine marketing) and SEO (search engine optimization) so that you can start making money and getting new clients.

Keep reading to learn more about the difference between SEO and SEM!

What is SEM?

SEM stands for search engine marketing, which is a smaller subset of your overall digital marketing strategy.

The goal of SEM is to increase your visibility in search results. This can be done through SEO or through paid advertisements.

If you need instant traffic, paid SEM (buying space in the search results) is the way to go.

But these aren’t long-lasting results.

To reach the top and stay at the top, you need to work on your SEO (search engine optimization).

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. This means that Google looks for certain things in your site or on your specific webpage or post and decides how your page should rank when compared to other pages with the same material.

Google’s goal is to provide the person searching with the best information possible.

Here are some things that Google takes into account when calculating an SEO score:

  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Site speed
  • Backlinks to the page/site
  • Keyword density
  • Page title
  • SEO title
  • Meta description
  • Image alt tags
  • Content

And that’s just to name a few!

There are tons of businesses devoted solely to helping websites improve their SEO, so from this alone you know that SEO is a major undertaking.

Why is SEO Important?

SEO is absolutely vital if you want to be on the first page of a search engine like Google or Bing. Being on the first page infinitely increases website traffic and will drive more clients your way as well.

As overwhelming as the SEO process can seem, it really is worth the time and effort.

The Difference Between SEO and SEM

The main difference between SEO and SEM is simply that search engine optimization is a part of search engine marketing.

Think of it as an inverted pyramid:

  1. Digital Marketing Strategy (the largest section)
  2. Search Engine Marketing (the middle section)
  3. Search Engine Optimization (the smallest section)

In order to successfully execute your digital marketing strategy, you need to start with SEO and then improve your SEM.

It’s important to know that buying space in the search results will not directly improve your SEO. Improving your SEO will simply take a daily grind.

These elements all work together and it’s not going to happen overnight.

Get Help Today


That was a lot of information about the difference between SEO and SEM and you might be feeling overwhelmed. SEO can be intimidating, not to mention the process of moving up to SEM and digital marketing.

Thankfully, there are experts who can do it for you.

Get in touch today to start improving your SEO and reaching new clients today!