sem vs seo

SEM vs SEO: Which Is Better For Your Organization?

SEM vs SEO – What are they & what’s the difference?

Digital Marketing is a very broad subject. There are so many different forms of it, but the most popular ones you tend to hear about are SEM & SEO.

You’re probably wondering “of all the marketing strategies, why are these two always compared to one another?”

To give you a clear concise answer, let me start by explaining the difference between each of them.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an inbound digital marketing strategy used to attract visitors to your webpage by implementing organic strategies such as content writing, video creation, link building, etc. SEO doesn’t require the advertiser to spend money in order for their website to be eligible to be seen by a user.

Through consistency and hard work, you will start to gain Google’s trust. This will lead to building Domain Authority, increasing your websites chances of being seen on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a paid marketing strategy. With as low as 5 bucks, you can run a profitable campaign. Search Engine marketing is essentially a faster way to show up on the SERP without having to build authority on Google. By selecting the keywords you would like to bid on & using it on Google Adwords, Bing or whatever your preferred platform is, your Ad will be shown on top of the organic listings.


sem vs seo

What Strategy You Should Use

When asking yourself this question, it is crucial to understand your business’ circumstances.

What are your business goals?

Things that should be taken into account is what your budget is, what pace you want to work at.

  • Do you want to get your traffic fast or the time you spend doesn’t matter to you?
  • Do you want to save money? Or are you a baller and have money to blow.

Whichever marketing strategy you decide to use is totally up to you. SEM & SEO both can benefit your business. In my experience, I’ve found that I’ve always preferred to use Search Engine Marketing on ecommerce sites with lots of products and SEO on affiliate sites or service based websites.

Combing the two and using both on visce versa is just as effective, if not more…

If you haven’t noticed, it’s because SEO & SEM go hand in hand and can work together to double conversions.


In the end, choosing “the best” strategy depends on what you think is going to provide the most value for your business. If you think a short term strategy is more beneficial, then try SEM… If you’d want to go with a longer term strategy, try SEO.
One thing to always remember, marketing is about testing things.
So with that being said, in my opinion, there is no standard “better way”. It depends on your business.