SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are two marketing strategies that often sound like one thing. The truth is that there is a thick line between these two elements of marketing. Although both of them are used to increase the visibility of a business in the cyberspace, the difference comes in how each of them is used. It’s like using different approaches to achieve the same results. Besides that, each of them offers an equal measure of benefits and shortcomings. Knowing how each strategy works can help you make an informed decision. Continue reading below to learn the differences between the two strategies to ensure that you don’t confuse one for the other.

1. SEM Generates Traffic Fast

Although there are very many businesses that use the internet to sell their products and services, it’s those that are seen the most that end up recording high number of sales. If you are looking for a quick fix to your low traffic woes, it’s advisable you use SEM. This is due to the fact that it attracts visitors to your site almost instantly. With SEM, you have to rely on paid ads search as Google ads and Facebook ads. Once you have created an ad and set its budget, it’s viewed by millions of people in different parts of the world. This in return causes your website to be ranked high in the search engine results.

The good thing is that it’s very cost efficient, which means you can measure your return on investment by checking your average Google Ads CTR (Click through rate). The other advantage is that you only pay for leads that have already been generated, PPC (pay per click). SEO on the other hand generates website traffic at a slow pace. Although it doesn’t cost a dime unless you have hired a company to do the job, it can up to several weeks before your efforts are seen. With SEO, you first find the keywords that are commonly used by people to search for information on the internet and literally insert them into your articles. Since the competition for keywords is stiff, you must continue updating them. For best results, you are advised to pick keywords with the lowest competition.

2. SEM Focuses on Unique Audience

With SEM, you have the power of determining who will see your marketing campaign. Besides that, you can also specify the geographic location that you want your campaign to be seen. And that’s not all. You can filter your target by age and preferences. This helps in ensuring that you don’t capture the attention of visitors that are less likely to convert into customers. When you use SEO, you can’t determine where or who will visit your website. This is because you will only be using keywords that are used by people when looking for information. Besides that, there is no guarantee that your content will be spotted by anyone.

3. SEO Continues to Generate Traffic for the Long Term

When you use SEM, the traffic will only flow as long as the ads are running. This means you have to continue paying for your ads. SEM can therefore give you a run for your money if you intend to do it for an extended period of time. The advantage of SEO is that your efforts continue to attract visitors even when you are asleep. This is why most people prefer to use SEO. The keyword you use today can continue earning you visitors for more than a year without requiring any action from you.