SEO or SEM? What works better and Why?


If you want to ace the digital marketing world, you should have a good grasp on these two terms –SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and their importance in the online arena. Sometimes the two terms are used together to reference a similar set of activities, which can be perplexing for those of us who aren’t much familiar with the word. To clear your confusion, let us know about SEO and SEM and find out what’s best for your business SEO or SEM?

The main difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is that SEO covers organic listings on search engines, and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) deals with paid listings on search engines.

Here’s the detailed information-

What is an SEO?



SEO is a complex process that helps to maximize the number of visitors to your website. You can take actions that boost the website’s appearance on the list of results return SEO-friendlies like Bing and Google.
The importance of SEO-friendly content is that the will be classed higher when the search engine’s web started to recognize your website. This will improve the odds of the website ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPS). People also call SEO organic or natural search engine listings.

SEO works on two types- Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO.

1. On-Site SEO

It means applying particular modifications to your website or blog so that it is more search engine friendly.

2. Off- Site SEO 

The function of Offsite SEO is backlinks and shares from other websites to boost your website’s value.


What is an SEM?



Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a process to promote your website via gaining traffic with more visibility on the search engine results page (SERPS) by advertising on Google Search Ads or Bing Search Ads.

The importance of SEM is that you can buy advertising areas on search engines if your website is uncertain to reach the first page of results. Compare with other websites that have stronger backlink profiles and more related content than you’re able to produce. You can pay per click to appear at the top of the searches of particular keywords.

The most well-known platform for delivering paid search campaigns is Google Ads.

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What is the difference between SEO and SEM?


Even SEO and SEM work together, they do not reflect the same activities. Some specialists conduct each of these roles within a marketing team. We at ankushmehta give you the best SEO results. Our team researches, plans, and gives the best output for your website.
The major difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is an unpaid strategy, while SEM is a paid scheme. With SEO, you focus on bringing visibility to your website. In comparison, with SEM, you focus on occupying both paid and organic traffic to your site.

The digital marketers often debate with each other about SEO vs SEM which is better? SEO and SEM, both majorly rely on keywords to push traffic to business websites and web pages. Using various marketing techniques used for each are different, they are both directed on traffic flows and how these relate to marketing activities. However, both have their pros and cons. So let’s have a reality check of SEO and SEM, taking various parameters in concern to conclude which is better SEO or SEM?

SEO vs SEM which is better? Comparing the differences


1. Cost Difference | SEO or SEM?

The pricing criteria depends on several factors, including:
• Aggressiveness
• Scale
• Industry
• And others
However, in most cases, the pricing is-
• SEO: $750-$2000 / month
• SEM: $9000-$10,000 / month

You should keep in mind, your business may invest a varied amount depending on your industry, goals, and all-around marketing strategy. However, you should not ignore this estimation.

2. The Duration| SEO or SEM?

There is a difference between SEO and SEM, depending upon the time duration.

SEO: Around three to six months
SEM: Instantly or on the day ad starts to display.

A variety of aspects can affect your turnaround time for effects.
For instance, you may not get instant traffic from an SEM campaign. Instead, you may need a few weeks of advertising data to boost your targeting to heighten your conversion rates. Or, your SEO campaign may need additional time for putting backlinks.

3. The Right Time to use | SEO or SEM?

You should use SEO when:

  • When you can wait for at least 6 months to generate traffic on your website.
  • You want to use a digital marketing strategy that isn’t conditional on having a monthly ad spend
  • You have the time and resources or hire an SEO agency to improve results.

On the other hand, you should use SEM when:

  • You need to generate traffic, leads, or sales instantly
  • You want to have a belief in high-competition search results without the wait for SEO


Which is better SEO or SEM?

Keeping all the factors in concern, if you have to choose one, pick SEO. 

Here are the reasons and importance of SEO –

  •  SEO certifies a reliable and effective procedure for attaining website traffic, leads, and revenue.
  •  The importance of SEO is more because it is pocket-friendly and cost-effective when you ask SEO vs SEM which is better. This is because SEM is a kind of paid advertising. Even though digital marketing is reasonable when it comes to price, it can become expensive when it’s your sole reserve for driving traffic, leads, and sales.

After knowing the difference between SEO and SEM, you must have got the answer- which is better SEO or SEM? Take a close look at your business, choose wisely, and embark on your journey to success!


  • Is SEO a part of SEM?

SEM includes SEO and other paid techniques to increase your website’s visibility.

  • Are Google ads SEO or SEM?

Google Ads fall under the paid SEM category. It is the primary service of SEM to advertise your brand via Google Ads.

  • What are SEO and SEM techniques?

SEO is the undertaking of various techniques developed to increase your ranking on search engine listings. A good SEO strategy will help get companies on the first page of search results.

The ultimate goal of SEM is to improve your company’s website views on search engines. The search engines mean Google, Yahoo, and Bing. SEM is also implied as search marketing, and Google is the most popular search platform.

  • The difference is SEO and SEM?

SEO boosts your ranking and gain traffic and shows search engines that you’re a valuable and helpful resource in your enterprise. SEO works for your business 24/7.

SEM is a general term that includes SEO and a variety of paid publicity techniques conducted within search engines. SEM requires a steady investment of your time and money to deliver that revenue, which can cut into your return on investment.

  • How to choose between SEO and SEM?

Which is better SEO or SEM, if you are stuck on how to choose between two, have a close look at your business and find out what will the best for it. The explanation to that question confides in the goals of your marketing campaign. The importance of SEM is that they can have an immediate influence. You are in total supervision of PPC campaigns: Who sees your ad, how much you pay, the time of your ad display.

On the other hand, Even though SEO can take longer to show results, in the long term it will be a far less expensive technique.

  • Can SEO beat SEM?

SEO is the unmatched star of the digital marketing area when it comes to the long run. While you might pay more money getting your SEO strategy and campaigns off the ground, you will certainly recoup it and then some in the long run.

  • Is SEO free of cost?

If you hire SEO service from an agency in India, it will cost you between 3000 to 5000 rupees.

  • What is the importance of SEM?

The importance of SEM is to promote your website’s visibility via paid search, organic search ranking, and advertising.

  • What is the importance of SEO?

The importance of SEO is that it helps you rank higher in search results and gain more visibility online, rendering potential customers more likely to click over to your site and gain money.



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