Difference Between SEO and SEM

If you are one of the people who are beginning to dedicate themselves to the world of the web and online business , surely you have already seen the terms SEO and SEM on several occasions. The truth is that they are closely related, so much so that some are often confused and think they mean the same thing, but they are different services. Difference Between SEO and SEM


SEO can be described as the tactics or strategies used to make sure a website is accessible to search engines like Google, Bing, etc. In addition to being accessible, the objective of SEO is to improve the chances that a website appears among the first positions when a person searches for a specific word or phrase in a search engine in order to increase visits. The higher the site is, the greater the chances of getting organic or natural traffic, this means that it is not necessary to pay to appear in the first positions, but this is achieved with good content and its virality.

Search engine optimization is basically divided into two stages:

SEO On-Page:  This consists of the internal optimization of the website. Some of the most used practices to improve On-Page SEO are creating quality content, using friendly URLs, improving loading speed, social integration, optimization of title and meta description tags, etc.

SEO Off-Page:  It consists of the creation of quality links from other websites independent of ours.


SEM is the process of obtaining traffic by buying ads on search engines. These ads can be purchased through AdWords, Bing Ads, among others, and often the cost of a search engine marketing campaign will depend on the theme and the amount of traffic we want to get. The main difference with SEO is that SEM consists of buying advertising to gain visibility.

One of the best known advertising agencies is AdWords. Through AdWords you can buy advertising to appear in Google results (although you can also choose to appear on sites that use AdSense), where you pay each time a person clicks on one of your ads. It is for this reason that this type of advertising is called PPC (Pay per click) or CPC (Cost per click).

Key differences between SEO and SEM:

SEO seeks to appear in search engines organically, while SEM focuses on paid results.

SEO is less expensive in the long run.

SEM focuses on obtaining instant and short-term results, while SEO seeks long-term results.

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