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SEO vs SEM – Core Contrasts, Types, and Time Frame

Since the inception of digital marketing, people have heard the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With time, the industry also adapted another term – Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Now, from a layman’s point of view, it all seems the same. That is why today’s article is about having a debate between SEO vs SEM. So, let us jump in.

The Core Difference – SEO vs SEM

The concept of SEM, in general terms, is to promote your website on popular search engines like Google or Bing. Now, that might include any means. You can use paid ad campaigns or tweak your site to match the algorithms. So, technically, SEO is a part of SEM.

However, digital marketers like to distinguish SEO from SEM. They believe SEO is something that doesn’t involve paying the search engines. On the other hand, SEM involves all those campaigns and paid ads where you need to pay Google or Bing so that they will rank you on the top pages. More information on SEO is here.

What Constitutes SEM and SEO?

As mentioned in the last point, we are not categorizing SEO and SEM in literal terms. Instead, we are focusing on how digital marketers differentiate from them. So, SEO comprises:

  • On-Page SEO: In simple terms, On-Page SEO deals with all the activities to promote a website internally. Meta Data, Keyword placing, Crawling, and many more processes are included.
  • Off-Page SEO: This process mainly includes all the activities you don’t do on a website to rank on Google or Bing. Backlink creation is the primary activity, but there are other means that people use to promote a site externally.

Similarly, SEO comprises mostly the paid campaigns like:

  • Paid Ads: As the name suggests – you need to pay Google or Bing, and they will promote you on their first ranking pages.
  • PPC: This is a prepaid process, where you need to pay for an ad or campaign in advance. The search engines charge you every time when a viewer clicks on your ad.

SEO vs SEM – Minimum Time Frame

The time frame to get a result in an SEO campaign is always higher than in SEM. Since SEM is a process that involves paying for the ad you run, the results are instant. You can see your ads placed on the top pages. SEO involves organic posts and graphics promotions. So, it takes around 3-6 months to get a concrete effect. You can learn more about the service here.

The Conclusion – Do You Need SEM or SEO?

There isn’t much of a choice when it comes to choosing between SEO or SEM. It primarily depends on the current status of your business. If your firm is struggling with brand identity and you need results fast, we suggest SEM. But if you are already doing good and want to scale up your marketing, SEO can work better for you.

Then again, so many other variables determine which one is ideal for you. So, you can consult with us. We are the best SEO Agency in Nashville, TN.

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