Using SEO and SEM to Improve Return on Investment

Increase Web Traffic Concept

SEM or search engine marketing and SEO or search engine optimization are the two sides of the same coin. While SEM includes SEO to some degree, however, both of them are different methods of bringing users to a website and they both require a user-friendly and well-designed website. Using both SEO and SEM to improve return on investment can create a more successful digital marketing strategy. It is true that they are different in many ways but the ideal online marketing campaign will use both of them.

How SEO and SEM Works

To attract the attention of a search engine for targeted phrases, SEO uses tags and carefully formulated wording. On the other hand SEM includes various techniques and SEO-style promotion. SEM markets a website to the readers with the help of advertising. Both of these strategies are a part of website marketing effort and they complement one another. SEO assists in the creation of targeted advertisements by providing targeted keywords and ready-made market research information for SEM. SEM increases the number of backlinks by buying different promotional content and sponsored posts. These backlinks benefits the SEO by boosting the site in the eyes of the search engines.

Using SEO and SEM to Improve Return on Investment

To create an instant success in the world of digital marketing, integrating SEO and SEM becomes necessary. There are various ways through which one can improve return on investment with the help of SEO and SEM.

  • One of the most crucial benefit of using SEO and SEM together is to consume more visibility in search engine results pages. One can consume some real estate in the SEO and PPC areas of the first search result page. To increase the click-through rate (CTR) it is important to dominate the search engine results that gives you an establish position in the market.
  • One can extend the sample of data to analyze by combining the data of both SEO and SEM. This enables you to work out which keywords are optimizing your overall online strategy and converting better for your industry.
  • One can also test and determine the better keyword search phrases quickly because PPC/ Google Adwords campaign take effect almost immediately. Moreover, testing the conversion and click-through rate of new keywords will save your time as you continue to work on organic search strategy.
  • To improve META data one of the ways to test is through PPC/ Google Adwords. As Google will update a website periodically, using SEO to determine these factors may take longer. This is why it is wise to use PPC to determine the best converting ad copy and titles so that you can apply these to your organic strategy.

In a nut shell, in order to maximize your overall online marketing strategy, it is better to keep SEO and SEM (PPC) running together.

What is SEM/SEO? Explained

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) written on a wooden cube in a offi

Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) can be a confusing concept, but whats the difference between them? As both terms are used interchangeably it makes it even more confusing to understand. It is simply that search engine optimization is a part of search marketing and both of the terms aim at increasing visibility in search engines. While these two phrases are similar but actually serve different purposes. In a nut shell, SEO is a component of the larger SEM. However, to understand them specific explanation of both is necessary.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as tactics and strategies to ensure that a site will be found by the search engine. It is the process of optimizing a website for the purpose of getting traffic from search engines. There are more chances of ranking higher in SERPs because an optimized website is more easily understood by search engine. As internet users do not click-through pages therefore, a site ranking in a search is essential for getting more traffic toward the site. In organic results of search the higher a website ranks naturally the greater will be the chance that the site will be visited by a user. SEO comprises of two different services one is On-Page and the other is Off-Page SEO.

On-Page SEO Comprises of:

  • Clean and formatting page URLs
  • Incorporating keywords into title and heading tags and meta descriptions, etc.
  • Social sharing integration within the content.
  • Incorporation of Google Author Tag
  • and the list goes on.

Off-Page SEO Comprises of:

  • Social bookmarking
  • Social sharing signals
  • Link building (back links)
  • and much more.

What is SEM?

Search engine marketing (SEM) is broader than SEO and is a marketing process with a goal of getting more visibility in search engines. It is used to describe the money-backed portion of search engine marketing that takes the shape of cost-per-click (CPC) or pay-per-click (PPC). Unlike SEO, SEM includes the use of paid search results such as ads and PPC listings. The term SEM is strictly used to refer to the activities and PPC campaigns by marketers but if one uses both paid search and organic SEO, it can be said that all these fall within SEM.

SEM Comprises of:

  • Use of paid search like PPC and ads.
  • Strictly includes PPC campaigns and activities.
  • Both paid search and SEO falls under SEM.

Lastly, both SEO and SEM are not competing services; however, SEO is a subset of SEM. But one will need both SEO and SEM when it comes to conducting a business on the internet because one needs to be visible in both advertised and organic links.

Difference between SEO/SEM and Which is better?


Looking to increase the number of visitors to your website? Then you may be wondering which one can get you more traffic SEO or SEM and which is better investment? To understand this one have to understand what SEO and SEM is. As people are mostly familiar with SEO or search engine optimization but might be less familiar with SEM or search engine marketing. These strategies are all about getting recognized and ranking on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. However, SEM is targeted and is considered as the most important source of internet traffic. It is accepted that people use search engines to find a solution or to learn how to do something, the relevancy of the displayed websites makes SEM traffic more valuable than other sources.

Definition of SEO and SEM

SEO is guided by rules and algorithms applied by search engines that determines where a website ranks. This ranking is also based on other SEO factors such as how quickly the page loads, age of the website, how many other websites link to a page, where keywords appear on a page and much more. SEM is a combination of paid and unpaid strategies that includes PPC or pay-per-click advertising and involves promoting a website via online advertising, email, etc.

Difference between SEO and SEM

While SEO provide better organic results, SEM uses the search engines to advertise a website. However, the main difference between them is that SEO is actually a component of SEM. SEM includes paid search such as SMM (social media marketing) and PPC. Although these two terms works hand in hand but one should never use them interchangeably because they are not the same. However, there is one of the downside of SEM that is you have to pay when your advertisement is clicked on and will keep paying per click for all the traffic on your website. But with a holistic marketing strategy one can address both SEO and SEM search engine traffic.

Which is Better SEO or SEM?

Researches have found that very high intent keywords or phrases receive a high amount of traffic. Therefore, it can be said that SEM plan including PPC is a good option. However, organic SEO is also a good approach because true SEM cannot succeed without the use of organic SEO. It is also true that there are some situations where PPC makes more sense than SEO but depending solely on PPC is not a good idea. While organic SEO takes longer time to show results but in the end it will be a cost-effective method and you will also establish search credibility. Ultimately, it all depends on the specific needs of an individual when it comes to choosing the best strategy.