Differences between SEM and SEO

“We’re already at the top organically, why do we need to pay to be there?”

“We already have SEO we don’t need SEM. And what’s the difference between them anyway?”

This week’s blog is all about defining the differences between SEM and SEO, their features and benefits and how to determine which one your business needs – here we go – the difference between SEM and SEO.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is earned. It’s a strategy to gain traffic to your website. Check out one of our previous blogs to learn more about SEO.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing or Google AdWords is paid for and is what Google calls an “instant lead tap.”

If there’s one difference you need to grasp between the two it’s that SEM or Google AdWords are ADS. They are designed specifically to drive leads. They contain features that any ad contains. A call to action, information (like an address) to the business, a phone number and if you are searching on your mobile it contains a Call button so people can make direct contact with you. The key benefit of AdWords is to help you connect with your customers in one click and take them exactly where they need to go. People generally lose interest after four clicks so you need to be there and make it easy for your customers to make contact with you.

Difference between SEO and SEM - AdWords


Although SEO puts your website on the first page of Google and will most definitely get people to your site. If your SEO efforts aren’t maintained you may lose your spot. Not only that but appearing organically on the first page of Google doesn’t drive leads as quickly as AdWords. People who are researching tend to access to organic results and people who need a product or service ‘then and there’ tend to interact with the ads at the top.

Google visibility aside, the power of SEO is truly flexed when you build a strong content marketing plan to promote your website through content across the internet, across other people’s site and get people to talk about your content and brand for you. Ads can’t do that.

Multiethnic People with Startup Business Talking in a Cafe

If you are at capacity and can’t take any more bookings or are fresh out of products don’t do AdWords. It will only drive you leads that you can’t manage. Focus on building your engagement and site through SEO. Ideally you want to do both but not everyone’s budgets are that generous so if you are wondering which one to do I hope this blog helped you J If you’re looking for advice on where to get started with content for your business give us a holler!

Written By Chanelle