seo-and-sem – SEO and SEM are unfamiliar terms. For those of you business people in the digital field, maybe you have heard these terms but don’t understand what the difference between the two is.

These two terms are often used interchangeably, never used simultaneously. When someone uses the term SEO, they usually don’t necessarily mention the term SEM. The solution? You need to read our article this time.

We will start with a basic understanding that is correct in advance of each of these terms. We’ll also mention what the app looks like so you can gradually understand the difference between the two. Finally, we will answer your big question which is which marketing technique is the best for your website / business.

Let’s get started!


What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which means the process of optimizing a website and all its aspects (content, systems, etc.) so that it ranks well on search engines like Google.

If you want to get more website visitors and more potential potential customers, SEO is one of the main ways. How can? So, when a Google user is looking for recommendations for cellphones under 2 million, for example, he will type in the keyword “hp under 2 million” and the results that appear on the first page will be accessed / read.

If you are lucky, he will read your article and intend to buy cellphone products at your place too (if you are an e-commerce website for the cellphone seller).

What appears on the first page of Google search results is a page from a website that has been optimized (through SEO). This is the importance of SEO, when almost all internet users rely on the giant search engine, Google.

This SEO is actually a component of a larger category namely Search Engine Marketing (SEM) itself.

The laws and unwritten rules of SEO do keep changing along with changes in the search engine algorithms themselves from time to time. However, there is one aspect of SEO that remains consistent: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. These are the core components of SEO. Understand more about both through the following list!

On-Page SEO

Incorporate the target keyword naturally into the blogpost title, heading tag, meta description, etc.
Tidy up the URL format of your page / page.
Optimizing the loading speed of your website pages.
Integrate social media sharing with your content.
And many other optimization activities including On-Page SEO. We have created a special article in the form of a comprehensive guide on On-Page SEO. Know more about On-Page SEO.

Off-Page SEO
Create high qua

lity backlinks and place them naturally.
Implement Local SEO.
Apart from that, there is another important Off-Page SEO activity. We have created a special article in the form of a comprehensive guide on Off-Page SEO. Know more about Off-Page SEO.

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing which means a form of marketing on the internet through website promotion activities by increasing the visibility of the website itself on search engine results pages such as Google (SERP).

This SEM includes the SEO tactics we’ve previously covered, as well as some other related marketing techniques.

What Components Does SEM Include?

Apart from optimizations for search engines, SEM also includes the use of paid search as a component. What are some examples? Like pay-per-click (PPC) lists and ads like Google Ads. So mostly, the form is a campaign (advertising) and PPC activities. So if you do SEO, this is also a SEM effort.

So, what’s the difference between SEO and SEM?
Difference between SEM and SEO

SEO increases the number of website visitors by making it appear in the highest rankings on search results pages in search engines.

SEM is greater in reach, considered to be marketing on the internet that increases web visibility through organic search engine results as well as through advertising. So SEM includes SEO activities as well as other search engine marketing tactics / strategies.

Now that is the main difference between the two terms which is that search engine optimization (SEO) is just a component of search engine marketing (SEM).

As we have previously mentioned above, SEM includes a paid search component such as PPC and even includes SMM (Social Media Marketing).

It is important to note that you should not use the terms SEO and SEM together for a specific purpose. Why? Because even though they work side by side, they are not the same term. There is a hierarchy there (SEO is part of SEM, SEM is not part of SEO, SEO is one of SEM strategies).

Which Marketing Tactic is Better, SEM or SEO?


Many marketers / marketing divisions in one area of ​​business debate whether one is better than the other. As a marketing representative, I think organic SEO is the best approach.

Why do I think that? As you can see, SEM cannot actually succeed without using organic SEO tactics.

You may be tempted to do Black Hat SEO techniques, the results can be instant but the impact, especially the risk of a penalty from Google that you can receive, can also destroy what you build in an instant.

In addition, there are indeed many situations / cases where PPC (a component of SEM) makes more sense than SEO. For example, if you are launching a website for the first time and you want to quickly increase its visibility for the internet users out there.

Logically it is faster and more effective to create a PPC campaign. Why? Because this campaign takes less time than SEO activity (the results are unlikely to show up briefly).

However, while organic SEO may take longer to show results, it will ultimately be cheaper if you can grow YOUR website credibility IN the search engines (you can’t build this credibility with a PPC-like campaign)

So, how about it? Run the two together. Both are equally important. However, regarding which time to start, it is important to evaluate your specific needs.

However, again make sure to fully understand the difference between the two regarding your goals / interests and how you are able to sustain your efforts.