How SEO and SEM Work Together

Search Engine Optimisation is taking the world by storm. If you have a website or if you’re just a casual Internet user, you’ve most likely come across the terms SEO and SEM (search engine marketing). But the question is, what’s the difference between the two? Are they similar to one another? Or are they completely the same?

The answer is yes and no. SEO and SEM are different from one another but they share similar roles in terms of achieving a common goal – generating traffic to your website.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The goal of SEO is to attract users to your website organically, which means you don’t pay someone to make them click on your website. SEO generally focuses on the website’s code through using ALT tags, web pages, titles of the link, and more.

The search engines, such as Google and Bing, rank websites that they think are authoritative and relevant to people’s searches and the sites they’ve visited and indexed. They measure these results by looking at the quality of your website and content – they determine if your content matches with the what the user researched about.

To ensure that the quality of your content is acknowledged by search engines and to make sure your SEO strategy is effective, the first thing you should do is to do your keyword research. If you don’t have the kind of content your users are searching for, then you won’t be relevant and your content will not be found.

Link building is another important part of SEO. When SEO was initially introduced to the market, spammers made use of poor linking and tricked a lot of people into clicking on something that wasn’t even related to what they were searching about.

However, Google took action and designed algorithms that fixed the problem and stopped the spammers. One of the effective tools for link building is simply through social media. You promote your content through you accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media sites so other people see your content.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEO play a part in search engine optimisation. With SEO, your content has to contain keywords so people can find you and Google can recognize your website.

On the other hand, SEM is when online marketers use a combination of techniques to promote your content. Most of them do so through paid advertising, such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, YouTube ads, Twitter ads, Instagram ads, and more.

The cost of doing an SEM actually depends on your budget. All you have to do is to set your budget limit and then you can pay based on the number of clicks your ad generates. Similar to SEO, you’ll know your ads are successful when they are shown at the top and first page of the search engine. It’s going to be visible to users looking for your specific product or service based on the keyword you used.

Google ranks your ad depending on the amount spent on a targeted keyword and also the quality score of the ad. To determine the quality score, you have to be mindful of the quality of your ads and your landing pages.

SEO and SEM Working Together

We’ve already established that SEM and SEO are different but work together toward a common goal. Therefore, if you put two and two together, they’re going to complement each other very well.

Think about it. Your SEO efforts are going to reap organic listings for your website while SEM enables you to create a more effective advertising that specifically targets your market and enables people to find your website for words that aren’t ranked organically.

In short, SEO earns traffic organically – unpaid listings, while SEM buys the traffic through paid advertising – paid search listings. You can use SEO and SEM separately; but two heads will always be better than one.

However, it is important to remember that SEO and SEM are merely tools to help market your website. It all boils down to the quality of your website and content. It’s best to build a website that you’re sure your visitors will love and then incorporate SEO and SEM from there.

If you want to know more about how SEO and SEM helps boost your website, feel free to visit SEO Brisbane’s website ( to learn more.