SEO or SEM? What Is Best For Your Business In 2021

SEO or SEM? What Is Best For Your Business In 2021

Marketers are revving up their spend on search advertising - a 5.9% rise of paid search investments brings it to nearly $60 billion. Despite the pandemic and macroeconomic disruption, this is a well-calculated move. With more than 50% of shoppers using Google to research a purchase, it’s more than reasonable to focus on search engines for web promotion.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) may sound the same and are sometimes even used interchangeably. While both are integral parts of search marketing (SM), it’s important to draw a distinction between them. But even more importantly, we need to end the never-ending wrestling match of SEO vs SEM.

This article is going to look at the differences between the two and what could work best for you and your business!

1. SEO helps rank your website in the organic search results.

Korey McDuff, a business journalist at Brit Student and Write my X elaborates- “SEO is a digital marketing approach that increases the quantity and quality of traffic through relevant searches. In other words, it helps the website earn a free spot in the search results by having the most relevant content for a given keyword search.”

Users expect search engines to take the role of a knowledgeable librarian and direct them to the best pages for their queries. SEO matches your content with what people are searching for and ensures that search engines notice your website. As a result, your website receives authority for the topic of the query.

For example, a user enters a search term “organic food”. If your content is optimized for this query, the search engine will naturally pick it up and offer it to the user.

2. SEM gets traffic from search engines by tapping into the paid area of the search results.

Donna Brown, a business writer at Origin Writings and 1 Day 2 write explains- “The goal of SEM is to increase search visibility through paid strategies”.

Meaning, brands pay for ads to appear as search results on SERPs (search engine results pages).

SEM’s greatest strength is the ability to place ads in front of motivated customers. These users are already interested in making a purchase. The ad is meant to appear at the exact moment when they’re about to do so and steer them into a certain direction - to a certain brand, to be precise.

3. Using SEO with Your Business

Most businesses are going to want to start with SEO because it’s free, and it can have such a dramatic impact on the ranking of your business. If you’re ranking at the top of Google, for example, statistics show you’re going to get around 33% of all traffic that searches your term (which is huge), and even if you don’t rank number one, 75% of searchers never go past the first page.

The benefits of acing your SEO practices cannot be ignored. Since you rank near the top, you’ll receive such a massive boost to your brand awareness, and people will believe you’re the authority when it comes to your niche. If you weren’t the best, then why would Google be putting you at the top?

What’s more, if you’re a business that isn’t focused on SEO and you’re ignoring it, you can actually be ranked down. At the end of the day, Google wants to offer its users the very best experience it possibly can, which means providing them with quality websites that give them what they want.

If using a URL shortener like, remember to create short links with a customized slug and open graph metadata. A URL slug is a part of the link that indicates the link direction. The perfect URL slug should give an idea of the content at first sight. This rule not only helps visitors to understand what’s hidden in the link but also to improve a website’s SEO.

To customize a slug, include call-to-action words like “shop,” “order,” “get,” and so on. Most global brands use customized short links as they make visitors click the links.

Adding Open Graph tags to your website won't directly affect your on-page SEO, but it will influence the performance of your links on social media, so that means it's worth looking into.

Open Graph Metadata: Customize a Link Preview


4. Using SEM with your business

SEO is great if you’re looking to consistently get people to come to your brand and pay attention to what you have to offer, but what happens when you’ve got something special you want to share, like a new service or product that you want to push in front of the masses? This is what SEM is all about.

Since you’re paying for the content you’ll be posting in the form of ad space, you’re going to want to make sure you’re offering something special that’s going to make your ROI worthwhile.

However, and there’s a big however. The main draw to using SEM in the modern age is the fact that your ad content is targeted. In other words, you dictate the criteria of who sees your ad, regardless of what they are searching for.

George J. Newton has a very patient wife of over ten years, who is his biggest supporter. He also contributes his work to websites such as Coursework help. He is a business development manager and content writer for Write my personal statement and PhD Kingdom.

What did you learn?

  • SEO strategies in 2021
  • How to improve SEO
  • Link shorteners and SEO

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