Search engine marketing (SEM) is incomplete without search engine optimization (SEO) but there is more to it. The process of SEM works towards getting higher number of hits for a website through organic search results as well as paid listings or advertisements. On the contrary, Search engine optimization is meant to increase the number of hits for a website only by making it rank higher in search engine result pages. Here’s a detailed look at SEO and SEM.

Focus of SEO on organic search results

Websites aiming to reach out to a large number of people can work towards the same by making their presence felt in the search result pages with a higher rank. For a higher rank, an in-house SEO team can be put to work. Outsourcing the same is also an option for organizations that are not active in the technological domain.

SEO involves a combination of activities from content optimization using keywords, link exchange and promotion over social networking platforms. One good thing that emerges out of this is that the quality of the website improves as a whole for it to meet the visitors’ expectations when the site does attract traffic as a result of the steps taken towards search engine optimization.


To get a higher rank in organic search results, the website needs to do well on the parameters of quality as set by the search engines. Once that is accomplished, people are bound to appreciate what they see. Sites that rank high are invariably the ones that pay attention to user experience and allow for ease of navigation.

SEM beyond organic results

A higher rank in the organic search results is the sole aim of search engine optimization methodologies followed for websites. Search engine marketing works beyond that sphere as well. Advertisements on other portals and pay per click ads on search result pages come under its purview. The difference here is that the advertiser needs to pay for placement of ads on websites or search engine result pages.


Advertisements will require you to pay irrespective of the result these are able to achieve for you. Pay per click ads need to be tweaked from time to time based on the analysis of results. In addition, you need to create a negative keywords list to avoid your ad showing up against irrelevant keywords for search.

This helps you avoid clicks that are unlikely to help the conversion rate and will not add to your revenues. You need to pay for every click whether you get any business out of it or not. Getting a higher conversion rate involves hard work akin to the way search engine optimization techniques work. If a combination of SEO and advertisement placement is taken up, it can work very well for getting higher revenues.


Search engine optimization is an effective methodology for search engine marketing. It works well to meet an organization’s long term goals. The traffic that is directed to websites through organic search results comes on the basis of the quality of the content and the quality of the website as a whole.

This is what will maintain a steady flow of visitors over the long term. Inorganic methods are not viable options for the long term. These can supplement your SEO activities but certainly cannot replace them when it comes to SEM as a whole.