Most of the times the difference between Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing can be interchangeable. This can make it difficult for a business owner to lead and make desirable changes which can improve the ROI which can be used as a guide to rank higher.
What is SEO?
SEO is a way in which a large number of visitors can get the site to appear on search engine. The SEO industry is continuously changing due to the algorithm set. But one can easily say that SEO is mainly made up of On-page and Off-page activities.
In an on-page SEO, one has to make sure to incorporate certain key words into the heading tags, alt txt, meta descriptions, etc. Blog posting which has quality, clean URLs, optimized page load speed, social sharing integration , etc.
In an Off-page SEO, one has to create a high quality backlink, incorporate social sharing signals, social bookmarking, etc.
What is SEM?
SEM is a form of a marketing tool which involves a lot of promotion of websites which can help increase visibility in the search engine result pages through the means of optimization and advertising. In a much more easier sense, SEM includes the tactic which allows you to create Websites That Sell. SEM generally includes use of paid search and pay per click listings and advertisements. It also includes campaigns and activities which is mostly an SEM effort.
The main difference?
The main difference between the two is the SEO is a component of SEM tactics. It is important that you never use these terms interchangeably as they work hand in hand for the most part. While SEO is considered to be a way to appear higher in the ranking SEM can help increase your sites visibility through many organic means.
Which Marketing tactic is better?
There is still a very heavy debate on which marketing tactic is better. But for the most part it is important to note that SEM cannot succeed without the use of SEO. There are also many situations where Pay Per Click will work better in your favour than SEO. Also another thing to understand is that your website will not get immediate visibility but a good PPC campaign can make things work in your favour. This does not mean that you would not require proper SEO as it would lead to a long term loss.
Organic SEO takes longer to show result but the end will be less costly and will help you establish credibility. When it comes to finding the right tactic for you it is important that you evaluate your situation well and understand the differences which can help you maintain the focus on right efforts and leads.