The acronym SEM stands for search engine marketing. As part of the more prominent digital marketing perspective, experts consider it the most important investment for every business or company hoping to build an internet presence. Specifically, SEM marketing covers those tasks that allow search engines like Google to find and adequately rank websites. From the perspective of the business owner or the person assigned to perform the functions, the objective is to pull every string possible in the hope of putting their site on the first page of Google, the idea of which is to make it easier for a target audience to find it.

There are two useful strategies in search engine marketing today. These are search engine optimisation or SEO and pay-per-click or PPC. Let us talk about these two and figure out their differences.

SEO is the more recognisable and practical strategy for small and medium-sized businesses as it is free. It takes advantage of a handful of different approaches and techniques to allow search engines to understand what a website and its pages are trying to convey. In return, the search engines will list and rank the website based on what they see inside. The strategies you choose and the manner of implementing them dictate the fate of your site. If you ideally use SEO to your advantage, it helps your site gain first-page exposure on Google. If not, you likely will not see your website in the first ten pages. The earlier your site appears in the search engine results pages, the better you have to get visitors and conversions.

On the other hand, pay-per-click or paid search marketing is pretty much the opposite of SEO. It is a type of SEM marketing that requires paying search engines for a display on top of their results pages. Your advertisement appears at the top or top right of the Google page. In return for the money you spend, Google feeds your ads to numerous websites that run the company’s Adsense program.

Know that there are a bunch of differences between SEO and PPC. For example, you pay for the traffic you are getting from PPC, while the one you get courtesy of a successful SEO campaign is organic traffic. For beginners like you, it is best to start with SEO, especially if you do not intend to put in a lot of money for paid advertising in the meantime. However, it does not mean you no longer consider the idea of paying Google to show your website on top of every results page. The only thing stopping you from doing it is that it costs a lot. With regards to SEO, there are countless instances in which websites succeeded in putting themselves on top, thanks to good SEO practices.