The digital marketing world can be so confusing sometimes. We get it, the team at our SEO agency Search Exclusive also get confused from time to time. There are so many acronyms: SEO, SEM, CRO, PPC, CPC, CTR, SERPS, DA, PA, DR, UR to name a few. Two of these acronyms get branded together as if they were the same. But, that’s untrue. SEO and SEM are not the same.

SEO is basically part of SEM. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. When we are talking about search engine marketing, we are referring to SEO and Paid advertising.

We discussed the differences of SEO and paid advertising in our post regarding search engine results page.

SEO is the process that happens on a site and off a site but regarding that site. This process has one goal. Get a specific page listed high in the search engines for a search query you want to be found for.

Paid advertising is similar in some ways. It’s the process of showing up for a specific search query but through a complex process of auctions and bids.

SEO can take time to reach your goal. The time it takes is determined by many different factors. It can take 3 to 18 months so it can be quite a lengthy process. The benefits are that organically listed webpages that have been SEO’d typically are more trusted and this receive more clicks.

Compare that to paid advertising. With paid advertising you can be in front of people searching for what you have to have within one hour. The downside of this is that you have to pay for every website visitor and you don’t receive as many visitors to your website as you would do with SEO.

Ideally, if you have the skills you want to be doing both. Doing both will increase the number of visitors to your website and if your CTR and your CPA are good, you’ll also enjoy the benefit of increase enquiries, sales and revenue!