SEM & PPC- The Difference between them & its Importance

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difference between sem and ppc
Source: Business2Community

So, you are new to internet marketing! A lot of jargons like PPC, SEO, SEM, CTR, CTA are being thrown at you and you are wondering what does all this mean? We are here to help you out but one by one. Today we would be focusing on SEM and two main components of it i.e. SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click). Both these strategies differ by a huge amount and believe me both can do wonders for your business.

Download this guide to know the difference between sem and ppc.

SEM- Search Engine Marketing

It basically means optimizing your business website for search results. It includes two of very important internet marketing strategies i.e. SEO & PPC. If you want to put it simple words:


Let’s say that you want to buy new shoes online. What would you do? Just go to google and enter “buy new shoes” and hit the enter. Results which come out in front of you will be a combination of paid search ads & organic search results. Below is an example of the same.

buy new shoes-search query

Now, as you can see that if you want to rank higher in paid search results you can use PPC and SEO is the strategy to rank higher in organic search results.

SEO- Search Engine Optimization

The main aim of this strategy is to rank your business website higher in organic search results. In order to rank higher, search engines needs to know about your website and business so they can list you in their results page. There are many search engines available such as Google, Bing, Ask etc. Since, google has the maximum share in the market, we are going to discuss about that only.

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To index your website, Google spider crawls through websites in order to update their search index. So, you need to make your website crawler friendly as well. Below are some of the tips on how to do it:

  • Use meta tags responsibly: Meta tags inform the web crawlers about the information provided on the page/website.
  • Use Relevant Keywords: It defines the content/ theme of your business. If you do not use them in a responsible manner, you may face the penalty and your website can get banned from search engines.
  • Try to keep the links on your page limited to a reasonable number.
  • Use Site-map: It enables the crawlers understand the hierarchy of your website and help them index all the pages.

By following above mentioned tips, you have better chances to get crawls from search engines and if it is boosted by great content, it may help you earn a solid reputation. A good reputation is the foundation of getting your website found higher up in search queries. Below is an example of organic result of search related to shoes.

buy sports shoes- search query organic results

Always remember the CONTENT is the KING and it is the key to your SEO campaign. Frequently updated, high quality posts tend to get better position in search queries but always focus on Quality more than quantity.

PPC- Pay per Click

While a better SEO campaign will help you get a good position in organic results, if you want your website to be present in paid search results PPC is the key. It relies on bidding process with search engines on your targeted keywords. It allows you to bid for targeted keywords for your business and earn better traffic.

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If you are paying for traffic, then you would want your ad to appear on top of search queries. But being at the top isn’t all that matters. You could very well be the fourth or fifth paid ad in a query and still get an ROI on your campaign. You’re not guaranteed success simply because you use PPC, but you’re still likely to see an increase in conversions in accordance with your bid.

buy new shoes-search query

PPC is perfect for reaching your targeted audience. Use relevant keywords, geo targeting, and device targeting to bring your ad to the forefront of a person’s search. You can narrow your scope further by using long-tail keywords to anticipate particular phrases you’d expect your audience to search. In order to prevent wasted clicks from an audience you’re not targeting, you can always use negative keywords.


Whether you aim to spend your marketing budget on keyword bids with PPC or focus on getting more organic results with SEO, SEM is the ideal approach to getting your name out and into the world. With all this in mind, check out these closing SEM tips:

  • Don’t rely on only one method. Use combination of both SEO & PPC.
  • Focus on Content quality before you start promoting it.
  • Understand your target audience.

Hope you liked the post.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section below.

Insights were taken from Business2Community

Anurag Mehra

Anurag Mehra is a Social Media Expert & a Growth Hacker who believes learning never stops. His "Social Media Marketing RoundUp" series is featured in "10 Best Social Media Roundup Blogs of 2016".

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