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The difference between search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) is that SEO focuses on getting traffic from organic search, whereas SEM focuses on getting traffic from organic and paid search.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of trying to rank in a search engine’s organic results. It involves four main steps:
Keyword research – Find what people are searching for
On-page SEO – Craft content for searchers
Off-page SEO – Build trust and authority from other websites
Technical SEO – Ensure search engines can find, crawl and index your content
What is PPC?
PPC (pay-per-click) is a form of advertising where you pay for website clicks from popular platforms. In the case of SEM, from search engines like Google.
For example, clicking this ad in Google costs Apple money:
Here’s what PPC advertising in Google involves:
Keyword research – Find what your customers are searching for
Bid setting – Decide how much you want to pay for a click
Ad creation – Create a compelling and relevant ad
Audience targeting – Choose who should see your ad