How Do SEO and SEM Work Together?

  • Post By: Faisal Mustafa
  • Published: April 29, 2023

Digital Marketing is empowering small businesses to rule over many traditional businesses. SEO and SEM are two inevitable strategies in digital marketing. But do you know how SEO and SEM work together? That’s our key topic for today.

In business, there must be no isolation of the tools and techniques. Because you never know which one is more beneficial over time. Keeping that in mind, we can connect SEO and SEM together to earn a faster conversion rate on any website.

Today we will discuss how SEO and SEM can work together to generate leads and boost sales. So, let’s leave everything and get into the discussion!

SEO and SEM in Digital Marketing

Most consumers search for their anticipated product or service on the search engine. The methods work slightly differently while serving the same purpose. Let’s focus on the SEO and SEM description first.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO can improve your web page ranking in the search engine result page (SERP). You can optimize a website to rank organically.

Once you complete the SEO processes, Google relies on 300+ ranking factors in its algorithm to filter out your content. The processes are:

  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Technical SEO

What is SEM?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. SEM can place ads on the top of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). The ads appear when potential customers type the word phrase.

SEM is a kind of SEO which works after you bid on keywords. You can pay for the keywords to get your keyword-optimized web page recommended on Google Ads or Bing Ads. primarily, SEM uses two kinds of ads on the SERP.

  • Search Ads
  • Shopping Ads

Search ads are found on the first row of SERP same as organic results. But shopping ads differ from search ads. You can watch shopping products directly with images, price, discount or other necessary stuff.

What is The Difference Between SEO and SEM?

SEM and SEO are considered the two sides of a coin. Both are used to rank on the search engine result page. The main purpose is to be ranked for the search queries and eventually to drive customers to service or product pages. But there are some differences in the work procedure.

SEO Features:

SEO works through four main factors. Those are content, authority, performance, and user experience. A properly optimized page has quality content to engage the audience. The page also has backlinks to create credibility.

SEO pros:

  • Higher conversion rates
  • Completely free to deploy
  • Brings long-term results

SEO Cons:

  • No guaranteed results at the beginning
  • Ranking loss after core updates
  • More competitions

SEM Features:

SEM works through Pay per Click (PPC). Paid advertising suggests pages from the keywords for audiences based on demographics, location, purchase history and online behaviour. You can identify SEM ads because those are marked as “Ads.”

SEM Pros:

  • Quick results
  • Brand recognition
  • Easy ROI tracking

SEM Cons:

  • Requires SEM marketers
  • Needs specific time
  • Needs keyword research

How Do SEO and SEM Work Together

There are different opinions on combining SEO and SEM together. Some thought making something paid would not work at all after the date expires. But digital marketers have different opinions.

Google needs some time to recognize your search engine-optimized website as a credible source. But SEM is a short-term strategy to bring your page forward. Later you can receive reviews and ratings to increase brand awareness.

Relationship between SEO and SEM

  • Keywords: Keywords are the main concern of both SEO and SEM. The results from keywords find both paid and non-paid websites. So, you can still receive visitors by completing all the SEO goals.
  • Goals: SEO and SEM are intended to drive more traffic to your website. However, that is not the only goal. They do not only increase the volume but also increase the quality of the traffic. High-quality traffic can benefit a website even after being less in number.

Difference between SEO and SEM

SEO can influence your page to come up as organic search results. Whereas SEM features the sponsored links and ads, which are also targeted to those keywords. In addition, the main difference is, SEM results will always appear on the top of the search engine result pages.

Benefits of SEO and SEM Working Together

1. Long and short-term results

SEO takes time to index web pages. But properly done SEO can be more successful for a long period. The long-term results of SEO make all this waiting worthwhile. You will experience a continuous increase in traffic.

On the contrary, SEM can perform faster as it does not need indexing time. Moreover, it will work till you are paying for this. SEO is slow, sustainable and provides a long time result. So, until you are getting results from SEO, you should continue SEM along with SEO. By this, you can ensure your website visibility in the search engine from day 1.

2. Twice Visibility

The sponsored results from SEM appear at the top. But the fun fact is search engines will show the organic results again in the same SERP!

So, the company seems more authoritative to both the search engine and the users. So SEO and SEM can earn a reputation faster than anything else.

3. Continuous Brand Awareness

Not technically, but SEO and SEM can work as an amazing brand awareness campaign. SEM is the perfect strategy if your ultimate goal is to remind people about your product or service. Once people know about the brand, they can get it through SEO.

How to Combine SEO and SEM?

SEO and SEM work efficiently if you can apply the right strategy to them! But you must perform several tests to determine your techniques.

  • PPC marketing can help you calculate the success rate. You can use the tracking system to know the total number of paid and non-paid marketing clicks. If pages with certain keywords receive more clicks, you can utilize those for your SEO campaign.
  • The analytics programs can show you how the keywords are converting. There will be enough information from CTC, session time, and bounce rate to identify see the working tools. Keep refining the process to cope with the latest SEO updates.

Wrap Up

SEO and SEM are two different approaches to ranking your website. But SEO and SEM work together as a powerful strategy to get consistent traffic on your website. They will cover any gaps in effectiveness. Overall, you will reach your business goals from this channel.


What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) organically. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of using paid advertising to promote your website and content on search engines.

Can I get results with SEO without using SEM?

Yes, it is possible to get results with SEO without using SEM. However, it may take longer to see results with SEO alone, as it typically involves building a strong foundation of optimized content and backlinks over time.

Can I get results with SEM without using SEO?

Yes, it is possible to get results with SEM without using SEO. However, relying solely on paid advertising can be expensive, and you may not see sustained results without a strong SEO foundation to support your SEM efforts.

How much does SEO and SEM cost?

The cost of SEO and SEM varies depending on a range of factors, including the competitiveness of your industry, the scope of your SEO and SEM efforts, and the specific services and tools used by your SEO and SEM provider. It is important to work with a reputable SEO and SEM provider who can provide you with a customized quote based on your specific needs and goals.

How long does it take to see results with SEO and SEM?

SEO and SEM results' timeline is dependent on various factors such as the level of competitiveness in your industry, the scope of your SEO and SEM efforts, and the tools and services utilized by your SEO and SEM provider. Typically, you can anticipate seeing initial outcomes in a few months, while substantial results may take anywhere from several months to a year or more.

Can SEO and SEM work together to improve my website's ranking and visibility?

Yes, SEO and SEM can work together to improve your website's ranking and visibility. By combining the strengths of both organic and paid search strategies, you can create a comprehensive search marketing strategy that targets your ideal audience and drives high-quality traffic to your website.

How can I choose the right SEO and SEM provider for my business?

To choose the right SEO and SEM provider for your business, it is important to look for a provider who has experience working with businesses in your industry and who can provide you with a customized strategy based on your specific needs and goals. You should also look for a provider who uses ethical and transparent SEO and SEM practices and who can provide you with regular reporting and analytics to track your progress and ROI. We believe Viser X meets all this criteria with more than 12 years proven experience in this industry. Call at +01842-088100 for a free consultancy.

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