SEO vs SEM
SEO and SEM are two terms that are frequently used interchangeably for tools that get more traffic to a site by making it search engine friendly. Internet marketing is still in its infancy with lots of new technologies developing every few days to make a site search engine friendly to improve its ranking. Both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) may look like performing the same function, but in effect SEO is a much broader term and SEM is a subset of SEO. Let us see the differences between the two terms.
Paid inclusion is a tool available with SEM that makes it different from SEO. By paying to a search engine to include the site in its database means the engine will find it on its own by search engine spiders. Another tool differentiating SEM with SEO is the inclusion of paid advertising. You need to pay to the search engine if some surfer lands on your page through the ads that are placed on your website.
However, no SEM campaign is complete without employing SEO techniques. SEO intends to make a site better for both surfers as well as search engines. This is why if you are using SEO techniques, they may be enough on their own.
One big difference between SEO and SEM is cost effectiveness in the long run. You can get short term benefits through SEM but in the long run, you cannot make do without SEO. It also brings quality traffic to your site than SEM which often brings visitors that are casual and not interested in your product.
While SEM is costly, SEO is for free but time consuming. You are rewarded for your efforts in the long run when you use SEO techniques. Without SEM however, no site will be viewed and would make all SEO attempts futile. Thus it would be fair to say that both SEO and SEM are necessary to make a site search engine friendly and to generate more traffic for your site.
Both SEO and SEM are tools to make a site more search engine friendly.
SEM is costlier than SEO
SEM gives short term results while SEO is beneficial in the long run.
SEM is a subset of SEO.