SEO Vs SEM: Which Brings You Better Return on Investment?


Online Marketing has become a revolution in the high-tech era. Especially, search engine marketing has become the backbone of all kinds of businesses. Nowadays, users are more likely to land on a website by search engines than searching for the website themselves. Every business uses its unique way of increasing traffic on their website, most businesses adhere to the two most prominent options which are; SEM (Search Engine Marketing), and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Often businesses get confused about where to choose SEO or SEM to drive prospective customers towards their websites. Both the methods have their own pros and cons on the basis of cost, benefits, and strategies.

Firstly, let’s clear the difference between SEO and SEM. With SEM, you are paying for clicks to your website. On the flip side, SEO focuses on increasing organic clicks which don’t cost money every time a customer clicks through to your site from a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Let’s understand each of these options separately and explore how both of them benefit a business through their implementation.

Understanding SEO:

SEO Vs SEM: Which Brings You Better Return on Investment? 25 January 2022 18825

Search engine optimization includes the tactics and strategies which help make the website accessible to search engines and make it easy for Web spiders to make it traceable. Thus, SEO is the procedure in which sites improve their website ranking for free and get more organic search results from search engines. Some key advantages of SEO are:

1. Affordability:

SEO is a very fruitful resource for all kinds of businesses as it’s very open-ended and allows a business to spend as much as they want and allows a business to have control over its cost.

2. Healthy & fair competition:

The biggest advantage of SEO is that there are several guidelines and norms that have to be followed in order to prepare strategies for SEO. Search engines like Google take severe measures against websites that break these guidelines by penalizing them and removing them from ranking.

SEO Vs SEM: Which Brings You Better Return on Investment? 25 January 2022 18825

SEM is the procedure that focuses mainly on increasing website traffics through purchased advertisements on a search engine. It’s also known as PPC ads. These online ads are visible to potential customers who are in search of a specific product or service that can rise conversion for the business. The most ideal platforms for SEM are Microsoft Bing Ads and Google AdWords. When a customer searches for a phrase or a keyword bid by the business, an ad created by the business for that particular keyword appears on the right or top side of the page. When the customer clicks on the ad, the business incurs a cost of a set amount for a click that was bid and set at the time of ad creation. Some key advantages of SEM are:

1. High visibility:-

SEM works regardless of a business, be it a startup or a newly established company, it helps in getting top rank on the first page of the search engine with rational ROI and lower investment. It becomes very feasible to appear in top ads when there’s less competition.

2. Instant results:

PPC is beneficial for even established organizations as it maintains consistency by ensuring the flow of visitors is balanced and steady on the front page. Once the ads are live and clicked by users, the website starts experiencing quality traffic.

Let’s understand which, SEO or SEM, brings your business a better Return on Investment 

Many marketing experts suggest that SEO is more effective than SEM. The major reason behind this conclusion is that people believe that organic results are more reliable and the searchers are still trying to understand the difference between organic results and paid results.

However, PPC still has a vital role in improvising conversion rates as paid results are more possibly to be clicked than organic ones. But organic searches have a more significant impact on a user than paid ads as customers are more likely to reach a website through search engines than getting redirected through a paid advertisement.

But sometimes, PPC performs finer over organic search especially when you’re a new business. In such cases, PPC gives out a good way of growing visibility and increasing brand awareness. PPC works faster than SEO strategy as it provides quality results in minimum time, but it is not reliable to be dependent on PPC in the long run.

At last, I would like to conclude that it is a much smarter choice to work with both, SEO & SEM, as with the right plan of action you can get effective results through both SEO and PPC. This strategy will help accomplish more success as both works towards increasing conversion rate and assist in improvising the brand’s online presence in the market. The only difference is around the scope of strategy for each way. But with a proper plan around both ways, your business can experience the best possible ROI.

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