SEM vs. SEO: Which Is Right For You?

So, you’re trying to improve your website’s effectiveness. An important first step is addressing how early your website shows up in search engines.


The higher your search engine rankings, the better your business. There are two primary methods of improving your search engine rankings: search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimization (SEO).


Which should you choose? Determining the right approach for your business may not be as hard as it seems.


Generally speaking, SEO is great for companies that have already experienced organic growth and are looking to build off of their previous efforts. However, if your firm is just starting out, or you have a renewed focus on your digital marketing, it may be difficult to gain a foothold through SEO marketing efforts. SEO takes time and while it’s ongoing, you won’t see much traction. SEM is a great way to utilize a more focused approach to marketing and help the world find out more about your company! It also tends to have a faster effect on your visibility.


Let’s take a closer look at both options.




Search engine marketing typically consists of purchasing ads that appear at the top of search pages.  Your paid ad will enjoy preferential positioning to SEO leaders. Because you are paying for the ad, you have much more control when it comes to what potential customers see in their search results. This approach allows you to reach your target audience with precision. Finally, unlike SEO, you will see results right away.


When your product is front and center following a search, there’s potential for your sales to skyrocket. The marketing intelligence that Google analytics provides gives you a lot of actionable information about what is working with your current marketing efforts. You are also able to make quick and agile changes that ensure that you are getting the results you need.




This approach has been around for some time and it is effective and, most importantly, cost-effective. SEO itself costs nothing other than the time and labor you put into it. The main cash outlay will be your link-building campaigns, which are how you utilize the information you receive from your SEO research. With a link-building campaign and great SEO, you can improve your Google rankings with minimal cash outlay.


With the right amount of traffic coupled with popular search keywords, you can get your site to the top of the pile when it comes to searches relating to your business. While this approach is great for firms that have already established themselves and enjoy robust organic traffic, it can be difficult for newcomers to reach the top of the pile.


Successful SEO campaigns involve a lot of hard work behind the scenes. They require experience with link building and other tactics that will help you maintain a high search profile. Attaining and maintaining a high click-through rate is challenging, but with the right approach, it is doable. A successful SEO campaign will include a lot of strategy and planning in order to reap the desired results.




We hope that this information and insight will help to make your decision more straightforward. While there is no one right answer, there are certain scenarios where one approach will work better than the other.


There are many great benefits to implementing either an SEM or SEO strategy, and the trick is to choose the correct path. Maybe you should even try both!


If you’re ready for some professional help and guidance, contact Site Hub and let’s start working together. The right approach can make the difference between just getting by and achieving phenomenal success.