Brief Definition of SEM and SEO


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a displaying advertisement (sponsored link) in form of text and few pictures usually showed in the top or right column in search result pages like Google, Bing and Yahoo! It can improve the ranking in organic or natural listings, paid or sponsored listings or a combination of both.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the procedure of designing and progra
mming your web page in order to achieve a higher rank (optimization) in organic or natural search engine listings. It is a component of SEM. It is the way a website manages its content to be placed in top listings in Search Engines for specific search terms and is one of the most cost-effective functions of a search engine marketing campaign.

Synergies Between SEO and SEM

There are many points of connection between SEO and SEM, and they can become a stronger tool when used combined[1] .

  • Top placements across both paid and organic can increase the user’s likelihood to click up to 500%
  • Visitors from paid search ads convert at a much higher rate when their keywords and critical words and phrases are conveyed prominently in headlines and body text. The same is true of SEO traffic. Once you get past the mechanics of these two routes to search traffic, you realize they serve the same basic need, which is to create a dialogue between brands and consumers seeking out those products
    • Often, while natural is focused on the big traffic-driving keywords, they are too expensive in PPC. At the same time, PPC can be used to drive traffic from the ‘long tail’ of keywords – e.g. misspellings – which are not usually picked up through organic search. Filling the gaps of the other is much easier when natural and paid are run in the same place.[2]

  • Pay-for-placement pricing forecasts can be run to ascertain keyword-specific search opportunities, to further clarify priorities within SEO copy-writing
  • Enhanced navigability and streamlined organization of a website’s contents will create more direct landing pages for critical keywords shared by both SEO and pay-for-placement
    • The effect of owning PPC terms where natural results already rank highly differs completely according to the brand, site, product, ranking position, competition and many other factors. When paid and natural are in the same place, these effects can be understood and accounted for.[5]
  • Critical gaps in SEO coverage can be filled through the paid component, to guarantee coverage and voice across all priority targets
  • Pay-for-placement keywords can be bought to support new content, while SEO efforts need to build over time when that search demand is created
  • Consumers are more accustomed to click paid listings for action-oriented searches (copy that includes prices and rates)
  • Pay-for-placement represents a cheaper, more practical way to claim low-volume tail terms that don’t draw substantial search volume individually

Example of SEM and SEO Combined Marketing Campaign

See Also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Slides used in class by prof. David Gracia, IE Business School, IMBA 2011, Elective Digital Marketing
  4. ^ Slides used in class by prof. David Gracia, IE Business School, IMBA 2011, Elective Digital Marketing
  5. ^
  6. ^ Slides used in class by prof. David Gracia, IE Business School, IMBA 2011, Elective Digital Marketing