What Is The Difference Between SEO And SEM?


If you’re looking into beefing up your online marketing in Sydney, then you’ve no doubt come across the terms SEO and SEM and have wondered what they mean and what the difference is between them

These two terms are often erroneously used interchangeably. They are, in fact, rather different. Although both are used extensively in online marketing strategies ‒ often in conjunction with one another ‒ they are most certainly not the same thing.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is an organic approach to online marketing that seeks to take advantage of the way that Google’s search algorithm works so that your business can be more visible on the search engine results pages.

When a person searches for a product or service along the lines of which your company offers, certain keywords and phrases will determine which of the millions of websites Google will show first on the results page.

There are several factors at play in determining which websites Google will favour. Among these is the way the website is managed, the amount of interaction that the website receives, the kind of copy on the website, the freshness of the updates on the website, and so on.

SEO is all about managing these factors with the sole purpose of improving one’s standing in terms of the Google search algorithm. In other words, SEO is all about convincing the search engine that your website or your company has the best answers or solutions to the problems or questions posed by searchers using the engine.


SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. This is fundamentally different from SEO in that, while SEO does not constitute paid advertising, SEM does.

In essence, SEM is all about paying to have your company appear on search engine results pages. It is a shortcut that can sometimes be beneficial as SEO takes time to yield results. However, the downside of SEM is that customers are generally less inclined to click on paid adverts than on organically produced search results.

One of the benefits of SEM is that it is generally pay-per-click or PPC. This means that you don’t pay for the service unless people click on your adverts.

In general, a good online marketing strategy will incorporate SEO to drive organic search engine results while also incorporating SEM to bolster your company’s online visibility.

For expert services in online marketing in Sydney, contact One Stop Digital and let us handle your SEO and SEM strategies for you today!


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