Understanding Search Engine Marketing and How it is Related to SEO and PPC

Every digital marketer has heard about SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, but Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a foreign concept to many. SEM combines SEO and PPC strategies; the result is a strategy that drives even more traffic and engagement throughout the internet. 


SEM is an umbrella term that covers both SEO and PC marketing. SEO is the process of getting a website visible and ranked highly on search engine result pages. SEO is also called organic search marketing because businesses put the best content on the internet and optimise their websites hoping visitors will find it and visit their web pages without the businesses paying for the traffic.

You will also find paid or sponsored search results on search result pages, which search engines show due to pay-per-click marketing. Businesses bid for a place on these search results, with Google using various factors to determine which ads will be shown for different search queries.

Many businesses now include PPC marketing in their digital marketing budgets because it has become one of the best ways to be more visible than their competitors. 

Why SEM is Important

SEM is a data-driven approach to attracting website visitors, growing audiences and driving conversion. Businesses can then use this data to target visitors across the internet and on their other marketing channels.

SEO focuses primarily on getting visitors through search engines, but SEM focuses on all search engines, whether on Amazon, YouTube, TikTok or any other platform. Because SEO is a part of it, it typically starts with good SEO which businesses combine with PPC for even better results. Businesses can hire an SEO agency Essex to handle both SEO and PPC for them, and in that regard they will be handling two facets of SEM.

If a platform has search functionality, SEO agencies can optimise for it through SEO. If the platform allows advertising, businesses can leverage PPC on it. Because businesses use data when doing SEM, they see much better results from both aspects and, thus, higher returns on their efforts and investments.

The Role of SEO and PPC in Creating an SEM Strategy

SEO and PPC are very similar, and both play a role in SEM. The mix of SEO and PPC efforts will depend on how a business structures its marketing strategies, but many businesses choose to favour one over the other.

SEO and PPC help businesses increase their visibility across search engines and other platforms. They help businesses better target users and visitors using search queries for SEO and data-driven targeting in PPC.

They can also help businesses better understand user intent, especially where businesses do A/B testing of targeted keywords, content, and PPC ads. The data businesses collect from their SEO and PPC efforts helps them understand how competitors are looking at and optimising for specific keywords and search queries so they can take advantage of those strategies.

SEM can sound confusing, especially for those who have not heard about it. It includes the best of SEO and PPC, using them together to achieve even better marketing outcomes. Businesses can also use the data they collect from both to know what is working, what to tweak, and where to spend their advertising budgets.