SEO vs SEM for Ecommerce: Know the Difference | Digital 38
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SEO vs. SEM for Ecommerce: Know the Difference

SEO vs. SEM for Ecommerce: Know the Difference | Digital 38

Knowing the difference between SEO vs SEM can help Ecommerce owners chart the right course in doing digital marketing. Read on as we discuss the importance of having search marketing strategies for your online business.  

What is Search Marketing?

SEO and SEM fall under the category of search marketing. Search marketing refers to tactics that aim to increase your brand’s exposure and visibility on the internet. As a result, they can drive traffic and conversions to your website.

Search marketing strategies such as SEO and SEM do so by improving your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Brands must always remember that potential buyers online always go to search engine bars first.

So, if SEO and SEM’s goals are the same, how come they are viewed as two different things? Some Ecommerce owners and marketers even struggle distinguishing SEO vs SEM. But trust us when we say it’s essential for you to compare them with one another.

While they share the same objective, their approaches are entirely different, which we will discuss in the succeeding paragraphs.


SEO, short for Search Engine Optimisation, helps your online site achieve better visibility with the help of organic tactics. It’s also often referred to as organic search. This means that you don’t have to pay search engine platforms in order to land on the topmost portions of SERP.

SEO tactics that prompt search engine bots to prioritize your website on the SERP also vary. They include optimizing your web pages, enhancing site speeds, using authoritative sources as backlinks, to name some.  

When done right, SEO is a good, sustainable way of boosting traffic to your website.


On the other hand, SEM refers to paid tactics to get your website on top of the SERP. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing (SEM). And it is often referred to as paid search.  

Brands engaged in SEM are easy to spot on SERPs as their links sit beside with the textbox ‘Ad’ right beside them. And they always appear on the topmost portion of SERPs.  

When doing SEM, you only get to pay search engines like Google for every click your link has gained. This is why SEM is also called as pay-per-click (PPC) ads.  

SEM is also ideal for businesses that want to increase site traffic in a short amount of time.  

If you want to find out more about SEM, you can check out our previous articles.

Or you can also consult with our search marketing specialists by clicking this link.

SEO vs SEM: What Can They Do for Your Ecommerce? 

You can actually combine SEO and SEM for your Ecommerce business. But you must always remember why they’re treated separately, and not interchangeably, so you can maximise the benefits they can bring to you.  

And if you need expert help in mounting SEO and SEM campaigns, let our specialists guide you towards the right direction. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to know more.

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