What is the Difference Between SEO, SEM and PPC?

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SEO, SEM, and PPC are all acronyms that are thrown around pretty heavily in the marketing world. But do you actually know what they mean to you and your business? In this episode of Google My Business Problems, we’re joined by Allyzon from Cast Haste to talk about the difference between SEO, SEM, and PPC.


We’re going to start with the two that live together the most, and those are SEM and SEO. 

SEM stands for search engine marketing and entails everything you do from an offsite perspective to increase the organic traffic value of your website. This includes Paid Ads at the top of a Google search. 

SEO or search engine optimization is the art of optimizing your website to communicate with the search engines and reach your target users. This is where you take the time to figure out keywords for your posts and optimize your site performance. You want to make sure your site loads quickly so people don’t leave before a page loads. You lose customers with every additional second it takes your page to load. You’ll never find them if you don’t relate to their search. Both aspects are extremely important for generating a great user experience on your site.

What is PPC?

PPC is another aspect of SEM. Pay per click advertisements can include the Display network, the Search network, and more. In PPC, you’re paying a price per click. To do PPC well, you want to have a low cost per click and qualified users. 

To Make it Simple: SEO is in your control because it’s what you do with your website. SEM and PPC are what you do to drive paid traffic to your website. Both are good strategies if you have your budgeting done correctly, and the best websites use a clever mix of all three.

How Can You Use All of These to Succeed?

All of these can be used to your advantage if you want to succeed online.  SEO is used to optimize your user experience through keyword intent, page speed, and user experience. SEM is used to improve your ability to get eyes on your site using paid ads or links from other publications. PPC is the keyword-driven segment of SEM where you pay when users click on your links from other websites your ad is displayed on. Each has its time and place for success online, but one can’t really be done successfully without the others.

The best place to start is with SEO optimization. By making sure your basics are cover, you can ensure your consumers have a great experience. When your site is fast and loaded with relevant, keyword-rich content, you can start to expand. Since you have a fast site, you will convert more with your customers, especially on an e-commerce site. That means you will get more potential out of your ads when you start to back your presence with money.

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