SEO and SEM: strategies and differences in positioning

Do you know the differences between SEO and SEM positioning? In this post you will learn everything you need to know about SEO and SEM, as well as their main differences in order to choose the most appropriate option in your project.

What is SEO and SEM?

SEO and SEM are strategies for positioning a website in search engines, making it more visible to increase your traffic or improve your results.

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the strategy followed to improve the organic positioning of a website. That is to say, to get a website to appear in the first non-advertising results of search engines.

The elements that are susceptible to optimization within the SEO positioning are divided into blocks:

  • SEO on-page: are those elements that we can optimize within our website, such as loading time, type of content or security certificate.
  • SEO off-page: are the actions that are carried out outside our website to make you gain traffic, popularity or relevance to search engines. An example of these actions can be linkbuilding strategies.

What is SEM?

SEM or Search Engine Marketing is a strategy that consists of promoting or trying to improve the results of a website through paid advertising. This is done through ad platforms such as Google Ads, TheMoneytizer or Bing Ads.

SEO and SEM positioning differences

There are many differences in the SEO and SEM positioning of a website. Next, we will analyze the main characteristics that make these two types of positioning so different.


While to develop an SEO strategy it is not necessary to invest any amount of money, to carry out a SEM strategy it will be necessary to make an investment in advertising.

Time to get results

In a SEO strategy the results may not come until the medium or long term, so it will take a considerable period of time before we begin to notice them.

In a SEM strategy the results will begin to be noticed immediately and will be maintained as long as the investment in advertising remains active.


SEO strategies must achieve a relevant and original content, taking care of the writing and the quality of it.

If we carry out a SEM strategy we will have to get a content focused on conversion, with great relevance to the target user of the campaign.

Which of the two strategies should I apply: SEO or SEM?

Depending on the objective of the company, it is advisable to adopt one or the other strategy depending on the occasion. For example, for specific promotions, or for occasions when time is of the essence, it is advisable to use SEM because it has faster results and is focused on conversion.

However, if we want to position ourselves with long term keywords to always appear in searches, then it is more advisable to use SEO.

As we have seen, both SEO and SEM positioning can help our website to gain visibility in search engines. The strategy we will have to choose will depend on the content we need to position in our company at all times, but both are very useful to improve our visibility.



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