How to Combine SEO and SEM to Maximise Results for My Business

If you are looking or searching on how to combine SEO and SEM for your business, this article will share with you how.

seo and sem
Most people whom we talk to know about digital marketing and there’s a need for it. However, topics like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are confusing digital marketing concepts which are often used interchangeably.

As business owners and marketers, we need to know the differences in order to properly plan and execute campaigns well. We’ll define what each term means and explain how they differ. 

What Is SEM?

Search engine marketing, also known as SEM, is the process of using paid advertising to give your site higher rankings in search engine result pages.

Pay-per-click advertising is an SEM practice that you already know about. In order to be effective, you need an online strategy. If you know which queries your target audience is interested in, you can include them in your SEM ads. 

SEM Vs PPC. Is Paid Search The Same As SEM?

A common question is if, “I can make my webpage appear higher on result pages, isn’t SEM the same as PPC (pay per click) ads?”

While similar at first glance, the 2 strategies are different.

The key difference is that SEM is a broad strategy that can include PPC and SEO tactics. If you set up a pay per click ad but don’t take steps to maximize it or the website it links to, it’s a standard pay per click ad. If you want to create effective pay per click ads, you need to make sure your ad content is optimised with keywords from your SEO strategy and is relevant to the people you want to reach.

What Is The Benefit Of SEM PPC?

Ensuring that your target audience sees the content you create in their search results is what SEM is about.

By paying to be on the top of the page, you are not left competing for organic space as your advertisements are shown at the top of the page. You can drive traffic, boost conversions and reach your target audience. 

What Components Does SEM Include?

SEM is a combination of SEO and paid search. It includes optimization for local search results, so your business, products, or services show up in search queries for nearby solutions. 


Most of the time, the most popular platform for hosting search engine ads is called Google Ads. Bing ads, Yahoo search ads, and Amazon-sponsored ads are examples of other opportunities that should be considered. 

Whichever search engine you decide to use, there are considerations when launching and maintaining an effective paid search campaign. It is important to keep in mind a few key strategies:

  • Have a target audience in mind (demographic, location etc)
  • Write with relevancy in mind
  • Set and stick to your ad budget
  • Create ad groups that consist of keyword variations
  • Collect data and monitor metrics
  • Retarget audiences
  • Integrate social media ads

What Is SEO?

The process of increasing your business visibility and rankings in organic search results is called Search Engine Optimisation.

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More traffic, increased conversions, and high return on investment can result from higher rankings. When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, the best practices are constantly changing, but at their core, it is made up of a few standard techniques, which we will cover below.

To increase the number of website visitors by elevating the site’s position within results returned by a search engine is the goal of Search Engine Optimization.

Constantly improving the site to rank higher is what it is done by. Search engine tactics are always changing because of the changes in the ranking of the internet search engine.

One thing that stays the same is that it is made up of both on-page and off-page strategies. 

What Components Does SEO Include?


Technical on-page SEO comprises of multiple activities that ensure that your pages and posts have relevant high quality content that is easily consumed by visitors. The following facilitates this process and ensures a good site visitor experience:

  1. High-Quality Page Content
  2. Page Titles
  3. Headers
  4. Meta Descriptions
  5. Image Alt-text
  6. Structured Markup
  7. Page URLs
  8. Internal Linking
  9. Mobile Responsiveness
  10. Optimised Site Speed


Anything that happens off of your website is included in off-page search. Obtaining backlinks from authoritative sites, social sharing, and social bookmarking can also be considered. 

  • Local SEO to promote your business to local customers
  • Link building to attract and obtain quality inbound links; backlink help make up the majority of off-page SEO
  • Social signals; increasing traffic to a website from social media sharing
  • Social bookmarking to grab attention from industry specific communities

Strive to create high-quality content that your target audience finds useful. This helps establish your authority over time and results in increased organic website traffic, more opportunities for inbound links, and more conversions.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the on-page and off-page tactics to make sure your landing pages, web pages, and articles are optimal for search.

Comparison SEO and SEM Services: Which Is Better?

The main separator is that SEM PPC allows you to quickly increase exposure to your brand and drive traffic to your site, while SEO takes time to grow your business organically.

seo and sem services, seo or sem

Creating a paid ad that grabs the attention of a targeted audience with a great message and call to action is only a conversion driver for the time being. It is not a sustainable strategy for traffic to come to your website immediately. When the spend on your advertisement ceases, so does your SEM strategy. 

SEO has a much bigger impact on users than SEM. Why? Because the first organic result receives a 28.5% click-through rate (CTR) while a paid ad only receives a 10% CTR. Organic search drives 53% of all internet traffic while paid only drives 27%. While you can see traffic growth with both SEO and SEM separately, you’ll achieve the most success by combining them.

Most people choose to implement SEO search engine indexing techniques – often using long tail keyword or alt attribute for pictures methods – when they have a website. This is true even if they haven’t yet created a solid branding and promotion strategy. SEO takes time to gain traction but it can last much longer than many other types of marketing. It also offers at much higher rate of return on investment.

If you’re focused on getting higher rankings, you may want to create content that is well-optimized without spending ad dollars. Because search engines crawl and analyze your site content for expertise, authority and trustworthiness, it takes time for your pages to increase in rank.

When you rank on page one of result pages, it means that search engines trust what you are saying over others. They will drive high quality traffic to your webpages. You will also see better quality leads coming to your site because users trust search engines.

Your ads may rank highly via your SEM PPC campaign, but if your competitors are bidding on the same keywords and their ads also appear on the first page, then you might not get quality traffic to your website.

This could be due to click fraud. If this happens to your business, it could cost you more money and time to fix the problem. This is a black hat strategy to use up ad spend early to remove your ad quickly.

How are Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing Strategies Complementary?

SEO and SEM rely on Keywords to drive traffic and potential customers to web pages.

Both marketing techniques used for each are focused on traffic flows and relate to marketing activities.

People will use search engines to find what they are looking for, and they will be able to find it by the organic results or paid results. It’s important to have a strong presence in search and use a combination of both to boost your visibility in the long term.

Search Engine Optimisation is for organic traffic, while Search Marketing is for targeted ads.

SEM has a better chance of being successful if the website is SEO friendly first. When you have each set up properly, you have a better chance of getting quality traffic and increasing conversion. You have a better chance of showing up at the top of paid searches when your site and sponsored Google ads are targeted properly.

If your website is on the newer side, you can prioritize your pay per click campaign first as it can take a while for SEO rankings to become established.

Using SEO and SEM together

Leveraging SEO and SEM together is a good thing when both tactics complement each other and the resulting content will help the user and increase the overall conversion rate. 

Using SEO and SEM together requires you to first do keyword research. Performing keyword research for the pages you want to rank for is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Tools like Data Cube and Instant help you perform keyword research and utilize that knowledge to create new and better-performing content.

 The ideal result of combining SEO and SEM is that your website gets the first page of organic search results. When a user searches for products, services, or information online, they want to see the best, relevant information.

With this combined insight and understanding, it is possible for your site to get on the first page of search results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most important driver of top-of-funnel leads. Meanwhile, SEM drives bottom-of-funnel leads.


The groundwork for SEM can be found in SEO – well-tailored content that prospects and customers like. Poor quality site structure, pages and blog content causes SEM efforts to fall flat.

Thus, making it very difficult to gain visibility on the search engine results pages. Organic SEO helps establish search credibility. It’s important to consistently create quality content and share it on social networks and other channels to establish search credibility. In other words, you have to have something that people will find worth reading.

SEO content marketing is more important than ever as more brands realize that effective strategies are built around optimizing pages and driving ranks for the top and most competitive keywords out there.


Have you just launched your company’s website and created an initial online presence to promote your product or service?

You will need immediate visibility in search until you build up your organic credibility. You will be able to accomplish this with a strategic PPC campaign.

SEM is also beneficial you want to boost short-term campaigns or promotions that will start and end in less time than traffic will come from, then you need to use the internet. The sales and promotions cycle can be sped up by the use of SEM.

If you want to get your message out quickly about an event, a sale, a new product or service, you can use the SEM PPC. Within hours of a live ad, you can use sem to drive users and traffic to your site.

It is possible that having more detailed data from ads will help you understand your audience. It’s possible to use SEM for retargeting purposes. When you target users that have previously clicked on your ads, it’s known as retargeting. If a user has taken interest in your ads before, you can drive even more brand awareness to them through retargeting.

That said, you can’t rely solely on pay per click over the long term.

Visitors to your website will want to engage with the great content you create. Fully understanding the differences between SEO and SEM will help you maintain your efforts going forward.

Consider an seo and sem company

SEM is a short-term solution to drive traffic to your site and encourage conversions. The best way to increase quality traffic to your site is through the use of Search Engine Optimisation and SEM.

Have a well-designed SEM plan in place will help you create visibility while you are working on the other side of the internet. Your combined strategies should work well together once you get the hang of them.

SEO and SEM will be integral parts of any successful digital marketing strategy. They will continue to shift as major search engines are continually changing their parameters for rankings.

The user experience will become more important to the search engine. It makes sense that this is a current trend due to the fact that Google wants to reward the most user-friendly sites. 

Artificial Intelligence will become more involved in search activities. The change in nature of searches will allow us to create more targeted ads. 

The Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) will gain even more popularity. The death of slow-loading pages that rank low will be one area where we will see this. The use of AMP has resulted in huge increases in mobile searches and traffic from major publications

As ads become more data and audience-focused, it will be easier to create targeted, personalized campaigns. 

Blazing Conversions specialises in strategic SEO website design and content planning. We base this as the foundation to build your pay per click SEM campaigns upon. Contact us for a further discussion on how you can combine your SEO and SEM promotions to achieve a better results.

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