SEO vs SEM: Learning The Pros and Cons For Your Business

For a very long time, we have been using search engines to look for information, whether it may be about a certain topic, person or company. Search engines have helped us gather information, learn things and find solutions. If you have a business, there is a chance that prospective clients are using search engines to look for you. Search engines can help drive traffic which could in turn convert into sales. In order to gain the exposure needed by your business, you can make use of two powerful methods: SEO and SEM.

Search engine optimization or often referred to as SEO is the process of optimizing your website in order for it to appear on search engine results pages and drive more organic traffic towards it. On the other hand, search engine marketing or SEM is the process of paying for ad listings to drive more traffic to your website. It is also another term for pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

If you don’t know where to start, the pros and cons of both SEO and SEM that we will discuss in the next paragraphs will help you get a better understanding of these two methods.

Pros of SEO

A lot of people say that SEO is the best online marketing method to use. Even if search engines have upped their game and improved their algorithms to deliver quality search results, SEO is still very effective. Here’s why:


With SEO, your brand will appear in the search results whenever a user searches for your targeted keywords. The more you show up in the search results for your target keywords, the higher people’s awareness of your brand is. It could also give users an impression of you being a market authority. You will become the resource that users visit for useful information, increasing people’s trust on your brand.


Since your website shows up on relevant searches, the traffic that will be driven towards your website are people who are really interested about your products and/or services. Once your website is ranking for the right keywords, you will get a continuous flow of traffic.


Just like any other marketing methods, you will spend a significant amount of money for your SEO campaign but the costs are pretty much lower than other methods. The amount you spend will really depend on your target market. Still, don’t be disappointed! With SEO, you can easily make changes in your campaign to achieve your desired results without losing much money. This gives you better return on investment over time.

Click-Through Rate

Even though click-through rates are affected by various factors, there is still a higher chance that you will get more clicks on the organic results. As long as you continue to improve your rankings on the search engine results pages, you will get a bigger amount of traffic for a long time.

Cons of SEO

SEO can deliver the results you wanted but it still has a few disadvantages.


If you are still starting, it will take some time before you achieve your desired results. You will have to figure out the right keywords and a good strategy for your SEO campaign. Results could take a month or more to show up.


The keywords that you’ve chosen could be dominated by established businesses. As they have already built their way to the top, it could be difficult to dethrone your competition.


Your SEO campaign has to be done on a regular basis. This means that you will have to regularly do link building, provide quality content and much more. Your efforts have to be nonstop.

Pros of SEM

SEM has been widely used in promoting businesses online because of the advantages that it could offer. Some of these advantages are:


One of the best things about SEM is that you will have more control on the results that you wanted to achieve. You can make changes to every detail in your ad and test it out to assess its performance. With better control, you can ensure that you get better click-through rates.

Enticing Ads

Unlike SEO, you can be more promotional or persuasive with your message. You can showcase your products better since you can include a picture in the ad listings. This visual element makes your ad more enticing, therefore increasing click-through rate, traffic and lead conversion.


With SEM, you will have better control over the amount you spend on ad listings. You can start with a small amount so that there is less at stake. When you get better results, you can slowly increase the amount you are willing to spend on ad listings.


PPC ads can get you your desired results much faster. You can also tweak your campaign and fix problems in just a short time. It is not like SEO in which you have to be more committed and patient towards your campaign.

Cons of SEM

Even if SEM has a lot of advantages to offer. It still has its own fair share of disadvantages.


No matter how much control you have over your budget for ad listings, it can still get expensive especially when you are not careful with your ads. You need to set up and test your ads properly so you can achieve better returns and prevent losses. Your budget may be set a lower amount but the costs will keep growing over time.


In relation to the previous statement, even if you have the right ads, SEM can still be expensive as it requires continual investment. You have to continuously spend money in order for you to also continuously get the results you wanted.


With SEM, your competitors can easily check what you’re doing. The ads you run will be out there in the open. This means that your competitors can freely see the keywords you’re using and the landing pages of your ads. This makes it easy for them to assess your campaign and create a more successful one.

What Method Should You Choose?

Just like any other marketing methods, SEO and SEM both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you wanted to take things slow and wanted to establish your brand in a more natural way, SEO can be the ideal option. If you wanted to compete with other businesses in your industry and get instant results, SEM can bring better results for you. You can also use both SEO and SEM to cover up both of its shortcomings. By balancing the two methods, you can achieve quick, long term results. The method you choose will depend entirely on your marketing goals. That is why it is important to find out what your goals for your business are.

Talk to our experts here at M Business and Marketing Solutions and we will guide you towards the right solution.

We Have Search Engine Specialists Who Can Help You

For us, getting your business on the first page of Google does not start with your website, it starts with your business. Before looking inside your website, our team will work closely with you. We make sure to understand your business, your competitors, background information related to your website on internet and the current reliable sources for your industry. We take up keyword research, conduct in-depth competitor analysis and analyse your business goals before starting actual Search Engine Optimisation and AdWords’ campaigns. M Business & Marketing Solutions do not just offer search engine optimisation in South East Qld, we also offer our services to businesses all throughout Australia who would like their website to be on the top pages of search engine results.

Contact M Business & Marketing Solutions to know more about our SEO services. Let us work hand in hand in optimising your website and achieving your business goals.

For more information on SEO
Call Us Now On (07) 4659 8898 to Book your Free Consultation

12 + 11 =