SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a part of search engine marketing that uses organic tactics to gain visibility in search results. With SEO, you avoid paying for website placement and instead, use a variety of techniques that encourage search engines to display your content at the top of the results, because the result is relevant. So, what are the key elements of positioning?

  • Optimised metadata, including page title tag, meta description, header tags and image ALT tags that contain target keywords.
  • Well-written and optimised copy of the page thanks to strategic keyword research.
  • Simple and well-formatted URLs of pages.
  • Optimised website speed.
  • Integrating social sharing with your content.
  • Link creation to attract and get high quality inbound links (these backlinks help create most off-page SEO).
  • Attracting attention from social networks.


SEM, or search engine marketing, is a digital marketing process aimed at increasing visibility in search engines by getting traffic through paid advertising, PPC (pay per click).

You essentially buy advertising space in search results through paid search engine advertising. So instead of trying to organically rank one of the top positions with SEO and get free traffic, you pay to appear before search results.

The most known method being, Google Ads (formally Google AdWords). Thanks to Google Ads, you can display your ads in Google search results and pay only for clicks on the ads. These are some of the best activities to ensure website traffic.

The most important advantages of SEM include:

  • Efficiency – SEM activities are characterised by a more favourable relation of effects to costs incurred than in the case of traditional marketing activities.
  • Friendly reception of advertising – according to research, advertising in search engines is assessed by users as an accepted and pleasant form of advertising, due to the fact that the user is looking for information about a particular service or product. SEM’s friendliness is also evidenced by the fact that this form of advertising is not intrusive.
  • Targeting – SEM is focused on specific words and phrases that the user types into the search engine. So, it’s more likely that your ad will reach the person who uses the product or service.
  • Quick benefits – SEM also gives you the opportunity to achieve benefits in a relatively short period of time. For this reason, it is possible to control the intensity of marketing activities to achieve the highest efficiency.


If you decide to use SEO and SEM for your website, we recommend following the tips below. They will give you even better results.

  1. Set business goals – first of all you need to define precisely how you want to achieve the goal and what you really mean by it. If the goal is to increase the number of transactions, then you should think about how to improve SEM and SEO to reach customers who will want to conclude these transactions.
  2. Be prepared to incur investments – when deciding to undertake SEM and SEO activities, it should be noted that website positioning will involve investment. Achieving visibility in search results is associated with having a functional website where the customer can easily find you.
  3. Remember that SEM activities are a process – remember that SEM should not be treated as a one-off action or advertising campaign, which after achieving, will continuously increase sales without further investment. It is vital to keep on top of this as competitors are also constantly evolving in the market.
  4. Analyse website traffic – when deciding to start activities both SEO and PPC, remember that it is vital to analyse website traffic. Traffic analysis can show us how effective or ineffective campaigns are.


Organic SEO is generally the best marketing method for long-lasting results. Websites that rank higher in free results in terms of targeted keywords can get 24/7 free traffic, industry recognition and enjoy all the benefits of SEO.

Websites that use PPC can still get targeted traffic from search engines, but they have to pay for it. After stopping paid campaigns, traffic disappears.

Another important difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO takes a longer period of time to generate results, while PPC is almost instant.

So, what is better depends on your overall goals for digital marketing. If you want to get traffic quickly, you can start with SEM (paid search ads) and work on SEO in parallel. If you want to create a sustainable online business without relying on paid traffic, SEO is your answer.

like this article? share now!

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

talk to our team

made with expert advice

Our digital team is here to advise & provide guidance on any online venture or business start-up. We have many close connections with Scottish Enterprise to help you gain funding for your website or set up a manageable monthly payment plan, tailored to suit your budget. Contact our team today for more information. Why not check out our FAQ here and see if we have already answered your question.

arrange a call back

talk to our team

Fill in the form below including as much detail as possible regarding your project. One of our team members will get back to you asap with a call or email.

Problems? Call 01698 892545 for assistance or email [email protected]

Message our team

talk to our team

Fill in the form below including as much detail as possible regarding your project. One of our team members will get back to you asap with a call or email.

Problems? Call 01698 892545 for assistance or email [email protected]


A cookie is a small text file containing information that a website transfers to your computer’s hard disk for record-keeping purposes and allows us to analyse our site traffic patterns. It does not contain chocolate chips, you cannot eat it and there is no special hidden jar. You can read more about that here.