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The Internet has changed everything. From the way we communicate to how we work. It has become a fundamental part of our lives and, of course, of the life and reality of businesses and companies. To deny the importance of this medium is, in the present that we live, to sign a contract with the anonymity and commercial difficulties that come with not adapting to the customers of the digital age.

Adapt or die. For any company this requires positioning its brand through digital marketing. Within this type of marketing we find two essentials: SEO and SEM. Both strategies have the same objective: to position themselves first in search engines and to be more visible on the Internet. But obviously, although they have the same goal they are not the same. What are the differences? Which of these strategies is best for my business?


Like most terms related to marketing, and technology, the names of these well-known practices are in English, the acronym corresponds to the following names:

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization.
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing.

Once its name is known, we will explain what its main characteristics and differences are.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization), or as we mentioned above optimization for search engines, can be defined as the set of techniques and strategies that help improve the visibility of websites in search engines. In Spain, and most countries, SEO strategies focus on the most used search engine, Google.

Within this concept it is of vital importance to emphasize that SEO focuses on obtaining organic results. This means that visibility is sought naturally, satisfying the algorithms and providing value so that the search engine positions us in the highest without having to pay.

SEO SEM Possible Incorporated Post
The most relevant concepts to take into account when improving the organic positioning of our website are:
  • Page Rank: Page ranking, is the position in which our page appears when we perform a search in a search engine
  • Keywords: They are the words that we enter in the search engine with which we want our page to appear, if possible as high as possible in the list of results

It is important to understand that the second concept is a strategic and personal decision of each company. Why do I want my customers or companies or users who are not customers to find me? A widespread mistake is to focus on our website appearing as high as possible in the list of results with words related to the name of our company or a specific product, but one should consider the following: if a person does not know the name of my product, brand or company, why work for it? Is it not better to think about the words we would type if we were looking for products or companies like ours, and that with those searches our website appeared from the first?

These types of questions and reflections are important when designing and developing the SEO strategy, since it will affect everything from the meta tags or metatags of the website, to the texts that we publish on social networks or in the blog of the page if we have one. All the technical part that surrounds SEO must take into account WHY WE WANT USERS TO FIND US ON THE INTERNET. If we ignore this, it is possible that the traffic we receive is not from our target audience and therefore we must redo all the SEO work so that search engines identify us as what we really are and do.

Over the years SEO strategies have become more sophisticated. Roughly speaking, there are two fundamental factors that influence this organic positioning: relevance and authority.


SEM (Search Engine Marketing), in Spanish search engine marketing, refers to the techniques of web positioning through advertising in search engines. The contents that use SEM, will appear at the beginning of the results with the distinctive of “Announcement”.

SEM SEO Possible Incorporated Post

In SEM there are many important factors to take into account. Among them, the keywords that are best when bidding for each certain website, the target audience, the objective of the campaign and the budget you want to invest.

In Spain, the most used platform to advertise is Google Adwords.

Differences between SEO and SEM

As we have seen, both seek to improve the positioning of a website within search engines. In the same way, we have already been able to verify that they are not the same and each one of them seeks that same objective in a different way.

The main difference lies in the cost. In SEM, the cost is continuous and is linked to each visit or a number of impressions, cost per click. On the other hand, SEO has a cost linked to optimization work (by a professional or agency).

The second big difference is the time to obtain results. The results obtained with SEO are beginning to be seen in the medium / long term, while with the SEM in the short term, in cases immediately.

What strategy to choose?

There is no single solution. At Possible, we suggest you analyze your business to see which of them will be more beneficial to you, although in most cases the most effective solution is a mix between the two.

You may also be interested in this other article about our new product owner.


Iris Pereira

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