SEM vs SEO a tale of quick but costly and building and waiting

So, we’ve heard these two terms: SEO and SEM. But what is the difference, and why should I care? Oh, you should…

SEO is like eating right, going to the gym, and getting plenty of sleep. In the long run, you live a good, healthy life. SEM, on the other hand, is pretty much buying your way to that healthy life.

Well, SEM sounds great—instant gratification without the slug match of SEO…

Great, we can end the article right now. No more need to read these useless words…


What if I don’t have the funding to live an SEM life? I mean, really, how often can you buy pre-made meals before you realize this method is expensive? Trying to buy your way to the top is costly. Also, if I’m doing it and everyone else is doing it, then what’s the upside of this approach?

Achieving organic relevancy on the internet is about as hard as eating healthy. Let’s be honest, choosing an apple over a cupcake—is that even a choice? But the apple won’t give you diabetes. Not saying SEM will, but our willpower is only limited by our wallet.

So, back to it. How do we combine both ideas to create synergy?

Let’s merge these concepts into a powerful website that supports both organic and paid media. We’ll call it… SEOM. Okay, probably not going to fill the X or Facebook space anytime soon, but it’s a shot we’ll take!


Bold choices in words that everyone uses to search. How do we know? Because Google will tell us. Google Trends is a great place to decide if “Plumbing” will work or if “Oregon Plumbers” is better. Always assume keywords should include a location and service in the title. Now, like planting grass, plant them in your website content and titles.

Content Strategy

Much like keywords, content strategy is all about having useful, problem-solving content that is less about you and your business and more about solving the problems your clientele is experiencing.


Having ads targeting a specific location will reduce your likelihood of getting bad clicks. But also, having SEO that does the same will show Google you are the right pick for that client in that location.

Okay, it’s not a great nor perfect explanation. It’s a taste of what to do to get more eyeballs on your website. The best way to attract more business is to keep your site fresh, push more and more content, and utilize various platforms like Facebook, X, and Alignable to show you are a prominent business. While doing all that work, maintain a viable long-term ad program that generates revenue you can track. But that’s for another conversation in which I will do my best to not bore you to sleep!

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