Skip links

How SEO and SEM Work Together for Better Results?

How SEO and SEM Work Together for Better Results?


How SEO and SEM Work Together? Here’s How to Get Better Results

If you’re a digital marketer or an online entrepreneur, you’ve likely heard SEO and SEM as restorative practices when promoting your business. You may use one or the other, but have you ever considered that they could work together to bring better results?

This guide will walk you through how they work together and improve your numbers!

SEO vs. SEM: What are the Differences?

The first query that may come across your mind when defining the differences between SEO and SEM is what the two acronyms mean. SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization, and SEM means Search Engine Marketing.

While the concepts sound remarkably similar, both have different digital marketing applications. Let’s break down what SEO and SEM are and how they work.


SEO is the practice of various techniques to improve your website’s ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). The core focus of the process is to simultaneously increase the traffic to your pages while improving the quality of visitors.

So what techniques constitute SEO? We can look at some of the few driving factors below.

Quality Content

Search engines love content, but they’ll rank quality material even higher. Better SEO practices mean creating well-rounded content that’s relevant and informative and touches on keywords that the user types into the search field.

Load Speeds

Is your website taking an eternity to load? Search engines prefer pages with a quicker loading time to quickly get the information the users are looking for.


If your webpage isn’t easy to use, you may need to rethink your user interface. Search engines promote websites with cleaner layouts and are much easier for users to navigate.


Links are what is the core element behind authority in search engines. They will check to see if your content has been referenced by other sites, which is another metric that dictates its quality.


SEM differs from SEO because this practice focuses on paid advertising rather than trying to rank higher without cost. The process involves creating ads and targeting the key demographics of the business in question.

You’ll create ads that will appear on top of the search engine results page should the keywords be relevant, where they will sit on top in the hopes that they’ll draw user attention.

The terms PPC (pay-per-click) and CPC (cost-per-impression) are associated with SEM. These acronyms reference what you’ll pay for to promote the page, either when someone clicks or sees your ad.

Both have pros and cons, and some are more preferred over others in line with business targets. But where do the lines start to be blurred between SEO and SEM?

Where Do SEO and SEM Intersect?

So, where do SEO and SEM start to correlate? Yes, the two practices have different techniques and results, but there are a couple of values both share, keywords, and goals. We’ll elaborate a little more on those factors.


Keywords are the main factor that binds SEO and SEM together, considering they are integral to both practices.

In SEO, pages are optimized to include the keywords that people will search for in attempting to discover information or solutions to the queries. SEM will also use keywords for similar reasons, though their ads will return relevant search terms at the top of the page.


SEO and SEM share the same goals of trying to drive more traffic to your website. However, there’s more expectation from the practice than simply trying to increase the number of visitors.

Both SEO and SEM also improve the quality of the traffic and bring users who are more likely to convert to the product and service you’re conveying through your web pages.

So, considering the two practices share similar ambitions, does using them together bring better results to your targets?

Why Should You Use SEO and SEM Together for Better Results?

There are multiple answers to why you should use SEO and SEM to drive better results. We can look at some of the enhanced solutions they bring to improve traffic to your website.

Doubling Up on Efforts

Considering SEO doesn’t cost anything to implement, why not double your brand awareness efforts by adding SEM into the mix, too? You can get seen twice on the search engine results page using your keywords effectively.

Applying SEM to the page means you could potentially rank in the ads for your targeted keyword, where you’ll appear again organically below that result. Two appearances might convince a user that your brand is certainly worth investigating.

Understanding What Works Best

As mentioned earlier in the article, some brands prefer SEO or SEM depending on their targets and ambitions. However, focusing on just one means you might be missing out on an opportunity.

Using both SEO and SEM in tandem will give you an idea of what practices work best to refocus your efforts in the future on a proven promotional technique. Your business might favor SEO, possibly SEM, or even see significant results pairing the two.

Have a Plan B

Implementing both SEO and SEM strategies shows that you have a backup plan should one or the other not yield the desired results. It will immediately allow you to try something different instead of having a lull period considering new ideas.

So now we understand why SEO and SEM can work together for better results; how do you use them?

How Do You Combine SEO and SEM Effectively?

What’s the amalgamation process that yields the best results? We’ll walk you through below.

  1. Analyze the results of each practice.

You can plan and implement strategies as much as possible, but there’s nothing quite like the complex data behind experimenting. Apply SEO and SEM practices to your website, and use your analytics tools to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Where one practice isn’t working, you can use the other to compensate for the lack of results. This is done by picking out the keywords you see the most traffic from and building a list of those you need to focus on.

  1. Review your keywords.

Once you’ve built a list of keywords, you’ll need to test them for effectiveness in SEO and SEM fields. Implement these keywords into your content and ads, and you’ll understand their success with the following factors:

  • High click-through rate (CTR) of around 3-5%
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Low bounce rates
  • Longer session durations
  1. Optimize your content.

Now that you’ve tested your keywords in the field, you’ll be able to optimize your content and ads using those that have yielded the best results. Implement the highest performing keywords into your web pages and paid ads, and fire off that combined campaign.

  1. Refine and repeat.

Effectively combining SEO and SEM for the best results means to keep monitoring and tweaking content to ensure the best results. If your numbers dip below your targets, keep refining and repeating.


SEO and SEM can be powerful tools in your digital marketing arsenal to increase brand awareness and convert products and services. The results speak for themselves when combined, so why not try them as one strategy instead of one or the other?

If you need help in developing the most effective combined SEO and SEM strategy, consider the expertise of Triforce Digital Marketing – NO. 1 Dallas SEO Company and PPC agency – to assist.

We can help you drive customer engagement, reach your target audience, boost your website’s traffic and ranking, and help your brand level UP. Please let us know what you need with help with!


WP Feedback

Dive straight into the feedback!
Login below and you can start commenting using your own user instantly

Subscribe & Download Our FREE Email Marketing Guide

Please Check Your Inbox to Download the Resource! 

Subscribe & Download our FREE Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Checklist

Subscribe & Download our FREE TDM Google Ads

Subscribe & Download our FREE Social Media Cheat Sheet w/ 100+ Post Ideas!

SEO Case Study PDF Download