SEO vs. SEM - What is the Difference and Which One is Better for Your Construction Business

SEO vs. SEM: What is the Difference and Which One is Better for Your Construction Business?

For sure, you are looking for ways to increase sales and boost brand awareness for your construction business. Are you familiar with the terms SEO and SEM? Both terms are being tossed around whenever discussing digital marketing tactics. But what do these terms mean?

Stick around and read this blog. We will explain the main differences between SEO and SEM, how they work and complement together, and which one is better for your business.


The Difference between SEO and SEM


SEO and SEM fall under the umbrella of Search Marketing. However, the main difference is that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) focuses more on optimizing websites to get traffic from organic search results. While SEM or Search Engine Marketing, on the other hand, aims to gain visibility and traffic from organic and paid searches.

Here are more facts that differentiate the two of them:

  • SEO use metrics such as demographics and target customers to create web pages that effectively optimize their presence in search results. On the other hand, SEM uses metrics like click-through rate, bounce rate, and the average cost per click to put paid advertising that will entice online users and searchers.
  • Every search engine utilizes a different ranking system. SEO strategies mainly depend on carefully understanding the Google Algorithm to craft copies. On the other hand, SEM is more reliant on search engine-based web tools.
  • SEM allows you to choose which audience can see your ads, while SEO does not. SEM search results will allow for ad extensions, while SEO only shows some featured snippets.
  • The impact of SEM is immediate, whereas SEO may take time. SEM ads enable you to place your results right in front of your target audiences with just a few clicks. SEO takes more time to the point that it can take months to implement your SEO strategy, even before your website starts ranking on search engines.
  • SEO adds value over time, while SEM does not. The latter is only active for as long as you will pay for the results you want to show. SEO tactics evolve and will ultimately leave lasting results.

The key difference between SEM and SEO is how each approaches the consumers. SEM invests more in search engine ads, forecasting the landing pages. SEO, on the other hand, delivers and focuses more on keyword-enriched content that specialists hope consumers and search engines find the content useful, relevant, and informative.


But Which One Is Better for Your Construction Business?


The most awaited answer to this question is – It depends. While it is not the answer you expect to hear, stay in this blog to understand more of these two tactics.

To stay practical, you can always opt for either one of these Search Marketing tactics. While some businesses choose SEM to get started and then switch to SEO later on. Some brands only use SEO, and other companies invest solely in SEM.

We suggest you combine the two to grow your business successfully. Integrating your SEM and SEO will have a significant and positive effect as the quality of your website and the quantity of your online traffic will tremendously improve.

We want you to take a closer look at some of the key benefits of combining your SEO and SEM strategies:

  • Great results in a short span of time. You will get more and more qualitative traffic and activity around your services with SEO and SEM combined compared to when you use one.
  • You can populate the SERP both in organic and paid results. This means the website and your business appear every time, increasing the probability of your potential clients reach you.
  • With SEM and SEO, you can strengthen your construction business. A well-optimized website and the right ad can significantly increase your brand awareness and image as a successful company. Both tactics represent your company’s main appearance at the top of the iceberg.
  • Valuable data insights and information from SEM to supplement your SEO. From paid results, there are insights available about keywords and conversion rates that can help improve the overall website’s performance.
  • Retargeting. Anytime, you can target your organic web visitors with SEM strategies to stay at the top of your visitor’s minds and increase the chances of conversions.

You will soon then discover that both tactics are significantly effective as a tandem. So, right now, let’s go over to the next section, where we will share how to incorporate SEO and SEM successfully.


Tips on How to Combine SEO and SEM Together


Learning how to use SEM and SEO as one will significantly boost the exposure and SERP results of your construction website.

When you do it all correctly, these two marketing tactics will complement each other very well. Here are some pro tips you can implement when integrating SEO and SEM.

1. Determine how each tactic works for you

SEM and SEO work best when they are put together as one. Each can fill the gaps that the other one usually leaves, giving you a more well-rounded search engine marketing tactic via organic and paid results. This only means that when planning how to implement SEO on your construction website, you should keep your PPC and SEM strategies and vice versa. This helps you determine what works for you and what does not.

2. Use SEM as your keyword research for SEO

The speed of SEM makes it a great tool for testing out some keywords. You can tap into the data from your paid search campaigns and keep looking for strong-performing paid keywords. Once you find these strong keywords, you can optimize each for organic search.

We suggest you choose keywords that best relate to your brand. Use Google’s Keyword Planner since this tool can help you see the rate of your search per month and the comparisons to your competitors.

3. Optimize for proven keywords

Let’s say you have already gone through the step-by-step process of testing various keywords. Now, it is time to focus on website maintenance and singlehandedly optimize your site for your chosen keywords. We assume you already have a list of strong keywords that can help you get more clicks and high conversion on your construction website, and this list of keywords becomes your gold mine for SEO.

Using the right keywords on each web page makes it easier for you to run organically in SERPs. But one caution signal should be applied here – avoid keyword stuffing into your website. If you do this, your website will be penalized by Google. And no website owner wants that to happen, right?

One thing we can only suggest – use your targeted keywords that can help you create content that is truly appealing to your web audience.

4. Focus on getting rapid results + long-term ROI

One apparent reason to incorporate SEO and SEM simultaneously is that both tactics work on different time scales. If you aim for rapid and faster results, paid search is such a brilliant option. You can have a paid search ad featured to your target audience after a few hours.

SEO may take some time, but it provides you with long-term and sustainable results regarding revenue growth. In fact, a targeted SEO campaign will already deliver uplifts of conversions and traffic within six months, and you will need more or less 8 to 12 months to achieve high-ROI results.

5. Make the most of Your Google Analytics

First, you must know the organic traffic your construction website is currently receiving and where it is coming from. Pay closer attention to all sorts of Google Updates. Doing so will help you spot and recognize opportunities leading to an increase more of your traffic.

As someone new to this, it is crucial to understand the basics. Focus on where your valuable traffic is coming from to adjust your SEM and SEO strategy. You can log in to your Google Analytics account and thoroughly examine the data.

6. Keep refining

We hope you already know the basics of combining your SEM and SEO efforts. Everything is a process, and once you have finally done it, it is time to repeat it. Refining and optimizing your strategy is never-ending. The internet is constantly evolving, so you must keep your website updated with the latest trends.

And by consistently making sure you are refining all your efforts, you can achieve all your targeted SEM and SEO goals.


Partner with


To sum up, SEM and SEO are two different tactics you need to consider for the sake of your business. And there is of greater importance to integrate them to deliver a strong marketing campaign for your business.

If you need help in your SEM and SEO marketing campaigns, we can help you with that. Here at, we analyze your website, competition, online presence, and overall marketing goals. We develop a more efficient, responsive, and mobile-friendly website for your business. Our marketing experts can help you hand in hand to boost traffic, increase brand awareness and achieve higher conversion rates.

These are all valuable results that can only be obtained by partnering with us.

Talk to us today, and let’s get started with the synergy of your SEM and SEO techniques.