What’s the difference between SEO and SEA?

Whenever we talk about digital marketing, a lot of buzzwords we get to hear in this sector such as SEO, SEA, and many more. All these words are connected to online marketing and advertisement. But the problem is what these terms mean? How these are different from each other? You would be having these questions in mind.


Not to worry guys. In this article, I’ll walk you through the complete difference between SEO and SEA. But before that let me give you some gist about SEO and SEA –

What SEO is?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is an overall process to increase the website visibility, traffic, and getting the high rank of the site on Google’s SERP. This is a good process to get organic traffic and result of the site. Additionally, the most important search engine for SEO is Google.

What SEA is?

SEA, on the other hand, stands for Search Engine Advertisement. Another name for SEA is PPC or Pay-per-click. It is a process of advertisement products directly on Google and other search engines. When you use this method, the search engine show ads for your company in the search results above the organic results.  

Let’s move further and talk about the difference between these two terms below.

The major difference between SEO and SEA

Instant results

The very first difference between SEO and SEA is instant results. You already know how slow the process or results SEO brings to you. To get results in SEO, you have to invest your time, money, and efforts then you get results within at least 3-6 months. On contrary, SEA is all about online advertisements on Google that might bring you immediate results. SEA immediately brings visibility on top of the search results. Therefore, SEA brings immediate results in terms of website traffic. However, with SEO, it might take you some time.

Measuring the results

SEO and SEA provide you relevant results of the activities you do in your online marketing. Moreover, the results of SEO activities are difficult to measure. Without using the SEO tools, you may not be able to achieve results. Therefore, it’s advice from us to use an SEO tool that monitors the position of your keywords you’re working upon. SEA, on the other hand, allows you immediately see how much you have spent on a campaign and how many clicks you have got. However, there are people who don’t click on the ads and scroll directly to the organic results.

Cost-effective method

This is the major difference to know. Which method is more cost-effective? You would be thinking this question, right. You would know that online advertising can be expensive that the reason why SEA is expensive for online marketers. Well, this is not the case always but if you don’t optimize and monitor your campaign, you may end up spending a lot of money. Therefore, our advice is to outsource your ads to the best advertising agency in the market. In the case of SEO, you may not spend too much. Everything can be done organically.

Target specific keywords

Another key difference between SEO and SEA is targeting specific keywords. You know that SEA is paid advertisement and with paid ads, you can easily target specific keywords which you can also do with SEO. Moreover, paid ads also help you target specific locations, devices, language,s, and audience on the basis of specific keywords. You can say here that both SEA and SEO can help you target specific keywords.

More control

SEO is just the process to get site visibility and traffic to the site. You can control your presence in the online marketing sector. But you may not control the information you provide about your product. However, with paid advertisement, you have more control to deliver your product in the market. The paid ads let you inform everything about your products such as phone number, address, opening/closing hours, business location, and many more.

Final remarks

So, this was all about the major difference between SEO and SEA you read just now. I hope everything is clear to you what major difference is there between SEO and SEA. Now it is up to know which method is suits you the most to leverage in the digital marketing business. If you’re a small business, SEO is the best method for you otherwise you can get instant results with SEA.

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