Online & Digital MarketingSEO

Which one matters more for your agency: SEO or SEM?

Some of the options in the digital marketing strategies of your online travel agency appear to stand out more visibly than others. Among these options, there is no doubt that search engine-oriented marketing methods will prove a major investment in the short and long terms. SEO, which increases the organic traffic to your online travel agency’s website, or SEM, which drives the traffic with ads, constitute the two primary essentials of search engine marketing.

First of all, let’s reflect on what these two terms mean:

SEO means “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO basically refers to the adjustments made on a website to ensure to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages. Enriching the content, deploying keywords on your website, back links from other websites are just a few of the frequently-employed SEO efforts.

SEM means “Search Engine Marketing”. Ads featured in the search result pages of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can be among the examples for this.

Both of the methods might have advantages and disadvantages for you. Let’s take a closer look at the features of both to find out which one benefits your agency more than the other.


Search engine optimization does not have any monthly regular costs. The needs depend on your requirements.

To apply search engine optimization properly, you might need to have some skills, knowledge and experience in this matter. When it comes to SEO, the most effective method is usually to work with experienced people. If you are using the HotelRunner platform, this will become easier for you as your website’s ranking will be boosted with HotelRunner’s advanced SEO features.

Reaping the fruits of SEO demands patience. It might take several months to see the results of the optimization efforts you have just begun today. However, SEO brings a great advantage as well: Once you start to get productivity from SEO, your website will start enjoying a continuous flow of visitors.


You have to allocate a certain amount of budget and pay for SEM advertising. In this respect, it is arguably a costlier option than SEO. However, it is really easy to keep track of and control this cost.

Although placing ads is not hard, you might have to take into account some tips. Your content should precisely reflect your agency and you should choose the correct keywords. Such details boost your ads performance and have a direct impact on their costs.

The biggest difference between SEO and SEM is the duration in which you start reaping the fruits. You can reap the results much quicker with SEM than with SEO. However, this great advantage brings a disadvantage as well. Once you discontinue payments to search engines, your ads are removed. This makes SEM a solution that gives results in a short time but requires regular investment.

Choosing one of them depends on your online agency’s strategy. If you want to a solution with long term and continuous results, you better invest in SEO. If you want to achieve some traffic in a short time, you should prefer SEM.

However, the best choice is to use both at the same time. A hybrid method that works both in the short term and in the long term is ideal, particularly if you established your online travel agency only recently. HotelRunner can provide you extensive support both in SEM and SEO thanks to its experienced team. Create your HotelRunner account now and see what we can offer you.

Rıza Kaynak

Director of Demand

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