The Difference Between SEO and SEM

April 7, 2011

SEO and SEM are two very important parts of your web presence and they are also two very different strategies for online marketing, in that it takes a different approach in order to be successful in each. SEO is just one part of the SEM strategy. You can’t have SEO without having SEM.

What does SEO do? SEO helps make your website easy to navigate and index for both users and search engines. This is done with articles with keywords, adding keywords to tags in images, effective link building and more. It helps to streamline problems before they have a negative impact on your website. The search engine wants to give the best and most accurate results for the user when a search is made. Optimization allows the search engines to quickly catalog your website showing the engine how accurate your site is and helps with your rankings for keywords. That way, when a user searches the Internet for your product or service, you have a better chance at being seen by your audience.

While SEO works more for the search engines, SEM strategies are meant to help promote awareness of your website and get relevant traffic to your website. Some SEM strategies that can be used are link building, paid inclusion and pay-per-click advertising. PPC is a popular SEM strategy. This is a popular strategy because you only pay for the targeted audience rather than the general audience.

PPC advertising is used by many companies while they develop the rest of their site. Ads are purchased in search engines and appear in sponsored results and a company only pays for the ad based on how many times users click on it. This helps drive short-term traffic but could also be quite expensive.

A successful SEM campaign requires patience and time to build your website properly.

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