SEO vs. SEM: Knowing Which Is Right for Your Website


Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – SEM is the ‘parent’ and SEO is one of the ‘children’.
What is SEO? Well it’s an ongoing process which helps you rank as high as possible in the organic search engine results, such as Google, for the keywords and terms your target audience searches for. The key here is organic results i.e. the natural, non-paid results.
SEM includes SEO, plus the following:
– Paid inclusion, which is when you pay a search engine or directory for your site to be instantly added to their listings rather than relying on the search engine spiders to rank you over time.
– Pay per click ads, such as Google adwords, shown in the image above. These are display ads which appear in the search results based on the keywords entered and you pay each time your ad is clicked.
The additional practices in SEM offer the advantage of speed, as the results are instant, but you will pay for this. Many websites will use paid adverts whilst they work their way up the organic listings. However, paid listings are also often used to supplement organic results as a number of users will click on the paid links before the organic ones; this is usually because they are placed physically higher up the page which draws people’s eye first.

Sort Out The Confusion And Start Implementing Them Both!

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is actually one element of SEM, or Search Engine Marketing. Search Engine Optimization is the process of configuring, or optimizing your website with the appropriate keywords you wish to be associated with, in a manner that will make it easily “seen” by search engines. Some of the more common SEO tactics include:
1. Having Keyword rich web pages
2. Having Keywords in the title of your pages
3. Having Keywords in your domain name
4. Naming the images in your site using keywords
5. Naming the Alt tags of images using keywords

SEM, Search Engine Marketing is the process and the methods used to promote your site to search engines. The most common tools are:
1. Search Engine Optimization
2. Article Marketing
3. Video Marketing
4. Social Network Marketing
5. PPC, or Pay Per Click Advertising

In most of these methods, the idea is to generate high quality, relevant content that is keyword rich and placed on sites other than yours, This content contains back links that point back to your site. Google and the other search engines use these factors to rank you in the search results people enter. The more back links you have from original quality content, the more important and relevant you are to Google’s results and page rankings.

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