What is the difference between SEO and SEM?


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation! SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing!

Oh ok so that explains everything. Nah-uh!

These two work well together but need different strategies depending on how you want your site to work for you.  Assuming that you do indeed want a site that works for you and you have set it up to. If you haven’t then don’t go any further because we need to have a chat.

What is SEO?

You want your website to be found on a search engine like Google, Bing and Yahoo. When it does, this means it is visible (to some extent) to potential customers.  If it isn’t being picked up by Google then you need to optimise the website for search engines.  SEO is just that –  search engine optimisation.

So let’s say you have a shop in the middle of a town. It looks nice but the door takes 1 minute to open, it smells terrible inside and the toilet doesn’t flush properly. With SEO you go in and fix it up. You make sure everything work and you put a nice sign outside.

What is SEM?

SEM is when you want to find, engage and direct potential clients to your website. This is done through paid efforts but it can include SEO (an organic strategy) as well.  You have told Google you exist and you have made the site very user-friendly. It is quick to load, doesn’t chow your customers data, it is easy to navigate and understand. This is also known as optimising the site for customer conversions (CRO).

So now you have a shop in the middle of a town.  The door opens automatically and the toilet sings when flushed.  However, no-one knows that you are there. Your sign is hidden and no-one is walking by.  You have a few options here. SEM is like shimmying into a giant foam hand and dancing infront of your store.


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Search engine optimization is used to get better ranking for your website in search results. When we come to SEM it goes beyond SEO services. Small business owners probably know something about SEO and they use SEM as a marketing strategy to grow their business on the internet. Search Engine Marketing includes tactics such as paid listing and other search engine related services.

To increase your website visibility you need to get more traffic from search engines. It can be optimize by using SEO. There are two parts of optimization: on-site optimization and off-site optimization. Onsite optimization is a process in which you can do anything within your website to optimize it for search engines. There are various key factors you need to consider in onsite optimization such as domain name, meta description, web contents, internal links, tags and meta tags, anchor texts, bounce rate and loading speed. The most important factor here is web content.  The web content for your website matters a lot in onsite optimization. Quality and uniqueness should be considered as the primary function of every post which is going to be included in your website.

The offsite optimization is a process of doing optimization outside your blog. Here you will get votes from other websites to increase your web sites trusts. Beginners may find it confusing but it is all about page ranking and popularity of your website. You can make use of social media to increase your popularity. When we talk about onsite SEO it includes factors such as link building, reputation management and social media engagement. Most of the work done is link building. It is one of the most important factors to increase targeted web traffic. To maintain the quality of each link, unique content for each page is required.

Search engine marketing uses the overall internet marketing strategy. It may happen that every business owner has their own marketing strategy, but whenever it comes to internet marketing they should follow the marketing strategy that is defined by main authorities. SEM is a marketing process in which you can increase your search engineranking by getting more free traffic or paid traffic. SEM traffic is one of the most important sources of internet traffic because it is targeted. Most people use the internet to get solutions to their problems. When a user finds some search results on the internet, they are more likely to convert into traffic. Facebook and twitter are great social media platforms for advertising. They try to optimize their advertising platform so that they can utilize targeted traffic…but still it is coming from search engines.