What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

If you run a small to medium sized company, chances are you have not allocated a large amount of your monthly advertising budget towards Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and you’ve probably dedicated even less to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. Both can be equally important to the success of your business but you may be asking yourself – ‘what’s the difference between the two?’

It becomes a challenge because SEO and SEM are sometimes confused with each other despite being quite different. This article will explain the difference between SEO and SEM and will answer some of the questions you may have.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO can be best described as a strategy used to make it easier for potential customers to find your website. SEO helps search engines, such as Google or Bing, locate your website as well.

The entire goal of your SEO strategy is to obtain that elusive ‘number one spot’ in Google or the other search engines. Statistics show that nearly half of Internet users will click on the website that ranks number one overall. In short, the higher a website ranks, the more visitors that particular website will receive.

There are many different aspects to SEO but some of the basic fundamentals are to have excellent written content, concise descriptions for each page, visually appealing images, properly named files and correctly named page titles. There is a lot more to SEO than that, but those are some of the best places to start.

There are other ways to utilize SEO for your website. Some of those include submitting your website to review sites like Yelp or Google reviews. Another way to use SEM is by creating and regularly updating social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Often times those sites will rank higher in organic searches and even act as search engines themselves.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a way to properly market your business online and involves using paid advertising. It works by making your website more visible to potential customers when they search for specific terms.

If you have a bit of an advertising budget, using that for paid advertising on Google can be an excellent investment and provide a decent ROI.

Essentially SEM is buying advertising to increase the amount of traffic that will visit your website.

If you have any questions about utilizing Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Marketing for your website please contact NetGain today!