SEO vs. SEM explained

Published: May 15th, 2009 by Ryan M.



Quick quiz: What’s the difference between SEO and SEM? (You know, search engine optimization and search engine marketing.)

Not sure? Join the crowd.

In a nutshell, SEO and SEM are strategies used to help companies create effective websites – websites that attract qualified, prospective customers. Customers who hopefully – to put it bluntly – buy lots and lots of stuff.

The strategies take different forms.

SEO can be thought of as things you do within your website to optimize your organic search rankings. That means increasing the chance that a potential customer will find your site using a search engine like Google. It includes things like:

  • Embedding keywords in your body copy, headings, hyperlinks, and tags
  • Building a navigational structure and page structure that can be easily indexed by search engines
  • Using clean code so that search engines can “understand” your content
  • And, of course, including great content that matters to your customers

SEM can be thought of as things you do outside your website to drive web traffic, and customers, toward it. An SEM campaign might include:

The key thing to know about SEO and SEM is that they work best when they work together, with SEO “pulling” traffic to your site and SEM “pushing” it there.

That’s the point of having a website, after all – to help customers find you, learn about you, and buy your goods or services.

Want to talk with us more about the world of SEO and SEM? Contact us anytime.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Atomic Interactive