What Are the Differences Between SEM & SEO in Online Marketing?

There are many terms that get tossed around when discussing any online marketing strategy, and two of the biggest terms are SEO and SEM – but what are the differences between the two, and how can they help your company’s marketing strategy.

Let’s start with the basics:

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is performed by a specialist incorporating keywords into relevant copy that shows up on your website. An SEO plan begins by first determining your target audience and location, researching relevant keywords with certain tools, and then writing copy that is useful to your audience as well as to the crawlers who categorize your website from the backend. A specialist will incorporate these terms in a variety of ways to ensure the highest search visibility. SEO is a strategy that works over time, and is a more budget-conscious option for our clients.

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, and is also performed by a marketing specialist using target keywords. However, SEM works differently from SEO because SEM works directly in the online advertising world. A marketing specialist sets up a campaign using focused content designed to create conversions from a search engine. The ads appear at the top of search results, and work to bring a larger amount of people to the company’s website. The advertising specialist monitors the campaigns and makes adjustments to the content as needed to increase conversions and drive down prices. When our clients have a marketing budget over $1000/month, this becomes an option to increase their traffic and client/customer/guest conversions for a specific item and/or service.

Determining whether you should pursue SEO, SEM or both, it’s important to discuss your options and your budget with our project managers. If you think these highly-effective marketing tools could help increase your business, set up a meeting with our team to learn more.