The acronyms SEO and SEM can be found all over the Internet, and there is often confusion as to exactly what they mean and what the difference is. The source of the confusion is that they are not completely separated from each other. But it’s important to know the difference when you are ready to invest in getting your website to rank higher in search engines.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing.
SEO is work that is done to optimize a website for search engines. There are several techniques used to do this. One of these techniques involves creating quality content that contains keywords relating to the website. Another common technique is optimizing pages of your website with META and ALT tags. SEO basically refers to anything you do to the pages on your website to make it search engine friendly (optimization).
SEM, on the other hand, refers to efforts made to rank your website higher in search engines. In fact, SEO is a subset of SEM because SEO is optimizing your website to rank higher. SEM can also include backlinks, the single direction links to a website. The more quality backlinks a website has, the higher it will place in search results. Another form of SEM is paid advertising (pay-per-click advertising) or submitting your website URL to search engines.
It’s important to keep in mind the differences when you are shopping for SEO or SEM services. A good company will know the difference and will be able to tell you exactly they offer. Ask them to list what you are paying for – will they submit your website to search engines, will they optimize your pages, will they do local SEM…? Also, remember to inquire about the search engines that will be addressed. Too often people think of only Google. The truth is, there are several, and you want to make sure your website is optimized and promoted on all of the major search engines.
Investing in a good SEO or SEM service will help your website. Do your homework and compare companies. When you ask about specifics, you may find that some companies are not offering as much as they claim to be offering.
At Impress with WordPress, we know it takes more than just publishing a beautiful website for our clients so they get results. It takes SEO and SEM to bring new customers. If you need help or have questions, contact us.