Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are similar, and sometimes used interchangeably, but both are different services.
Most small businesses owners know a little something about SEO and SEM and the different tactics to help their website rank well in organic search engine results.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as strategies and tactics used to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.
The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.
What is SEM?
SEM is a broader term than SEO, and is used to encompass different options available to use a search engine’s technology, including paid ads. It includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your Web site.
SEO and SEM: Two Names for the Same Thing?
SEM is a broader term than SEO. Where SEO aims to provide better organic search results, SEM uses the search engines to advertise your website or business to Internet customers and send a more targeted traffic to your Web site.
SEO and SEM are not competing services. SEO is considered a subset of SEM services. If you want to conduct business on the Internet you need to be visible in both organic and advertised links, which means you need both SEO and SEM.
In contrast to pure SEO, the SEM practices offer the advantage of immediacy. If you need to increase your traffic and you don’t have a problem with spending a lot of money, this may be the way to go.
No SEM campaign is complete without SEO. In any case, the advantages of SEO over the other aspects of SEM make it clear that, SEO must be your first step in promoting your site.
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