Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization: What’s the Difference?

Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization: What’s the Difference?

Search engine marketing (SEM) and Search engine optimization (SEO) can be difficult concepts to grasp, especially when many people mistakenly use the two terms interchangeably. It’s important to know the differences between SEM and SEO because both are valuable online marketing strategies. Both can help drive more visitors to your website and help you gain more customers! Let’s clear up the confusion once and for all and take a closer look at the differences between SEM and SEO.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is the process of specially designing websites and web content to gain high search engine rankings in order to drive more visitors to the website. SEO methods are always evolving as Google’s algorithms change, but SEO is always driven by On-Page and Off-Page activities.

Examples of on-page activity include:

  • Natural keyword use in content, title tags, meta descriptions, etc.
  • Quality-optimized blog posts and web copy
  • Social Sharing Integration

Examples of off-page activity include:

  • High quality backlinks
  • Social Bookmarking

These are just a few examples of SEO activity to give an idea of what SEO is. The list of SEO activities goes on and on, and includes much more!

What is Search Engine Marketing?

According to HubSpot and many other web marketing experts, SEM is a broad category of search marketing tactics, which include SEO tactics. Pay-per-click advertising and social media marketing also fall under the category of SEM. SEM incorporates paid advertising and search listings, while SEO can be generated naturally. SEM methods are very useful because they increase your business’ web presence and reputation and drive more visitors to your website. The most important difference to remember between SEM and SEO is that SEO is a type of SEM.

To learn more about putting SEM and SEO to work for your business, contact us today!