The Difference Between SEO and SEM

Created March 30, 2010

SEO and SEM. What Do They Mean? What is the difference between the Two?

A definite understanding about the distinction of these two terms is vital to any web marketer. So, very flat and to-the-point, here it is:

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

The process of optimizing your web page or HTML so you can easily be found by search engines for specific keywords. There are many tricks in order to better optimize your page for specific keywords such as larger header text, variations of the keyword, useful content, and many other tricks.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

The process of marketing or advertising your website to attract visitors based on the keywords they are searching. Search Engine Marketing can be done using popular services such as Google Adwords or Yahoo Advertising. Other possible ways SEM can be done is by simply posting a new topic in a forum with a back link to your website. The popularity of your site will be determined by the amount of inbound links and specific content you have on your site. So feel free to spread your link around in popular forums, blogs, and anywhere else possible.

Perhaps one of the best ways to increase your Google page ranking for specific keywords can be to increase the amount of links that point to your site for that exact keyword. For instance, let’s say that you are trying to target the keyword ‘Chiropractors in San Diego’. A good practice would be to start posting in forums with a hyperlink titled ‘Chiropractors in San Diego’ linking back to your site. ‘Spreading the word’ takes on a vast new meaning when it comes to Search Engine Marketing.