What’s the difference between SEO and SEM?

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If you have any interest in digital marketing then you probably already know that it’s important to have good search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) in place so that your site can be seen by the people who are looking for it. But what exactly are these terms, and what’s the difference between them? In this article we’ll look at both of these elements of online marketing in detail, examining what they mean and how they work in tandem to help your business get found by more potential customers on the web.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)


This can be a very general term. Search engine marketing is used to promote websites or specific web pages by increasing visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. This means that if you want your website to appear at or near the top of a Google search for a given keyword or phrase, you’ll need to bid on that keyword. The higher your bid, or pay-per-click (PPC), often leads to better ad positioning, though there are other factors like the relevance of website content and quality score. Search engine marketing is commonly broken down into two different types: Pay per click (PPC): The advertiser pays when someone clicks on an ad.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


An umbrella term that refers to a number of techniques used to help your content rank higher in search engine results. It typically refers to on-page optimization or improving how your website appears in search engines. If you want to get more visitors from search engines, SEO is what you need to focus on. (Read more: The Beginner’s Guide To SEO )

Targeted vs. Non-Targeted Advertisements


If you’re just getting started with internet marketing, these two types of online advertising can be really confusing. Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you! First, let’s talk about non-targeted ads. These are basically ads that show up on a large variety of websites regardless of their theme or topic. For example, if you were to search for pizza toppings on Google (or any other search engine), you would see an ad for Pizza Hut pop up on your screen. That was a targeted advertisement from Pizza Hut specifically meant for people searching for pizza toppings.

Mobile Marketing


The mobile revolution has brought about an era of high expectations. Since 2013, more than half of all internet usage happens on a mobile device, so marketers should be prepared to shift strategies accordingly. Inbound marketing is one of today’s most effective ways to connect with customers. By creating content that drives awareness and inspires action, you can inspire consumer engagement from any screen—desktop or mobile. Additionally, inbound can help your business establish thought leadership in your industry as well as drive prospects to a relevant landing page where they can easily convert into leads or paying customers through a variety of online marketing tactics like pay-per-click (PPC) ads or retargeting ads.

Social Media Marketing


Both SEO and social media marketing are ways of leveraging content to attract an audience and ultimately get people to take action. Both target online users, but search engine optimization (SEO) focuses on improving website visibility in search engines through natural or un-paid search results, while social media marketing uses social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, etc. The goals of each tactic can vary greatly—search engine optimization may focus on building brand awareness or generating leads; social media is often used to drive direct traffic back to a company’s website. Though many people equate the two terms together with digital marketing, they are not one and the same.

Email Marketing


According to Statista, in 2017, businesses spent roughly $117 billion on email marketing. This number is expected to reach over $180 billion by 2020. The reason for that is simple: emails generate 55% more clicks and 27% more sales than social media or display ads! If you’re not doing email marketing, you’re missing out on a huge piece of your online marketing strategy.

Content Marketing


A New Approach to Online Marketing: A few years ago, business owners and marketers could successfully market their products through social media, news blogs and traditional marketing channels. But over time, consumers have become increasingly sceptical of marketing messages coming from businesses they aren’t familiar with. As a result, many companies now hire digital marketing agencies that can help build positive associations for them in front of consumers who are more likely to believe what other people say about a brand than what brands themselves say about themselves. This is where content marketing comes in: an online approach to marketing through which companies produce creative works that consumers will want to share with others.

Online Reputation Management (ORM)


Online Reputation Management, or ORM, is a way of making sure that your online reputation is strong, positive, and helpful to your overall business goals.

E-Commerce Advertising


When a consumer interacts with your digital marketing, there’s an opportunity to persuade him or her to make a purchase. Whether you’re driving people to your website, blogging about your services, or sharing an ad on social media (among other tactics), online advertising is one of many ways you can market your business online—and direct potential customers toward making a purchase. Let’s take a look at some more common forms of e-commerce advertising

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What’s the difference between SEO and SEM?

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