SEO and SEM. What is the difference?

By reading our blog posts and existing in the world as a business owner, you may have heard more than a few times that to stand out to potential customers, you need to optimize your online presence, and two strategies are SEO and SEM. But what is the difference? Besides the last letter, of course.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization

This is when you make sure that your pages are optimized with relevant content and good coding. Other reputable sites are recommending you as a resource for the keywords you want to rank for to obtain a naturally high Google ranking for your chosen keywords. SEO is a long-term strategy, designed to boost your online presence up the ranks of an organic search.

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing

When you do Search Engine Marketing, you pay to have your link shown at the top of certain search results. This can be expensive, with competitive categories sometimes costing you up to $10 per click!  SEM is a short-term strategy, but also can be effective if your competitors are using paid ads to purposefully appear above you. After all, you want to claim your turf as much as possible!

Your price per click is also influenced by how relevant Google believes your link to be to the keyword you are paying to top – so properly optimizing your pages with SEO techniques can lower your long term SEM costs.

Optimizations for search engine rankings can include:

  • Making your site mobile-friendly as much as possible, including optimizing images for faster load times.
  • Updating your site with timely and relevant content.
  • Using colors and layouts that are accessible and increase readability.
  • Sparingly taking advantage of keywords.
  • Making sure there are no broken links or 404 errors.
  • Using alt tags on images.
  • Using a clear descriptive page title.
  • Having easy-to-read subpage titles. Instead of www.marketingeq.com/prodid?12345, for instance, we have www.marketingeq.com/services

At Marketing EQ, we believe that SEO and SEM are strategies that, when used effectively, may boost your website. Feel free to contact us when you are ready to take your online presence to the next level!

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2017-08-22T11:27:11-07:00

About the Author:

Kimberly Genly
Kimberly Genly is an expert web developer, whose unique ability to understand and appreciate design, human behavior and complex technical systems all at once makes her stand out among developers when it comes to creating intuitive websites and web applications.

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