The Difference Between SEO and SEM


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Are you interested in successfully marketing your website on the internet? Have you thought about how people find out about your website and where visitors might come from? You could put out an ad in a magazine with your website address or a more effective option might be paid online advertising.

Internet marketing is normally comprised of two categories. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). These are commonly confused terms in the website industry. Sometimes website owners think that only SEO is needed when in fact it is also important to use SEM techniques to ensure the success of a website.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of improving a website’s visibility by actually modifying the website itself. SEO is normally done by a website developer, copywriter or the website owner. An example of SEO would be using descriptive page titles on your website. Page titles help the directory pages determine what your content is about and direct properly direct people to your website.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) refers to the process of driving visitors to your website by using paid advertising on other websites. This involves paying a company such as Google or Bing to list your website at the top of their search results. You can list your website on Google for free, but the free methods will not guarantee you will appear at the top of searches. When you pay for online advertising you can normally use a Pay Per Click, or Pay Per Impressions pricing structure.

Some common online advertising systems available today are:

Google – AdWords
Microsoft Advertising – adCenter
LinkedIn
Facebook Ads
Other Website Advertising Networks

Some other useful things you can do to improve your website’s visibility online include regularly updating your website content, blogging, creating XML sitemap file, submitting your website to major searches, adding clear pages titles and adding keywords.

When you add an XML sitemap to your website it helps the search engines list what is on your website easily. Daily little programs called “bots” run from the search engine companies which come and visit your website. These bots sometimes need to be told what to do. Helping them classify and categorize content on your site can increase how available your website content becomes on the search engines.

Be aware that sometimes it can take months for search engines to completely index your site. It is also sometimes possible if you have a lot of content for the bots to overload your website resulting in poor website performance.

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