Website SEO and SEM are being used interchangeably that it’s hard to tell one from the other.
If you are not familiar with the industry, you may possibly consider both the same as well. These two actually are different. The reason why they are so liberally used interchangeably is because of their purpose. Both SEO and SEM basically have the same goal and that is to increase your site presence.
Website SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is more concerned with increasing your site presence through the organic results of the search pages. Compared to paid advertising which comes out as “sponsored links” in search pages, this advertising is considered free. In order to come out at the top of all the search results, you’ll need to employ different SEO tactics.
Website SEO tactics can employ various strategies such as creating links to your site. It can also include modifying your website source code to make it more “search-engine friendly”. Another is to edit your content to increase the relevancy of your site to the keywords you’re targeting for.
As you may have noticed by this time, SEO is only a part of the whole which is SEM. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. This type of internet marketing encompasses everything that uses the technology of search engines in order to promote your site.
Compared to SEO, which is more concerned in the organic results, SEM extends its reach to paid advertising or often times called “sponsored links”, paid placement, and paid inclusions.
A very common strategy for search engine marketing is through paid advertising. If you’ve tried searching for a keyword in Google, you’ll notice in the upper part of the search results as well as the sides, there are certain links listed as “sponsored links”. These are paid ads.
Paid inclusion, another strategy of SEM, is paying a search engine to include your site in their listings. Normally, a search engine would have spiders crawling through your sites and eventually your site would get indexed. This strategy has its own advantages in such a way that your site will be indexed more frequently and you’ll be able to monitor the effects of the changes you’ve made.
Bottom line, SEO is only one shade of the whole spectrum which is SEM. Still, most tasks involved in SEM are also being done by search engine optimizers.