SEM and SEO - what are they?

July 16, 2015 at 2:45 PM

In recent blog posts we’ve touched on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how they can drive traffic to your website and increase your organic results in search rankings.

I think it is time to get into a bit more depth in explaining these two terms – what they mean and how they can work as part of your marketing plan.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

It makes sense to start with SEM, as it is the umbrella under which SEO huddles. SEM is the practice of using search engines to generate traffic to your website – through both paid and unpaid means.  So this includes SEO, keyword research, competitive analysis, paid listings (such as Google AdWords and pay-per-click), search engine results page advertising and other search engine services that will drive search traffic to your site.

Just quickly, pay-per-click (PPC also known as cost-per-click or CPP) is when you, the advertiser, pay the website hosting your advert a fee when the advertisement is clicked. Google AdWords is Google's advertising product which involves advertisers bidding on certain keywords to get their clickable ads to appear in Google's search results.

So the aim of SEM is to achieve maximum visibility for your website and increase your share of traffic from search engines.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation is a subset of search engine marketing, and the term encompasses all the unpaid means of improving your organic search results and therefore directing traffic to your site.

Some of these include creating and publishing excellent content, using keywords and keyword analysis, link building to improve link popularity, using social media links, improving your site's navigation ensure a good user experience and keeping your website design and content up to date.

So what should you be doing?

You absolutely must be doing search engine marketing – and chances are that you already are to some extent. How much of your SEM spend is on paid means and how much is on SEO will come down to your budget and personal preferences.

One of the really important things to remember about search engine marketing is that it is an ongoing practice – building good SEO into your website is crucial but it is equally important to continue to monitor your search engine results as even small changes made by you, or your competitors, can have a big impact on your ranking.

Need help including SEM and SEO in your marketing plan? Contact us


Tags: seo marketing plan sem
Category: Digital Marketing


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