SEO vs SEM

by | July 6th, 2007

As has been reported in the last few weeks by the media, online marketing will command a greater portion of 2007’s and 2008’s marketing budget for corporations. With this increase we have been noticing our clients are inquiring more about online marketing initiatives and more so about SEO. We have also seen more and more so called “experts” are starting to use SEM and SEO interchangeably. As a result, I thought we would have a quick post on the differences between Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search Engines

Search Engine Marketing or “SEM” is related to basically anything done by a Web site owner to promote a particular site using search engines. Some examples of the things you can do under SEM are: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, monitor and reporting, and paid inclusion.

Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” on the other hand, is really making sure your site is search engine friendly. Therefore, SEO is part of SEM and moreover, it is the first step in a successful SEM campaign.

However, we point out something others note: that in many regards, most of SEO should be a natural side-effect of correct Website construction. If your site is set up correctly in the first place, your navigation should already be traversable by a search engine bot and your site would already have a compliant site map. Why folks are paying extra for this is beyond us.