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How is Search Engine Marketing Different Than SEO?

Is there a difference between Search Engine Marketing, SEM, and Search Engine Optimizations, SEO? To Make matters more confusing many businesses use the two terms interchangeably. However, it is important to understand that the two terms are in fact different.
Search Engine Marketing is thought to be internet marketing that increases a website’s visibility through advertising and organic search results from different search engines. SEO is increasing the number of visitors your website receives from appearing first on results returned by search engines. SEO is one of many search marketing tactics used in Search Engine Marketing.

What is SEM and how does it work?

Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involved the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages, SERPS, through optimization and advertising. Search Engine Marketing includes using paid searches such as PPC (pay-per-click) listings and advertisements, as well as Social Media Marketing, SMM, and can also, but not always include the use of SEO.

What is SEO

SEO, as we have mentioned before, is one part of the larger category that is search engine marketing. SEO is typically thought to be the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by making sure that the site appears higher on the list of results returned by search engines. SEO is ever changing due to the frequent changes that many search engines are constantly making to their algorithms. However, what does always stay the same about SEO is that it is made of both On-Page and Off-Page activity.

On-Page SEO includes but is not limited to:

Working keywords naturally into title tags, meta descriptions, alt text, etc.

Blog posts written with optimized quality

Social sharing integration

Off-Page SEO includes but is not limited to:

Creating high-quality backlink profiles

Social sharing signals

Social Bookmarking

The bottom line is SEM and SEO should not be terms that you use interchangeably. Even though they work together, they are not the same.

Many marketers debate if SEO is better than SEM. In reality, organic SEO is needed to for SEM to succeed. Then there are those who throw PPC into the mix saying that it can be a better choice than SEO and makes more sense for SEM. It all really depends on what you are trying to accomplish and by when. PPC campaign will take less time to show results but can be more costly whereas SEO may take longer but will be less costly and help establish your credibility.

Which is best comes down to your specific wants and needs, but you need you understand the differences and how they can help you achieve and maintain your goals. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at Falcon Marketing. We are here to help.

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