SEO and SEM: Which Makes Sense to Your Business?

Nearly every business owner has heard the acronym, SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Some of the others have heard of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). However, they may not know the difference, or how one might help their business over the other.

Briefly, SEO is optimizing your website, content and links to be easily found by search engines as they scour the web for content. The idea here is that through the search engines, your site will rise in the organic searches. SEO is also a subset of Search Engine Marketing.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) encompasses SEO and other activities you should be doing as a business owner. These include writing articles (relevant content), Facebook, Twitter, email, Pinterest and other similar activities.

So many businesses have made the effort to create an incredible webpage and then it seems they cross their fingers and hope people find them. However, even if someone finds the webpage, do they do anything with the page? If they find your page, do visitors understand how well you know your business? How do you differentiate your business from the next?

This is where SEM comes into play for your business. For me, the easiest way to think about SEM is to do a retro neck jerk and think old school. In a not so distant past, there were things such as direct mail, newspaper ads, radio ads, magazines, tradeshows, phonebooks, word of mouth, etc. How did these things work? They worked by being consistent. If you weren??Ÿ?¦Ÿ??t doing something, people forgot about you. Let??Ÿ?¦Ÿ??s face it ??Ÿ?¦?? people are fickle. They need to be reminded that we (your business) exist.

Move to the future (which is now) and those things still exist, we just might use them differently, or not as much. Why is that? Because there is a new beast called the Internet which has been espoused to be a marketing windfall for every business. How has that worked for you? My guess is that it has worked well for a few businesses, but not for yours specifically.

Look at the businesses which have succeeded in the online world. What are some of the things that you have noticed? How often do you see their name? When you search for something, which names show up? Look at their printed material ??Ÿ?¦?? do they have their web site listed on all of their printed material? Are they being talked about in the news?

Now take a look at what you are doing? Are you doing the same thing? If you are, give yourself a pat on the back and skate on. If you are not, this is what SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is all about. You need to get your name out in the internet world and you need to keep it out there. There is way too much competition in your community today to take this sitting down.

If you don??Ÿ?¦Ÿ??t have the time (like so many business owners) to focus on SEM, then I would strongly suggest you find a professional who can help you do this and be in your budget range.

Things to remember for successful Search Engine Marketing:

  1. Determine the message you want to share
  2. Be consistent
  3. Find a company you can work with long term
  4. Find a company which has a distribution channel
  5. Decide where your real market is located
  6. Search Engine Marketing can be localized
  7. Search Engine Marketing is a necessity today

As always, there can be more in-depth discussions about SEO and SEM. As you get more indepth, some concepts for SEM might be a little nebulous, but there are some other concepts that are very straightforward. (I like straightforward.)

This is a situation where if you have a question, you should ask. What is that old saying? “The only dumb question is one that is never asked.”


Content is the most important part of having quality links to your website. With Area-Info.net, we provide a quality location to share your story and include links to your website to help you grow. If you would like to learn more, visit this page to see how you can use Area-Info.net to rank higher and quicker in search engines. Contact me directly at [email protected] with any questions, or to schedule speaking engagements.

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