SEO and SEM, Decoded

October 28, 2009

Just what are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

While they appear confusing—and, in the past, may have been considered a luxury—Search Engine Optimization and Marketing are becoming increasingly necessary for your business and your website to do well on the web. Economic and social conditions are influencing the use of the web for information, research, and shopping. Therefore, your website needs to be relevant to your business and goals—and easily located among the growing sea of competitors. 

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a process by which your website is analyzed and tweaked to yield better page position in natural or organic search engine results. While we all want our websites to be the first listing or even on the first page of results on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, it doesn't happen without some effort.

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is paid advertising (i.e. Google AdWords and others). Google AdWords positions your ads along the top or right-hand side of Google organic search results. SEM using AdWords utilizes a pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-per-impression (PPM) strategy that lets you control your advertising budget by choosing your maximum click or impression costs. You can also choose to have your ads shown on related websites to generate additional, relevant traffic.  

Here are just a few objectives that Digett considers when building or improving your website and website traffic:

  • What do you want your site to accomplish? Are you wanting your site to be informational, to generate leads, and/or sell something? 
  • What is your target market: the world, the US, a particular region or state, or just your local area?
  • What keywords do you anticipate your customers/clients using to find your site?
  • What is your benchmark or past performance marker that you are wanting to improve?
  • Do you have the right landing page(s)? 
  • Should you utilize SEO, SEM, or both?

SEO efforts are generally a more affordable long-term option, while SEM can obtain instant, relevant traffic, depending on how much you are willing to spend. However, both SEO and SEM are not one-time actions if your site is to continue to be relevant to your market, customers, and prospects. SEO and SEM are ongoing processes designed to help you get the most out of your website.

If you are interested in seeing what Digett can do for you, please let us know. Or, take a look at how we approach SEO efforts.