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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What is the Difference between SEO and SEM

by Michael Spooner

 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) represent two of the most popular types of website promotion. By utilizing both of these strategies, companies will be vastly increasing their chances of being discovered on the internet, and turning those discoveries into income. In this article we will take a quick look at each strategy and elaborate on what they are and how they differ from one another.

Search Engine Optimization - In discussing SEO, it is important to separate it into two segments: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO involves all the changes that can be made to a particular website in order to boost its ranking in search engine results. This involves many elements, but some of the more important ones are: making sure the content is keyword rich, filling all meta-tags with proper keywords, keeping content fresh and complying with search engine guidelines. Search engine result placement is highly influenced by these on-page factors, but overdoing your keyword usage or violating policy in other ways will result in penalties that will send your site tumbling down in results.

Off-page SEO can be defined as all efforts that generate back-links to your site. This can involve constructive blog commenting, article posting, social media efforts, press releases, link trading and many other aspects. If these links are determined by the search engines to be of a certain quality, they will contribute to boosting search engine results for the linked pages.

Search Engine Marketing -  SEM is a method of promoting websites and generating revenue and sales leads through targeted ad placements via search engines and contextual ads on relevant web pages. SEM is different than SEO in that it focuses on generating conversions through search engines rather than strictly elevating the search results of a particular website.

While SEO and SEM have separate goals and involve very different methodologies, they complement one another and must both be part of any successful internet marketing campaign.

Michael Spooner writes on behalf of inSegment, Boston’s leader in search engine marketing, internet marketing, and the home of Boston SEO.

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