What’s the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

SEO vs. SEM

One question we hear over again and again is, “what’s the difference between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing)?” Here’s an easy to understand answer:

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a type of Internet marketing that is done to increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is done through what is called optimization along with advertising vehicles including paid placement and inclusion.

For the most part, SEM is an all-encompassing term for these advertising / marketing vehicles including SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is when your advertising agency or webmaster writes content for your site that is intended to achieve a higher ranking in the above mentioned SERPs.

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By Marc Apple

Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.

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7 Steps to Having a Digital Marketing Plan Workbook

Get actionable tips for how to build your digital marketing strategy so you can grow your brand and your revenue.