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The Difference Between SEO & SEM

The Difference Between SEO & SEM

While both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) help businesses attract customers via the Internet, they encompass very different strategies.  Understanding these differences is critical when determining how to allocate key business resources and marketing funds.  If you lack the expertise, however, you can always hire a SEO company in Traverse City, Michigan.


SEO is considered to be a subset of SEM services whose tactics improve a business’s website ranking in organic search engine results and, in turn, the chances that a user will visit it. Trying to get your website to the top of the list for a user searching with keywords related to your business is the goal.  Most of them will not scroll through multiple pages of search results; thus, a website’s ranking is essential for directing more traffic toward it.


SEO tactics such as creating and publishing quality content, utilizing keywords and social media sites, link building, and improving navigation can help make a website more visible. SEO focuses on bringing a company’s sales website in line with what search engines want–delivering top content to users. They tend to favor sites with a clear understanding of benefits and simple navigation.  There is a SEO company in Traverse City, Michigan that can help you with these vital details.


SEM uses search engines to advertise a website or business to customers and to send more targeted prospects their way.  It encompasses paid listings, SEO, and other search-engine related services and functions that increase exposure and traffic to a website.  It also involves researching, submitting, and positioning a website within search engines.  SEM relies on creating clear ads and choosing the right keywords that prospective customers will likely enter during a search.


In addition, SEM allows businesses to spend valuable advertising dollars to appear in paid search results on major search engines.  It offers them the option to pay only for each click made from an ad to their website.  A successful SEM campaign will display paid ads or sponsored links to consumers of a specific service or products.  Internet searchers can find them prominently displayed beside or above their organic search results.


Most businesses start with a good website and invest in SEO, but in some cases SEM makes the most sense for the short or even long term. This typically happens when an underdeveloped website is trying to compete against big companies in a highly competitive national or global market. For others it makes the most sense to combine both SEO and SEM to create a cohesive strategy.


To learn more about online marketing strategies contact Traverse City SEO company, Brassy Marketing.



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