What is Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing?

Not a day goes by that we don’t talk about Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing with at least one client or potential client. Advertisers and Marketers that are preparing to build a new website, or redesign an existing site, should certainly be asking themselves if a good SEO and SEM strategy is important to their business. So, what the heck are these two things and how are they relevant to web development?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (also known as “organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it “ranks,” the more searchers will visit that site.

Optimizing websites is something we offer to every client. There are dozens of techniques we use to help your website rank well for your target search phrases, especially your company name. But notice I didn’t say “guarantee your site to rank well”. With millions of websites on the web, its impossible to guarantee ranking. The popularity of your website is determined not only by how well its HTML is optimized, but also by it’s content and inbound links. In fact, you can think of SEO as being one component of Search Engine Marketing.

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet Marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, SEM methods include: search engine optimization (or SEO), paid placement, and paid inclusion.

But that’s just a few of the methods. There are books entirely devoted to Search Engine Marketing! So, you’ll need a sound strategy. Identifying one that’s right for your organization takes time, and always begins with a proper analysis of your company, its products and services, the competition and your budget.