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Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing - Is It The Same?

Jan 15, 2008
What is the difference between Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing? Is there any difference at all? Yes, there is a difference, although these 2 are often overlapping.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is by definition a professional technical skill which revolves around the way we code our website, and ensuring a particular website ranks well on the organic listing of major search engines, for a set of chosen keywords.

On the other hand, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is to market a particular service or product through the major search engines, either by using pay-per-click, banners, etc. It will be somehow similar to physical marketing, whereby factors like brand, price, positioning and unique selling point become much more important.

For a business who wishes to establish its branding on the Internet, it will be silly to ignore the fundamental of search optimization even if they have the budget to drive traffic to their websites through pay-per-click programs like Adwords. To have a successful search engine marketing campaign, you will need both search optimization and pay-per-click.

A business can use search optimization to optimize a core set of keywords that are closely related to their business, while using Adwords to diversify into other market and creating more exposure for his or her business. As search optimization will usually takes months before one can see results, it will be wise for a business to use Adwords to target its core keywords at the beginning, until they are rank well on the organic listings.

In Search Marketing, we will be focusing more on keywords as we will need to bid for them. To have a successful search marketing campaign, you will need to find long tailed keywords, which refers to the larger selection of less frequently searched terms. For example, the keyword search engine optimization is considered a rather broad keyword, whereas the keyword 'Singapore search engine optimization specialists services' is considered a long tailed keyword. Of course, for all keywords that you choose, you need to make sure that they have enough search volume to drive enough traffic to your website.

Traffic from the search engines definitely plays a very important part in your online success. The traffic generated from search engines are more targeted and you will be able to benefit from them by converting them into your opt-in subscribers, and thus into future customers.

Hope that now you have a clearer understanding between the difference between search engine optimization and search engine marketing.
About the Author
Cheow Yu Yuan is the co-founder of HomeBizGears.com, an online marketing and branding agency.

Check out more about Online Marketing and Branding at www.homebizgears.com
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