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The Difference Between SEO and Search Engine Marketing

Article By Michael Fleischner

SEO and SEM For Online Marketing Success

If you are new to Internet marketing, you may have some questions about the difference among search engine optimization and search engine marketing. These core marketing subjects are very different but share a number of similarities as well.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing are similar in many ways. Each online marketing discipline requires a strong understanding of purpose and functionality. The practice of SEO requires a basic knowledge of search engines and how they work at their core. Search engine marketing requires an understanding of online marketing and advertising.

From the outside, both internet marketing methods appear to be very complex. The truth however, is that SEO and SEM are simple to understand. Implementation of best practices is what makes success such a challenge. Search engine optimization is essentially the techniques you use to rank well on major search engines is a direct result of your understanding and application of proven techniques in the area of SEO.

Search engine marketing is the practice of online advertising via major search engines. Even though Google is the largest and most well know, there are literally hundreds of smaller ad networks. Each network functions in much the same way. Advertisers place online ads throughout the network and when a browser clicks, you pay a fee. This is true regardless of conversion.

Search engine optimization is different from search engine marketing in many ways. SEO is defined as the organic result that shows up in search engine results pages after a user generates a query. Techniques associated with SEO are broken down into on-page optimization and off page-optimization. These techniques have their own nuances but are independent of one another.

The result is that search engine optimization drives organic traffic to your website or blog. That is to say that after users complete searches on major search engines like Yahoo! or Google that the results list comes from each search engine determining the best result. When users click on these results the advertisers owes nothing. Organic search is usually referred to as free traffic for this very reason.

Search engine marketing is different than SEO because with SEM you pay only when users take a specific action. Unlike traditional advertising you do not pay for an ad to simply appear. Rather, you pay when a browser clicks on your ad. Your advertising costs are related to a number of factors including keyword competitiveness and ad placement.

Online marketing is based on a good understanding of SEO and SEM best practices. These internet marketing subject areas are common among today's marketing professionals but rarely do you find the level of expertise needed for success. Learn more about these subject ares with some research and be sure to subscribe to an SEO newsletter or blog. As you gain more knowledge implement new techniques and improve your rankings.

 

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