There is nothing like jargon and acronyms to tickle the fancy of computer geeks and marketers alike. Bring the two professions together, as in digital marketing, and even the team at WSI find ourselves speaking in letters! In a nutshell, SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimisation, and SEM refers to search engine marketing.


Sounds Similar

Be warned: we are going to use loads of acronyms in this article.

While SEO and SEM may sound similar, and some people may mistakenly use them interchangeably, the two concepts are not the same. Search engine optimisation is a part of search engine marketing.


Search Engine Marketing 

SEM is a type of Internet marketing that increases the visibility of websites in search engine results pages (SERPS) using SEO tactics as well as various other marketing tactics such as:

  • paid search, e.g. pay per click (PPC) advertising,
  • social media marketing (SMM),
  • and other advertisements


Search Engine Optimisation

Google is the godfather of search engines, and their definition of SEO is “the process of maximising the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.


Search engines such as Google use algorithms to assign importance to various factors. Despite these variables, the two basics remain constant:

  1. On-page SEO such as quality content, a quickly loading page, the ease with which your content can be shared and so on.
  2. Off-page SEO such as social bookmarking on sites such as Stumbleupon and how often is your content shared by others.



To combine SEM and SEO tactics for ultimate results, the team at WSI are waiting to hear from you. Contact us today to find out more.  To download your copy of our new ebook, Email Marketing: Evolving in a Social World, XXX

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