SEO, SEM, Online Marketing, Oh My!

There are so many acronyms being bandied about these days relating to web sites, search engines, online marketing and the rest it can get quite confusing.

To that end I’d like to define these terms to help further understanding:

SEO – Search Engine Optimization. This is the practice of optimizing a web site so that it appears higher in search engine results and, hopefully, results in more organic traffic from search engines (this means people searching and finding your site in the normal list of results and clicking on the link – instead of a paid ad). There are many techniques used to do this but in the end there are no guarantees.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing. This is the practice of using search engines to market your company, products, or services. This is done by paying for search keywords so that your web site link comes up on the search engine results page as a paid ad. There is more to it then that but that’s the basic idea behind it.

Online Marketing – This is the practice of marketing your company, products or services online instead of through more traditional media (newspapers, magazines, TV, radio). The biggest mistake I think people make with Online Marketing is to assume it works the same way as other media. Online Marketing, I believe, requires a different approach and at least a basic understanding of the internet and world wide web.

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