The Difference Between SEM, SEO and PPC

December 16, 2014 01:22 PM Published by Ashley Logan

Many people approach SEM, SEO and PPC as one entity. Turns out, they are very different. 

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The beauty of an internet search is that whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s the location of a new restaurant or a vintage furniture shop in Los Angeles, the internet will provide you with answers—and likely more than one.

These answers show up in pages upon pages of search results. Website traffic to specific business that comes as a result of clicks on search engine results is a main tenant of SEM, or search engine marketing. Think of SEM as a big website marketing umbrella. Underneath, are two strategies: one is organic through SEO or search engine optimization, and the other is paid, through PPC, pay per click. While both work towards the same overarching goal, they reach those goals through two very different roads.

Understanding the difference between SEM, SEO and PPC.

SEO is all about organic reach. By having your website optimized with various keywords, meta data, title tags and building links, search crawlers will have a better understanding of your website and therefore, rank you higher in organic search engine results. The goal of SEO is to make your website search engine friendly. "Friendly" essentially means programming the wording on your site for what people are searching and organically boosting where your business appears on the results page, without having to utilize PPC.

PPC allows businesses to essentially buy “space” in search engine advertising results. These ads, often created through Google AdWords, appear at the top and right hand side of search result pages. While they cost next to nothing to create, it’s only when a consumer clicks that the advertiser is charged, usually based on the  number of clicks or impressions, which is how many times an ad appears on a webpage for an individual computer. PPC is exceptionally helpful and promotional from an SEM perspective, especially when a business or a website has trouble ranking on the first page of search results. For businesses targeting a specific market with few competitors, such as dog grooming in Rockford, Illinois, PPC is a great option.

Today, many small businesses are choosing to take advantage of both SEO and PPC in their marketing efforts. While PPC budgets can range from a few hundred dollars per month to thousands, you can also allocate money towards sponsoring particular Facebook posts and sponsored tweets so they reach a larger audience. By incorporating both SEO and PPC in your SEM strategy, there's no question your audience will be able to find your business in search results.

Yakkety YakYakkety Yak is a full-service content marketing company that produces custom written content for businesses, including blogs, website copy, case studies, newsletters, social media marketing, public relations and more. We want to be an extension of your marketing team to help you connect to end users and decision influencers, based on the principle of one common voice, for one target audience. Yakkety Yak helps you find the words you were looking for —so let’s YAK.

Tags: Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, SEM, Content, content marketing, marketing, Paid Marketing, PPC, SEO, yakkety yak

This post was written by Ashley Logan


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