If you are in the process of trying to promote your business online you are probably (and quite rightly) researching the various methods and strategies that can employed online. The amount of information can sometimes appear daunting and unwieldly leaving you feeling that you are caught up in some game of “buzzword bingo”. As a result we have provide some clarification between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click (PPC) below, which we hope you may find useful.

A Clarification between SEO and SEM

Be careful not to confuse Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with Search Engine Marketing (SEM.) Search Engine Marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses both SEO and Paid Search Advertising.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A form of internet marketing that seeks to promote websites in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) via both non-paid/natural methods (Search Engine Optimization) and paid methods (paid placement, contextual advertising and paid inclusion.) SEM can also be an acronym for Search Engine Marketer, or someone who performs SEM.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The branch of SEM that deals only with non-paid/organic/natural/algorithmic search rankings. Again, SEO is the process of creating or updating a website to improve the site’s ranking in organic search results, with the objective of increasing the volume of quality traffic. This must be done on-page (site architecture, link structure, content, keywords, title tags, etc.) and off page (link building.). While SEO is more time consuming and requires more upfront effort, it’s the most cost-effective method of SEM.

Paid Search Advertising  (PPC)
The branch of SEM that deals only with paid advertising, also known as Pay Per Click advertising. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) display these relevant text ads that link to a company page when a search engine user types in a specific word or phrase. A fee is charged every time a link is clicked, with the bid price, Click Through Rate (CTR) and Quality Score mainly determining its position. Paid Search Advertising may involve advertising through a content network of third-party sites.