SEO, SEM, what’s what?

SEO, which means “Search Engine Optimization”, is the method or practise of getting web traffic through listings from the myriad of search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. All the major search engines compile listing of web content from videos, webpages to blogs, and the listing are ranked on what the search engines consider most pertinent to the content and users.

Search engine optimization is a methodology, techniques and strategies that webmasters employ to increase the visibility of a website by obtaining a high ranking placement in search engine listing. Proper and correct SEO methodology means your website is ranked highly when internet users search for your services and products – you don’t want your site ranked on the back pages as internet users rarely click through search pages. The higher your site is ranked, the greater the chance your site will be visited.

By following industry standards best practises and search engines policies and guidelines, we focus on keywords and keyword analysis, link building, backlinking as well as relevant content development for human readers. This set of SEO techniques are called white hat SEO practises. The concentration is on the long-term investment and growth, developing sites that caters to the human internet users with proper content and a well-rounded site. White hat SEO practises are also sometimes called Ethical SEO.

This is diametrically opposite to black hat SEO. In contrast black hat SEO employs tactics that aggressively targets search engines and not a human audience. These techniques fly in the face of best practises as well as search engine rules. By using invisible text, keyword stuffing and doorway pages, they aim to fool the search engine into giving them a favourable search ranking. Black hat SEO practises can results in your website getting blacklisted by the search engine. Hoping for a quick financial return, black hat SEO practises are often also call Unethical SEO or spamdexing (which is a popular black hate SEO technique).

Frequently used to explain the immediate, paid-advertising part of online marketing, Search Engine Marketing, or SEM for short, deals with the management of pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-click (CPC) of search engine results page ads.

A separate part of SEO, though intrinsically linked, SEM targets your specific audience by placing ads online in forums, search engines, social media and the like through banners and images as well as but inclusive of ads within video contents, forums. By narrowing to your target audience you will reap greater benefits – for example a cosmetic firm wouldn’t get much traction by advertising on car or gaming forums/websites!

An effective online marketing campaign takes both SEO and SEM into account, leveraging the different technologies to raise awareness, increase visits and raise search engine rankings. A co-ordinated strategy will ensure you reap the greatest benefits.

With online marketing playing a greater role on the internet, all businesses cannot afford not to invest in a sound and credible strategy to grow and expand, and a good online marketing strategies will not only look at present growth but also future expansion.

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