What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization.  Essentially, it’s the process of increasing your organic visibility in search engines.  This is contrary to SEM (Search Engine Marketing) which focuses on increasing your visibility through paid advertisements.

Some notable statistics relating to SEO:

  • 92% of all search traffic on Google clicks a page 1 result.
  • 33% of clicks to organic search results go to the #1 link.
  • Approximately 90% of all clicks go to an organic search result.
What is SEM and PPC?

SEM is an acronym for Search Engine Marketing.  This means paying a search engine to have your ad automatically displayed when users search for your product or service.  One nice thing about SEM campaigns is that they start showing results immediately as opposed to an SEO campaign which could take months or years to show results.

While SEM is limited to search engines, another very similar (and sometimes interchangeable term) is PPC.  PPC stands for Pay Per Click.  You can engage in Pay Per Click advertising on other websites outside of Google, and social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram have recently passed SEM in popularity.

When thinking about an SEM or PPC campaign, it’s important to understand how your potential buyers would find your business, and if that would be a natural way for them to buy.  For example, Spark represents several court reporting agencies.  These businesses are great candidates for SEM, but advertising on social media tends not to show very strong results.  Conversely, if you have a business that is a new concept such as the NinjaZone, social media marketing works great since people aren’t already searching for Ninja sports.