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Over the past decade, the search engines has not just remained as search directories, rather it has become avatars of marketing in every industrial segment. Ever since the battle of acquiring the top position in search results began, lot of jargons and acronyms have become buzzwords in marketing world. It’s true that the search engines have brought in the dynamic era of reformed marketing, but at the same time, some much hyped acronyms have created a certain amount of confusion between two closely analogous aspects. Finding the exact solution to such confusion sometimes seems to be like chasing after mirages, unless we can throw some light on some facts which may seem to be petty, but that’s the groundwork.

 

SEO and SEM – Wherein comes the difference?

Confusing enough! Let’s cite an example of an orchestral performance. It’s not just centred on playing some specific instruments; rather it needs an effective synchronization to deliver soothing melody. Well, now coming back to search engines, the optimization remains at the core while the strategy changes in accordance with the goals to be accomplished. “Search engine optimization” (acronym-SEO) is an integral vertical of “Search engine marketing” (SEM), whereas SEM is the overall terminology used for marketing efforts including the needful search engine tools, in which each platform has to be coordinated with each other for the sake of effective optimization.

 

SEO – Not everything but significant still

SEO is a journey which begins with the effort of finding the real scopes of optimization and thereby optimizing the website accordingly! Then starts the effort of outperforming the competitors and trying hard to reach the top of search results someday, and becoming even more alert to retain the top position. But, undoubtedly reaching the top from grassroots is not a matter of a fortnight! Neither is there any tool to predict the probable time needed to reach the top, it can be a month or a year, depending on the competition level in the certain niche! But, what if the time is quite limited or the results has to be delivered from the very beginning? Herein, comes another or rather the best ROI driven aspect of search engine marketing i.e. Pay Per Click (acronym – PPC). Yes, when instantaneous result is needed, then PPC perfectly fits the bill. But, does PPC ensure the instant gratification of efforts?  Well, again it is about the effective optimization, but it is just about dedicatedly optimizing a landing page while SEO is about optimizing the needful elements across the entire website. It may seem that much less effort is needed than SEO, but again as the name suggests, each click matters, so no stones should be left unturned. PPC campaigns can be started and stopped or paused at any time (although not abruptly), but when the question comes to the long term benefits without investing an extra penny, then ethical SEO is the only thing which opens the floodgate of prospects , forever.

 

SEM- Where conversion matters

Search engine marketing is highly result oriented if it could be optimized well. It begins with the landing page optimization to putting triggering contextual content which is followed by best user-suited call-to-action. Actually, it requires a lot of skills and years of market experience which drives niche traffic and then conversion. It’s just like enjoying a good nutritious meal from a five star hotel where nutrition matters but the price is high. It’s can’t be denied if I say that, measuring ROI metrics in SEO process is quite meagre but when it comes to SEM, its worthy because conversion matters here.

Search engines, especially the search giant Google provides a plethora of platforms and tools to facilitate marketing strategies, the only thing what matters is to understand which are needed and why, before initiating a marketing strategy. So, at the end, everything comes within “search engine marketing”.

The End Note:  Sometimes, a small difference in terminologies bring a heavy amount of confusion between these two! These two terminologies are undoubtedly analogous to each other, but definitely not same as a whole.