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Search Engine Marketing SEM=SEO+SEP

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by GreyWolf, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Many times when I read articles and posts involving SEO the writer just uses the term for anything about getting a website listed in the search engines.

    Sometimes to avoid confusion they'll distinguish between onsite-SEO and offsite SEO. This is further confused by the fact that some backlink building and site promotion is done for the search engines and some is done to get direct traffic. Much of it might be good for both, or some things might work better for one than the other.

    Originally SEO was only about optimizing the design and content of your website to get a better listing in the search engine, (hence the term Search Engine Optimization). Any backlinks made were simply considered promotion for you're website.

    That's how it was before Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with Page Rank and started Google. Once the Google started using how sites linked to each other to determine ranking in the SERPs, then people started discussing site promotion as another aspect of SEO.

    SEO is used to mean so many different things that it kind of defeats the usefulness of using the term in the first place and causes a lot of unnecessary confusion.

    In my own posts on various blogs, forums, articles, etc. I've started using more precise terms in order to make it easier for new people to understand what's being discussed. I've noticed a lot of other people doing the same thing. Since there's still a lot of people that don't, I thought I'd make this post to explain the terms which seem to be more explanatory than just referring to everything as SEO.

    • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
      This is the overall term for what you're trying to achieve. SEM is everything that's done in order to get you're website listed in the top Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The intention is to use a listing in the SERPs to generate traffic. If you choose SEM as your traffic generation strategy then there's two things you need to take care of...
      .​
      1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
        SEO is about content and design. Everything you do when designing your website or page that will optimize it for the search engines is SEO. Choosing a SE friendly design, using keywords in the url and content, using proper tags, unique content for each page, and everything else that you do when originally setting up the website in order to rank in the SERPs. (This is often called onsite-SEO, but that's kind of redundant since SEO originally only applied to onsite or onpage).
        .​
      2. Search Engine Promotion (SEP)
        SEP is about backlinking and site promotion. SEP is what you start after you've done your SEO. This is everything you do to promote you're website in an effort to get found by the search engines. SEP is everything you do to build backlinks to promote your site to the search engines. The quantity and quality of links that the SE finds pointing to you're website will determine how well you rank in the SERPs. (It's often called offsite-SEO, but truly isn't about optimizing but more about promoting).

    This even applies to things like article marketing. SEO is what you take care of when writing the content of your article, things like keyword density, using tags, etc. SEP is what you take care of when promoting it, things like keywords in the anchor, sites you're backlinking on, etc. (While the content of the article would be SEO, any links within the article would be SEP for the target of the links. The article itself would be considered an SEP factor as it pertains to the main site it's promoting)

    Any time you're creating backlinks just to improve you're position with the search engines then you're doing SEP, if you're making backlinks with the actual intention of getting visitors from the link then you're doing a Direct Promotion. Most of the time a Direct Promotion link will help for SEP, but a link made just for SEP won't always make a difference for Direct Promotion.

    So in summary -
    SEM is your overall plan for your website to get a high rank in the SERPs to get traffic from the search engines.
    SEO is everything you do onsite or onpage to optimize your website to get a better listing in the search engines.
    SEP is everything you do offsite or regarding links to promote your site with the intent of getting a better listing in the search engines.


    It might not seem that important to a lot of people, but I've found it really does make it easier to explain things when those terms are used in that manner.
     
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  2. Patrick.T

    Patrick.T Newbie

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    Great information.Thanks for sharing.SEO and SEM can be complicated, it's true. But if you start with an SEO focus and use SEM first in those areas where it outperforms SEO, you will find it much more relevant to your sales and marketing success.
     
  3. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think you might have missed the point a little.

    SEO is part of Search Engine Marketing. SEO is everything you do onsite to optimize your website pages in order to get the best results in the SERPs. SEP is all the backlinks and promotions you do offsite to get the best results in the SERPs. SEM is the overall effort of SEO and SEP combined.



    The goal of SEM is to get the highest listing possible for your site in the SERPs.
    ..The purpose is to get targeted traffic to your site from the search engines.

    SEM is the type of marketing that your doing.
    SEO and SEP are the things you're doing to achieve that goal.



    :cool2:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  4. beazt

    beazt Power Member

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    @GreyWolf: Don't you think that PPC should also be considered a part of SEM, since Search Engine Marketing involves not just organic listing but other forms of promotion as well?
     
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  5. NapsteR

    NapsteR Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    lol.. i thought SEM is giving ads in adwords. And SEO is having two parts on site and offsite. I never heard SEP before...

    Thanks for the share..
     
  6. snoozebot

    snoozebot Regular Member

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    Great info GreyWolf. I've just simply often use the terms without giving much thought. But now that you've mentioned it, it makes sense. Thanks!
     
  7. NapsteR

    NapsteR Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    i was thinking the same too...
     
  8. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    I would extend that to say that the goal of SEM is to make the most profit you can from your SE efforts. It's not just about getting traffic - all the traffic in the world is useless if you can't convert it into leads or sales.

    Optimizing click throughs and conversions is as much a part of making money with search engines as getting the traffic in the first place - but it can't happen until you've got enough traffic to be able to run meaningful tests.
     
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  9. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Actually PPC would be a direct promotion method. You're not actually doing anything to your site to get ranked high on the search engines, you're just paying for an advertisement. But yeah, if the end result is that your site is listed on the SERP, and your getting targeted visitors that find you by using the search engine, then yes you're using Search Engine Marketing. :cool:

    If the PPC ad might show anywhere other than the SERPs then it wouldn't be SEM. If it's adwords and you're showing up on adsense pages then it's not SEM, if it's any other PPC that doesn't get your ad on the SERPs then it's not SEM. So PPC in general wouldn't be SEM.

    If the PPC is for a guaranteed spot in the SERP then of course you would be doing SEM.

    So basically there's two ways of doing SEM, you can either use SEO and SEP to get an indexed listing in the SERPs, or you can use PPC to pay for an ad spot on the SERPs.

    Another thing to remember is that a PPC listing isn't actually a part of the index. The advertisement might very will appear directly above the indexed results, but a lot of people do look past the paid listings to look at the natural results first.

    It also depends on how much competition there is for the keywords to show up in the SERPs. Depending on the cost and the niche it may not be worth it.

    If its cost effecting then it can be worth it to just pay for an advertisement listing, if not then SEO/SEP is the better choice.
     
  10. moneyspinner

    moneyspinner Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    GreyWolf -- I would just like to add something more to what you had in your orignal post.

    SEM = SEO + SEP + PP (Paid Placement) + CA (Contextual Advertising) + PI (Paid Inclusion)

    Edit --

    Check this for more understanding SEM - Search engine marketing
     
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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  11. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well that's actually the point of marketing in general. The Search Engine Marketing part is a method to get traffic from the search engines, but it's still just part of an overall marketing plan designed to make sales (or conversions). The goal is always to get the right traffic regardless of which traffic generation method you use. And of course you always need to make sure your sales pages, products, etc. are something that will actually make the sales.
     
  12. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Actually it would be more like
    SEM = SEO + SEP [AND/OR] Paid Methods (PP,CA,PI)

    You can achieve the goal either way (or both). :cool2:

    The point of the thread was originally to distinguish between optimization and promotion and point out that they're really just part of SEM in general, but it turned out to be an even more interesting discussion. :cool2:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  13. eochoa8

    eochoa8 Junior Member

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    Thanks man!

    Great info. --- I'm in the final phase of my SEO (on-site) and by the end of the week I'll be starting the SEP process.
     
  14. SEO Sage

    SEO Sage Junior Member

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    The goal of my LIFE is to get the highest rankings in the SERP's hehe! With that said, this thread is a darn good read and I have saved it to my hard drive! I always keep good information around so that I can reference it in the future. ;)

    Thanks given!
     
  15. PlanetSEO

    PlanetSEO BANNED BANNED

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    Very nice post !

    i already knew everything so its not new to be but still i enjoyed reading it.

    you put all in one place in very simple and easy to follow way.
    very good for people who just got started i think this should be a sticky thread.

    Cheers