For business owners new to digital marketing practices, internet marketing terms can seem a bit
too much like alphabet soup. It can be difficult to wade through the SEO, PPC, and SEMs to
determine what, exactly digital marketing can do for you. This brief guide to the top three
acronyms can help you get started.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to designing your website so it will rank high in the
search engine results when users search for a term related to your business. This means users will
find your site organically, when searching for something they need instead of you targeting them
with an ad. The higher your site ranks in the search results, the more likely the user is to believe
you can meet their needs.
SEO involves knowledge of the search terms users looking for your services may use. For
example, if your business sells lawn chairs, users may search for “lawn chairs,” “Adirondack
chairs,” “patio furniture,” and “plastic chairs,” among others. Ensuring your site mentions these
common keywords can help keep your site relevant and visible to potential customers.
What Is PPC?
PPC, or Pay Per Click advertising, is a form of internet advertising. Marketers can create an ad –
usually text, banner, or video – and bid to have it placed on a platform and shown to an audience.
Billing depends on the platform, but most companies charge per click. Others charge per
impression made on the user, per specific action taken, or per customer conversion or sale.
A major platform for PPC advertising is Google Ads. Marketers can choose from a variety of ad
types – such as featured links, photo and banner ads, or shopping ads – and choose keywords to
target. A user searching for a keyword the marketer has bid on will be shown the ad, but you’ll
only be charged if the user clicks on your ad.
What Is SEM?
Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, refers to the broader concept of getting more users to find
you on Google and other search engine results pages. Both SEO and PPC advertising on Google
Ads or Bing Ads are considered SEM efforts.