So what exactly is SEO and SEM? What do they stand for? Why should I use it? People in the world of public relations will arguably tell you that they are either very similar or they are basically the same thing. There is some truth to this, however there are differences between the two as well. First off, they have different acronyms meaning they are interpreted as different things. SEO is Search Engine Optimization and SEM is Search Engine Marketing. Both are used in the realm of web monitoring and marketing. To get into more depth, let's start with SEO.


SEO can be seen as a subset of SEM. If you're a new company trying to promote yourself over the web, you need to cater your website to be shown as one of the top listings in search engines. This is why optimization exists, so that you can optimize your web page to be seen on search engines that people use. SEO is more of a specialized task and if you so choose, it can be left to companies that specialize in the field such as Orchid Box

SEM is a much more broad topic and overlaps SEO with additional content. This is the idea of marketing through the web, which means that any tools at your disposal to market your website or product is considered SEM. You might ask, but isn't it marketing specifically through search engines? Yes, it is, however virtually everything marketed through the web will be through search engines. There are more precise notions of web marketing such as PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising which is fairly self-explanatory. Basically you set up an advertisement on a web page and each time it is clicked you pay money, this form of promotion can become quite tedious though. 

The main difference between SEO and SEM is the amount of content each term contains. SEO is narrowed down while SEM is broad, whatever method you choose to promote your company will surely encompass the other.