Welcome to the Search Engine Optimization Bible. Search engine optimization has come to mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. In the strictest sense, SEO is about the on-page and off-page design strategies you can use to improve your search engine ranking. This usually means tweaking your web site, using design elements and content. And in most cases, it also means spending no money at all.
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is not just SEO. More accurately, SEM includes PPC or pay-per-click advertising. Search engine marketing is about doing whatever you need to do to ensure that your web site ranks as high as possible in search engine results. This means not only that you make the needed changes to your web-site design, but that you also employ other tactics, like using a paid advertising program or investing in content strategies.
I lump them all into one category. The ultimate goal of SEM is to bring more people to your web site. And you can do that by improving your search engines results. You can also do that by taking advantage of a growing phenomenon on the Web, social media. Social media is a viral form of sharing information on the Web. You might think of it as a more sophisticated method of sharing your favorites or information that you think will interest other people. And using social media to improve the traffic to your web site is called Social Media Marketing, or SMM.
I vote we do away with the alphabet soup completely. All these marketing efforts ...