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What is SEO & SEM?

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, and is also known as SEO management. When properly done, it can lead to improved website or webpage search results on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. SEO’s objective is to ensure that tactical and strategic keywords linked to your website’s major concepts and topics appear in a competitive position on search results pages, thus increasing web traffic to your site.

The term SEM means “Search Engine Marketing”, and is otherwise known as “paid searches”. With this method, improving visibility on a search engine comes at a cost. There are two ways this can be done, by using sponsored links or contextual links. The objective of sponsored links is to advertise. They generally appear prominently in the right margin of a search results page. A contextual link is a text link that appears on a page when it matches the word entered into a search field or when it relates to the context or content of the page.

Goals and challenges of SEO & SEM

On some cases, more than 50% of your website traffic comes from search engines, which makes SEO a highly profitable strategy to include in any internet media plan. SEO helps to generate qualified traffic and provides the highest ROI when compared to other customer acquisition channels, and is also a good way to increase brand awareness as you can associate key phrases to your product or service.

SEO’s effects are felt over the long-term. To see results may take a few weeks to several months (results are not immediate) and must be integrated into an iterative and incremental approach which allows a response time to see first results. To anticipate and plan for this delay is the best way to ensure permanent visibility with future customers.

SEM billing is generally done on a “cost per click” basis and not by a display cost like traditional advertising methods. You pay only once you attract a new visitor to your website!

The cost per click is determined by the bid offered by the publisher and its’ competitors bids. It is not fixed as it varies from one click to the next.

The primary benefits of SEM are:

  • To promote a product, brand or business
  • To instantly appear in search engine results
  • Being well-positioned on search results using only SEO can be very competitive
  • To measure and control advertising costs in real-time

How to implement an SEO & SEM strategy

Define goals

When creating a project, it is critical to define one or more goals. Ask yourself why you feel a need to do SEO on your website. Do you want to increase subscribers to your newsletter? Do you want to sell more products from a specific product category? Do you want a particular theme to become more visible?

Analyze and leverage the current website

If your website already exists, what does it look like? What's its structure? Is there already a statistical analysis tool in place? If so, which one? Take time to review statistics to see your site’s strengths and weaknesses in its’ current configuration. Analyze your strongest terms. Consider what basic data is available and contemplate how to best leverage it.

Many tools are available to you for this analysis, you can start with Google Web Master tools to establish the first report from which you will start. With growth you may have to adopt a more complete solution. 

Analyze competitors

You must be able to establish different semantic fields by prioritizing them. Of course, these keyword analyses are done according to the goals defined at the outset. For help, you can use Google tools, existing data from your site, and also a competitor’s current contentwithout forgetting to always trust your common sense. Once the keywords are defined, you can quickly find out with which terms your site is visible and with which ones it is almost invisible.

Develop a strategy for the technical and structural parts

This is where you will exercise your brain. In addition to various best practices for XHTML/CSS and other internal “netlinking”, you will have to implement a highly intuitive structure for both search engines and for internet users. In fact, don’t forget that the reason for SEO is to optimize your site for customers who have arrived there via Google search engines.

Monitor the project’s implementation and evolution

This is a vital stage. You must ensure that developments take into consideration the different SEO recommendations. Finally, once everything functions properly, make sure you have implemented a statistical analysis tool, and have segmented your pages for better clarity when reading your stats. Then progress to gradually developing your reputation on the internet. Study internet user behavior on your site, on the various search engines, and in real life. Once new visitors are acquired, it is important to ensure that your pages achieve the goals you had initially established.

SEO & SEM Software Resources


The following articles & resources are available for SEO & SEM software

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Importance of SEO and SEM Software for Small Businesses Growth

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What Businesses Can Learn from Weird Al Yankovic’s Social Media Strategy

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Guide to Selecting the Right SEO & SEM Software

Step by step guide to help you analyse and score SEO & SEM software to find the most suited solution for your business needs.... More


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