Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)—  both utilize search engines as vehicles to generate leads to promote products and/or services through a website.

SEO improves the visibility of a website in search engines, via the “usual” or un-paid  search results.  Its main objective is to have the website to found easily in the search results on a particular keyword. SEO’s greatest aim is to place a website on the first page with most search engines, to give a website that prominent presence.

For example, a browser looking to buy a particular model of mobile phone, the brand and model of the phone is typed in the search bar as keywords or search parameters. Websites that are optimized for these keywords have the advantage over its competitors. Because of its prominent position in the search results, the company website might be able to sell a unit rather than their competitors whose websites are buried in results pages #4,#5,#6 and so on.

SEM shares the same aim as SEO: to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages but it uses many means– like Adwords,article submissions, advertising and even SEO. Another component used by SEM is social media marketing.

SEM is the agenda of an enterprise or enterpreneur to utilize the Internet for promotion through websites, SEO is just one of those tools to aid SEM.

Many have trouble trafficking visitors to their websites. They go through an almost endless cycle of trial and error.

Here are some suggestions for successful SEM plan:

• Research on your target audience. Based on such information, set your online goals and key performance indicators.

• Build a list of important keywords that represent your current and most relevant content and potential content.

• Confirm your keywords by validating these with keyword selector tools, such as Yahoo! Keyword Selector and Google Trends.

• Regularly check your search result page rankings.

• Optimize the website by improving web design, architecture and web page content via SEO.

• Pursue link building and partnerships.

• Saturate the Web with content related to your website/product by publishing and circulating in wiki, blogs, and video/photo sites (e.g. Flickr and Youtube).

• Get in the news such as Google News with RSS feeds.

• Install good tracking software, track and analyze your performance for better results.

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