An Explanation of SEM, SEO, and Other Online Marketing Terms

SEM, or search engine marketing, is an “umbrella” term that is used to encompass all different kinds of techniques used by internet marketers. This type of marketing tried to make websites more visible in searches, so more people find a company, product, or service that they can go to in order to get what they want and need. The term is a broad one, and it’s used to cover all the kinds of marketing that a company does online, including PPC, SEO, and others. It’s important, however, to have a good understanding of those other terms, as well.

PPC stands for pay per click, which is a marketing strategy that allows a company to be charged when a user clicks an advertisement. By deciding how much the company is willing to pay for the click, a company can have its ads ranked highly and shown on a lot of sites. In other words, companies that want to have their ads on strong, important sites must offer to pay a good rate for each click. If they want to pay very little for a click, their ads may not get picked up by sites they would like to see their ads on.

SEO is a term that’s very commonly heard. It stands for search engine optimization, and it’s a measure of how a site (or a page on a site) ranks for a particular search term. When a company wants to rank well, it has to produce website content that uses a term appropriately but that doesn’t use the term so much that it becomes “spammy.” The site page should read for people, but should use the search word or term enough that computers can recognize the significance of the word on the page and provide it for the search engines. There is a delicate balance found there, and it’s important to be aware of it.

Another significant issue is the pagerank (PR). Google uses pagerank to let sites know how much “clout” or power they have. It is a measure of how valuable a site is, and is generally based on the number of incoming links pointed toward the site. If Google regards the site highly, the pagerank will be strong. If Google doesn’t think much of the site, though, the pagerank might be very low. That would cause the site to be lower in the search rankings when a person looks for a particular term found on the site.

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