SEO vs SEM The Race To Be Number 1 On Google


If there is one question I get asked more than any other it’s this, “How do I get to be number 1 on google?!”. Many times it’s how clients start meeting with us about their brand or website. The easy answer is to have awesome at SEO, SEM and keep your site updated! As easy as that sounds it can be a total handful to put into practice so I wanted to take today to talk about two of those three SEO & SEM. If you are looking to learn about keeping your site updated you can look at our post about keeping your site up to date here, but for the purpose of this post we are going focus on SEO and SEM.

Let’s start with SEO first since chances are it’s the one most people will be familiar with. First let’s change that from a weird set of letter to it’s real meaning, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Really that is just a fancy way of saying you are setting you website and the individual pages of your site up so they are favorable to a website. In most cases you are even going a step further and targeting keywords or phases. To give you an example this post was setup specifically to be something that could be found when people are looking for “SEO”, “SEM” or “Be Number 1 on Google”. The first things you will notice is that all 3 of those items show up in the title of post, the first paragraph and pop up again through the post. That is all part of the SEO of this page. When I was writing this I knew that I would have to incorporate my targets into my post. I also knew that I would have to do it in such a way that it wasn’t obvious or overdone. So what I did was make sure that the targets were at the core of what I was writing about. In it’s simplest terms that is what SEO is your a picking targets and setting things up to get the search engines to rank you highly for those topics.

If you haven’t heard the term SEM before that’s ok your not alone. It is not anywhere near as popular an acronym as SEO, but just as important a process. The term SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. In general these are the ads that you see at the top and bottom of search results when you use Google or Bing. In some cases they may also refer to any add that is shown with search results. The work in a similar way to SEO with one major distinction. Instead of trying to get a search engine to rank you highly for a keyword or phase you are paying to have your ad, description, and link rank highly for the search results. In most cases this is done with what is PPC or Pay Per Click. Much like an auction clicks are sold online. Depending on the number of searches and people buying them the price of a click may vary. Since this can be a bit of an abstract concept let me give you an example.

A dentist may be looking to buy the keyword phrase, “best dentist”. The fewer people that search for that term on a regular basis and less people that are buying that phase as well the cheaper it will be. So if you had 2 dentist buying that phrase with very few people searching for it you might only be charged $2 a click, however if you had 10 dentist searching for that phrase and it was a very popular search term you might pay $15 a click.

Seems pretty straight forward and simple right? Now imagine that it is all taking place in real-time. The system is constantly looking at how many searches are made, who is buying and then in addition to that it is also scoring the ad. This scoring looks at how long users spend on that page and tries to figure out if the ad was a right match for the person who searched for the topic.

At the end of the day it can be a bit complex and it helps to have someone to help you navigate through the sea of SEO and SEM to try and land on that number one spot. In many cases you may find that depending on where you are and what you search with your rank on Google or Bing may fluctuate and that’s normal. Looking at that and helping clients figure out where they need to be number 1 and what metrics to measure is actually something we spend a lot of time on here at filmMED. We help our clients make sure they are creating productive ads, with good results that help achieve their goals. We also constantly monitor the changes that the various search engines make to their rules and algorithms so that we can help give our clients and edge. If your looking to get more out of your SEO and SEM or maybe looking to have some put in place filmMED can help. Just drop us a line by phone, email or our contact page.

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