As the name implies, search engine marketing, or SEM, is simply marketing for the various search engines. While this may sound identical to search engine optimization, there’s a very big difference between the two (although both should be used side-by-side to truly maximize your online presence). Whereas SEO is a combination of optimizing the web pages you can see as well as behind-the-scenes of a website (meta tags, meta descriptions, image links, etc), search engine marketing takes SEO and expands it into numerous different areas.
While SEO will help you gain the eyes of the search engines as far as straightforward ranking goes, search engine marketing actually builds your online presence and enhances any SEO tools that you have in place. This in turn offers your website and associated offshoots – a blog, for example – as a far more authoritative source of information, which then helps you gain the trust of the all-important web users. Search engine marketing methods include:
- Developing your online brand or name via a dedicated online profile – social media networks, blogging, article submission, etc. It’s important not to saturate the market though – choose two or three respected social networks, article directories and blogging communities and start developing your profile. Show that you’re an expert in your area and offer useful advice that other people can use.
- External links back to your site are another importan