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SEO, SEM, and Content Marketing: The Online Marketing Trifecta

When it comes to organic search engine optimization, there are plenty of different approaches that professional SEO marketing companies and web designers take to ensure the best rankings possible. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when they’re looking for a great online marketing solution is assuming that SEO is the same thing as SEM (search engine marketing), and that these two phrases also mean the same thing as content marketing.

It’s important, though, to understand that all three terms stand for slightly different approaches to internet marketing, so let’s break down the definitions first:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) typically refers to the technical aspects of search engine rankings, according to a definition from Search Engine Land. SEO services will factor in your website’s content, but they also look at small details like anchor text in URLs, mobile website optimization, and social media integration.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a smaller part of SEO and refers to the process of getting your website on a SERP (search engine ranking page); it focuses on getting visitors onto your website. SEM also refers to PPC (pay-per-click) and paid searches.
  • Content Marketing represents the other side of SEO; i.e., the content that visitors encounter when they land on your website. Content marketing can increase revenue by as much as 40%, but it’s important not to ignore the technical aspects of SEO to get that result.

So now the question is, how can you make sure that your business’s SEO strategy addresses SEM and content marketing too?

The good news is that addressing the technical aspects (the goal of SEO) will most likely help your website get onto a low-numbered SERP, thereby increasing your website’s visibility (the goal of SEM). And when you address content marketing, you produce pages of high-quality material that can allow for an expansive social media marketing strategy, which also increases visibility.

Addressing website design is another way to address all of these issues together. Internet users place a lot of importance on website design even if they don’t realize it: 94% of online consumers mistrust a business because of its website and it only takes about 50 milliseconds for a website design to influence a visitor’s perception of the business. Addressing website design basics will help you create a better user experience, and it will also allow you to address details like meta tags, anchor text, and responsive web design.

Of course, a good SEO service will be able to address all of the above, but it never hurts to know what you’re paying for and how it will all come together to help your business succeed.