These three acronyms, SEM/SEO/PPC can make all the difference to the staying power of your online business.  They stand for Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and are the true backbone of online business. These three little tools should be combined together if you’d like to raise your profits in the ever-growing, fast-paced Internet world. This article will explain what each of these components are and what they do.


The first of the SEM/SEO/PPC combination is SEM.  This is the one we all see in action, although not many of us recongize it consciously.  Search Engine Marketing has very little to do with search engines, and everything to do with marketing.  Those who perform SEM creating marketing campaigns just as they would for a physical store.

SEM professionals may recommend many areas, from pay-per-click ads to social media; optimization to advertisements; videos to white papers.  An SEM’s sole purpose is actually two parts: to get you noticed and to make your products enticing.  How they do that all depends upon that particular professional.


The second component of SEM/SEO/PPC is the Search Engine Optimization.  SEO is one of the top ways to get Google Ranking. Optimization is not about making the search engine see you as a site relevant to the search term, although many people see it as that.  Optimization is about making the engine see you as one of the top relevant sites.

Almost every SEO professional will include finding your niche and the keywords that fit that niche in any campaign.  The rest of an SEO campaign, again, depends upon the professional.


PPC rounds things off nicely.  Pay-Per-Clink links are clickable ads leading your chosen link.  Used correctly and well researched, PPC can and will send clicks to your website.  Those searching for goods, services or whatever else is covered by the ad will be led to that particular link (usually a landing page of some sort).

A strong PPC professional, knowledgable in writing short ads, finding strong keywords and good placement, can make a lot of difference in the quality of hits.  What keywords, ad placement and the length of text allowed for the ads all depends on how big your marketing budget is and what you want to achieve.

The Triad

SEM, SEO and PPC work together to make the perfect online marketing campaign.  The right professionals can create a knock-out marketing strategy; one planned to bring people to your website that are already interested in your product.  They’re not just “looking around”.

SEM is the beginning.  Marketing is all about strategy, of which SEO and PPC is just a part.  SEM says “This is what we have to do to interest people in your company and your product.”

SEO is a “targeted” marketing strategy, generally including everything from your website design (is it compliant? Did you use good practices?) to your content quality (is it well-written? Are keywords used? Is it relevant?).

PPC is a combination of ad placement/writing and SEO content in the form of landing pages.  A well-written, well-placed ad, combined with matching (and also well-written) landing page content, has almost doubled a site owner’s ROI in some cases.

Combined, SEM, SEO and PPC will definitely raise the amount of clicks to your website, your Google placement (ranking) and your website quality.  The rest is up to your product.

Today's Author

International SEO consultant is my title…but who cares about those? What I love is creating strategies that include marketing, social, SEO, relevance, ruffling feathers and starting revolutions. What you read on this blog will hopefully inspire you to continue the conversation. When I’m not multitasking around Level343 I sneak away and go sailing. I’m crazy about pistachios, and of course Nutella.


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28 Responses

  1. I have learned a lot from your blog. I have been a copywriter and I really loved to see your blog. Well done!
    sears parts

  2. I liked this statement ‘Optmization is not about making the search engine see you as a site relevant to the search term, although many people see it as that. Optmization is about making the engine see you as one of the top relevant sites.

    As an SEO, I do adhere to the process of proper optimization as the number one factor for a web site and blog to succeed. But I also highly advocate the use of social networking, sem and linking with the ‘right sites’ As far as PPC, well, many of my clients just find that a bit much for their budgets and more often then not, because they try it themselves find the roi a failure. As an SEO, I leave PPC to the PPC pros….

    But, as usual, you are correct, all 3 factors work together. They are part of a team, each has its purpose, each helps each other, and if you play well, trade the PPC player because with proper seo and sem, you will not need them:-)

    My 2 cents for a Friday. I usually charge 5 cents, but we are in a recession.

    1. Well I just couldn’t take your 2 cents Bonnie :). PPC is something we don’t like doing since I have to keep one person on it 24-7 and quite honestly its a little nerve racking. We have one client who has a $3K PC campaign. Yeah he gets traffic that is pretty targeted, but that does not mean they buy. I am not an advocate of PPC. I believe as you, that Social networking is the way to go and less expensive. Well maybe not since you have to have someone at the helm at all times. But eventually with enough nurturing the clients you do get will have gotten there from organic or they have been sitting on the fence until they are ready to buy. Bonnie always a pleasure seeing you around these parts.

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