SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are misunderstood terms on the internet.
Over the years the parts of each eCommerce term has changed considerably. But, the practices and principles have remained consistent. To better understand how these terms apply to your online business — you need to know the difference and how you will work with them.
The technical aspect is something ShopFactory 9 takes care of for you. It includes the way pages are built in HTML, the hidden code and the other design elements search engines look at on your site. ShopFactory 9 builds the 'search engine friendly' pages for you. It also provides all the other tools you use to compile your website before you submit it to search engines. This makes your life easier and saves you a great deal of time since having a search engine friendly website is a major part of SEO.
The content you input into the site is really where SEO can pay off for you. This includes articles, information and department pages, products and images. It covers hidden information found in your meta-content and keyword targeting you do so you can be found on search engines. You have the control over what you publish and maintain. And it must follow the search engines’ guidelines for it to work.
The combination of these two, and what you do with it after publishing will determine how you perform on search engines.
SEM is everything you do outside of your website to market your business. SEO falls under SEM because having a website, optimizing it, and publishing it is the first part of marketing your online business.
Everything else you do to drive business to your website is SEM — Search Engine Marketing.
*Some will argue that linking is a part of SEO in itself. But the fact remains: creating links to your site is an external component of your website. Using SEO weighted keywords in linking to your site supports your website externally on the search engines. It simply reminds search engines that your site is really about the content you publish. When inbound linking, you are not even guaranteed that any specific external link will be counted or even found by the search engine for various reasons. It is important to note that even Google has now placed less importance on links. Many websites which are heavily linked are out performed in rankings by sites with superior SEO structure.
Focusing on your content first and practicing good SEO tactics is what will eventually drive you higher in rankings. This will lead to more qualified traffic and an increase in sales through your website. It will also lead others to link to your site to grow your links organically, which is what the search engines are looking for.
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