SEO and SEM – what’s the difference?

What is the difference between SEO and SEO?

Something that used to stump me was the difference between SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing), because they work side by side with each other. However – they are different services and perform different functions. I found the following article on webopedia.com which helped me greatly with this article.

SEO is described as the strategies and tactics to ensure websites are accessible to search engines (such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc…). The aim of SEO is to gain a high-ranking placement within the search results page of a search engine. What has been identified is that internet users don’t actually click through from search result pages, so the higher the ranking for a website, the better – it means more traffic to the website.

When using SEO, there are some best practice techniques that should be adhered to, including, but not limited to:

  • Creating and publishing exceptional content
  • Using keywords and keyword analysis (for example, an online retailer would use keywords for their products to rank their pages higher when customers search for them)
  • Link building to help improve link popularity
  • Using social media! I didn’t actually know that using links on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter can help improve your SEO status
  • Improving your site’s navigation to provide the best experience for your users

While most people start with a great website and invest their time, money and effort into SEO, they may not necessarily follow through on another very important component – SEM.

SEM is used to encompass different options available to use a search engine’s technology, (this is where the ‘marketing’ in Search Engine Marketing’ comes into play) and is often used to describe acts associated with researching,submitting and positioning websites within search engines (for example, paid listings, SEO and other functions that will help increase exposure and traffic to your website.

Using SEM gives you the opportunity to pay based on clicks (meaning that you only pay for each click from an ad to your website. These ads are usually found at the top of, and down the side of search results pages). For a successful SEM campaign, ads will be shown to customers who are specifically looking for your particular products or services, which, in turn, results in a higher conversation rate.

But what is the difference?

While SEO aims to provide better organic search results for websites, SEM uses the search engines to advertise your business to internet users and send more targeted traffic to your website.

EXAMPLE: a customer goes to google.com and searches for “fashion handbags”. The organic search results are where SEO technologies can assist your website (which sells said handbags) in being more visible. The paid advertising that are displayed as a result of your keyword search is a product of SEM.

However, SEO and SEM do no compete with each other – SEO is considered a subset of SEM services. To be successful in this day and age and to conduct business online, you need to be visible in both organic and advertised links, which therefore means you need both SEO and SEM.

So there you go – I love SEO and SEM and all the different functions it can perform. Did you like this post? Let me know in the comments below!

15 stats that prove your emails need to be mobile-responsive

Thanks to HubSpot for this awesome post!

Working for an email marketing company, you see your fair share of mobile-responsive templates. Most emails nowadays are (that is, if the email is viewed on a mobile device, the email is optimised for the smaller screen size), but not always.

It can be quite frustrating when you get an email which hasn’t been designed as a mobile responsive template and you’re having to squint (or worse, zoom in) to see the content. More often than not, I’ll hit delete before I click on a link.

If you’ve yet to jump on the mobile-optimisation bandwagon, this is a must read. Here are 15 reasons why your emails should be mobile responsive:

  1. 74% of smartphone owners use their devices to check their email.
  2. Mobile now makes up the majority of email opens at 51%.
  3. 68% of Gmail and Yahoo opens are coming from mobile devices.
  4. By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion. By this time, 80% of email users are expected to access their email accounts via a mobile device.
  5. Only 11.8% of newsletters use responsive design techniques to optimize their layouts for mobile devices.
  6. 24% of companies aren’t optimizing their email creative for mobile viewers in any way.
  7. 39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile email.
  8. Over 95% of emails are only opened on one device. Very few users open emails on mobile first and save for desktop later.
  9. 70% of consumers delete emails immediately that don’t render well on a mobile device.
  10. 56% of shoppers are likely to make a purchase via a mobile app in the next year.
  11. 69% of shoppers are influenced to make a purchase on mobile by company emails.
  12. 90% of consumers who have joined mobile loyalty programs feel they have gained value from them.
  13. Special offers (27%), vouchers (21%), and real-time tracking (21%) are most preferred email types to receive on mobile.
  14. Nearly two-thirds of consumers subscribed to mobile marketing indicate that they have made a purchase as a result of receiving a highly relevant mobile message.
  15. Mobile offers are redeemed 10X more frequently than print offers.

Do you have any tips for creating beautiful mobile-optimsed emails? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Digital Marketing space – what is it really?

I’ve been in the digital marketing space for the better part of the last decade, and I often think about what Digital Marketing actually is.

According to Wikipedia, “Digital marketing is a term for the targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing of products or services using digital technologies to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media. It is embodied by an extensive selection of service, product and brand marketing tactics, which mainly use the Internet as a core promotional medium, in addition to mobile and traditional TV and radio.”

“Digital marketing includes Internet marketing techniques, such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and link building. It also extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (both SMS and MMS), callback and on-hold mobile ring tones, social media marketing, display advertising, e-books, optical disks and games, and any other form of digital media.”

I’m always interested in reading up about new articles, new techniques within the digital marketing space, as it is an ever-changing and ever-growing industry.

My passion definitely lies within this space: SEO, SEM, email marketing, multi-channel marketing, social media, link building – you name it. I love understanding the technical aspects of things and how things work, grow, evolve. Being in this industry has really taught me so much, but there is still so much still to learn.