Did you know that search engine marketing and search engine optimization determine your choice of internet marketing companies?

Most Houston business owners expect the internet to increase sales. They erroneously assume a website will skyrocket their bottom line overnight. When the phone doesn’t start ringing or online sales go up, they find an internet marketing company to help.

Business owners usually start their hunt for help online using terms such as search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), or internet marketing. These terms are used interchangeably by those outside the industry.

The search engine results used your keywords deliver a list of results. If you tried different related keywords, many of the same companies appeared on the first page of your results, but in a different place.

That’s the difference between SEM and SEO.

SEM, SEO, & the broad and narrow

There’s already a whole lot on the internet about SEM and SEO.  Suffice it to say that the difference is only as great as the definitions of broad and narrow.

SEM is full blown internet advertising strategies and tactics. It includes SEO, pay per click (PPC), guest article writing, social media, and just about anything else you can think of to get your name out there in cyber land. SEM is the internet version of a traditional marketing campaign on steroids.

SEO is narrower in scope than SEM. It is targeted methods to get a top search engine ranking when a user types a keyword into the browser. SEO is about website organization (layout) and content development.

How SEM and SEO affect your decision

If you really want to know how SEM and SEO chose the internet marketing companies that you wanted to know more about, ask yourself

What did I want to accomplish?

You might think that’s a dumb question (duh, I needed an internet marketing firm in my area), but it’s not. Really think about it.

What really prompted you click on a hand full of companies?

  • Were the companies listed in the first page results?
  • Was the description informative and intriguing?
  • Did you click on an advertisement in the sidebar or the top of the page?
  • Did you follow a link from another website?
  • Did you go on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and ask?

That’s search engine marketing.

Next think about what you did when you visited the websites.

  • Did you keywords return the results you needed?
  • Were you impressed with the site’s layout?
  • Was the landing page informative?
  • Was the site navigation easy and intuitive?
  • Did you enjoy articles and blogs?
  • Was finding contact information easy?

This is search engine optimization.

Answering these questions demonstrate how SEM and SEO affect your decision to shortlist internet marketing companies to contact. This process works in the same fashion, regardless of user search topic.

The ultimate goal of internet marketing is to sell, or at least entice someone to make contact. The really knowledgeable internet marketing companies in Houston are experienced in both SEM and SEO strategies and use them in conjunction to increase their clients’ traffic.