Many of you already know what Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing, SEM, PPC and SEO are and what these acronyms stand for. If so, click here and you will be taken to the latter part of this post that explains two of the most common approaches to SEO. For those of you who still may not know what these acronyms stand for or need clarification as to what they are, it is my hope that you will find the following useful.

Digital Marketing – While many use the term digital marketing synonymously with internet marketing, it is actually a broader concept. Digital marketing includes video (which is not only displayed on the internet, digital signage, kiosks, and more.

Internet Marketing – Internet marketing is a form of digital marketing, but is specific to the internet.

SEM stands for search engine marketing. Search engine marketing is a form of internet marketing and encapsulates both SEO and PPC.

PPC stands for pay-per-click. PPC is not limited to SEM, but certain types of PPC is a form of SEM. For example, Facebook advertising or any other online advertisement that the advertiser pays for when the website visitor clicks on the advertisement is considered PPC. However, Google Adwords and Bing Advertising are both forms of PPC that are displayed only when search engine visitors search for a specific keyword or keyword phrase. Therefore, they are a form of search engine marketing (SEM).

SEO stands for search engine optimization and refers to all internet marketing tactics geared towards increasing a website’s rankings within the organic search engine listings. SEO can be broken down into on-page SEO, back-end SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO includes all of the changes to the visible aspects of a website such as body content, headers, menu items and links that impact a website’s rankings on the search engines. Back-end SEO includes all of the changes made to a website that are not visible to the end user including HTML tags, HTML structure (such as minimizing spaces and separation of java-script into a separate file), image size compression, website security and more that influence the rankings of a website on the search engines. Off-page SEO includes all of the efforts not including website changes that influence a website’s rankings on the search engines. These efforts include back linking, citation management and social media signals.

Common SEO Strategy

There are many companies that will work with a client to identify the most fruitful keywords within a given internet market and target those keywords. This is the top-down approach to SEO. Those efforts are often, but not always dictated by the client as many search engine marketing professionals may not feel comfortable telling a client that their initial goal may not be to rank for the “top” keyword in their industry. This approach is often fine when the competition for a given keyword or keyword phrase isn’t very high. However, when the competition for the top keywords in a given industry is high, there is another alternative.

The fact that so many industries have gone to the internet with their marketing efforts has created the need for another approach to SEO. The alternative approach has in-fact proven to be quite effective and efficient. Due to the fact that the internet has become a competitive market for most industries, the bottom-up approach to SEO is our most typical approach unless it makes sense otherwise. The bottom-up approach involves identifying and beginning with the keywords that a website already ranks well for. Additionally, high relevance, low-competition keywords are also identified and targeted within the bottom-up approach. Both of these efforts are considered “easy wins” by SEO experts. Of course, the goal over time is still to rank for the most fruitful keywords in a given market if the budget allows for it, but these efforts take less time to achieve which means the return on investment is often seen more quickly. Ranking for keywords relative to the top-keywords also improves a website’s profile in they eyes of Google which increases their chances of ranking for more authoritative keywords over time.