SEO, SEM, and Keywords: What They Are and How to Use Them

The Digital Marketing landscape can be a disorienting space to work in. New tools are always emerging, and it often seems that the minute you get a handle on them, they are replaced with a swath of new ones and you’re back to square one.

Staying on top of Digital Marketing innovations is a full-time job – specifically, our full-time job. Every day, the people at First Move Digital put our blood, sweat, and tears into being the finest Digital Marketing and SEM agency Melbourne has to offer (well, not blood, but you get the idea).

We can’t summarise the industry for you with a few snappy catch phrases or wave a wand and make you a Digital Marketing wizard. What we can do though is offer you insights on what the latest trends are as they happen, and one of the ways we do that is through this blog. This week, we take a close look at three of the most important terms currently shaping the market: SEO, SEM, and Keywords.

What are SEO and SEM and Why Do They Have to Look So Similar?

SEM and SEO are sometimes used interchangeably and it’s easy to see why but understanding the distinctions between these tools is the first step to mastering them. So, this is the complicated part.

There are actually a couple of different ways these terms can be used, but regardless of the different usage, the acronyms always stand for the same things. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. When we talk about SEM, we are usually referring to a model where businesses pay Google to have their ads displayed in the search results. This is also known as Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC).

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This refers to the practice of creating content that is more likely to come up in search results, usually by using specific keywords (more on those later).

The other way these terms are sometimes used goes like this: SEM may be used as an umbrella term to refer to any method or technique that makes your pages show up in a Google search or rank higher in the search results. When it’s used this way, SEO and PPC both fall under the umbrella term SEM. Still with us?

What Are Keywords and Why Do They Matter? 

Keywords are the words and word groups that people search for in Google and other search engines. For example, if someone is looking for leather jackets in Melbourne, they might type “leather jacket Melbourne” into the search bar, and the search engine will use those words. Pretty simple, right?

Not exactly. Google will return what it gauges to be the most relevant results, and part of that is finding the ones with the closest fit for that exact word group. Try using the phrase “leather jacket Melbourne” in a coherent sentence and you’ll begin to get an idea of how tricky it can be to produce high value content that also closely matches the keywords.

At FMD, We’re Here to Help

Hopefully, this has given you a little clarity around SEM, SEO, and keywords. If, on the other hand, it’s just confused you more, we’d be happy to talk you through it. Get in touch with the FMD team by phone or email today and find out how Digital Marketing can work for you.