Both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) aim to increase your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). We traditionally use SEO when we refer to increasing the organic ranking on the SERP and SEM when we refer to placing an ad in the paid section of a SERP (see image on this page). While the image we reference is a Google SERP, SEM can be used when talking about ads in Bing, Yahoo!, Facebook or other social network.
Typically, for SEM, the cost of the click is determined by an auction of sorts. If you are the only one bidding on the keyword, the cost will be lower than if you are one of 1,000 people bidding for placement on that keyword. In all cases of SEM, you can set what you are willing to spend and place a cap so that you are not paying a higher fee than you are comfortable with.
For a more in-depth conversation about SEO/SEM and how we can help drive more traffic to your website, send us a message.