There is a fundamental difference between SEO and SEM. The former consists of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s in an attempt to optimise a site to the point that it is search engine friendly (while being careful not to over-optimise it as that will then count against it) while the latter involves online marketing techniques which take into account viral social networks (like YouTube and FaceBook) the users of which are then utilised as inevitable assistant marketers.

In order for this to happen you need to be able to create a buzz factor around your product or service which goes beyond its intrinsic nature and somehow captures the imagination of your intended audience. 

Just how to do that of course is the million dollar question (sometimes quite literally). The thing is how you decide to make your product or service exciting has to be a direct result of your combination of insider’s knowledge (after all it is your product or service) and the input of professional who understand how to package and market online videos, online ads and general online content in a way that those accessing the information are enthused by it enough to start acting as unofficial, unpaid marketers for you. 

As recently as two years ago (but fourteen years in terms of internet development time) actually getting a viral marketing campaign off the ground was a case of high bucks and lots of luck. 

The advent of social networking websites like FaceBook and YouTube have changed all of this. A page created on these sites and then backed with just the right amount of content and marketing impetus can create, at a relatively low cost, a viral marketing wave that drives hundreds of thousands of visitors to your website, creates an online media buzz and markets your products and services in a way that will exceed your expectations. 

The rise of such creative online marketing practices is changing the approach of search engine marketing (SEM) experts and, by degrees, beginning to move emphasis from SEO to SEM. This is not to say that you will ever, just yet, be in a position to ignore the search engine optimisation of your website but at least you begin to understand that online success is more than just a simple affair of having the right meta tags in place and including a few keywords in the text of your online content.