Digital Marketing: Understanding eCommerce, SEO, and SEM

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is an aspect of marketing that utilizes the internet and online-based technologies. Digital marketing incorporates various aspects of eCommerce, SEO, and SEM. Understanding these tools and the benefits of each is key to the successful growth of your business. Here’s what you should understand about eCommerce, SEO, and SEM.


eCommerce, or electronic commerce, is the process of buying or selling products and services with the transfer of money over the internet. There are several different types of eCommerce based on needs, commerce, and business model. Some of the more common types include:

  • B2B businesses
  • B2C businesses
  • Affiliate marketing business
  • Google Adwords marketing
  • Online auction selling
  • Web marketing

These eCommerce businesses function in much the same way as physical retail stores. However, instead of walking down physical aisles, you browse through an online list of products and their features. As orders are placed and processed, they get shipped out to the buyer upon receipt of payment.

The main advantage of eCommerce is the ability to draw traffic and boost sales through customers from all over the world rather than just those who walk into your store. However, just as a physical store needs customers, your eCommerce store will lose value if customers cannot find your website. That’s where SEO comes into play. 


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another aspect of digital marketing and a great way to grow your business. Essentially, SEO optimizes your website in a way that you will appear more frequently on the search engine results page (SERP). 

Search engines like Google crawl and index websites and categorize them based on what words are used most frequently. Those websites are then listed as relevant results based on user searches. 

For example, a company that sells cat food will probably never show up if a user types “Men’s leather belt” into the search bar. A website that sells cat food would want to optimize its page with keywords and content that has to do with its product and its benefits. 

In short, SEO is all about changing your website in the best way to increase traffic and drive that traffic to take action, thus increasing sales. 

Increasing sales means eCommerce, and that requires SEO. These two areas are co-dependent.  


Search engine marketing (SEM) is the most effective way to grow your business in a competitive market. With a physical, you’re mainly competing with other physical stores in your area. With online business, you’re competing with local businesses as well as businesses from all over the world. 

The difference between SEO and SEM is important. Typically, SEM refers to paid search marketing. You pay Google and they will show your ads in the search results.

SEO, on the other hand, is much more organic. SEO doesn’t pay Google for traffic or clicks but rather earns its spot on the SERP by optimizing content to be relevant for more searches. 

Both SEO and SEM are necessary for a successful eCommerce business. And both should be considered in your marketing strategy. SEO generates organic leads, and SEM helps bring in others. Together they will help your eCommerce business thrive. 

Let Us Help You Succeed!

We can meet your SEO needs and help you rank higher in the Local Pack, organic search, and YouTube. Whatever your business goals, we will work to build an SEO strategy that reaches them. We do everything we can to work with our clients to make web design and online marketing affordable. Contact us for more information.

Picture of Clayton Schmutzler

Clayton Schmutzler

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