Understanding the concepts surrounding search engine optimization and website marketing is the first step towards making your website successful as a leadgeneration and sales tool through the internet as a marketing medium.
Search engine optimization(SEO) is defined as initiatives that affect a site's natural or organic search engine ranking results (not pay sponsored results). This includes analyzing and making many adjustments to items such as title, meta data, sitemaps, verification codes, robot commands, textual content, uniqueness of content, quality of content, textual links, alt tags for images, site submission, outbound linking, inbound linking, reciprocal linking and page refreshing, participation in real estate related networks.
Search engine marketing(SEM) is building and managing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. This can be seen in the sponsored search results section on the page displaying the search engine results (e.g. Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.), and on their content partners (e.g. AOL, Ask.com, etc.) and content network (e.g. sites that display ads by Google, or ads by Yahoo, etc.)
Pay featured ads refers to a charge to feature a site on another website that will not only act as an inbound link for SEO purposes, but helps drive traffic to the client site. This includes membership and inbound links from high quality real estate and agent related networks that charge a fee for membership.