Misunderstood Lingo that Digital Marketers Tend to Blend: From SEO to SEM to Lead Generation

Internet marketing is one of the niches with the most acronyms & lingo terms. As a non-specialist, it can be hard to avoid misinterpreting one term over another.

Here, Next Level Metro compares & contrasts every commonly used phrase for you. At the same time, we explain how search engine optimization is a form of search marketing that is, in turn, a form of lead generation.

Google Analytics vs. Google Search Console

There are all sorts of software utilized by digital marketers to understand statistics & data from their web properties before proceeding to optimize them. Seeing that Google Analytics & Search Console are commonly thought of as one in the same thing, we have decided to look more closely into the contrasts of these two Google platforms as they are sometimes used interchangeably amongst digital marketers.

Google Analytics is a traffic stat platform. It is the place where digital marketers can investigate thoroughly into understanding who is clicking on to their website & what they are doing once inside. If users visit the site & leave right away, Analytics can tell quantify the bounce rate you are experiencing.

On the other hand, if you have a high visitor retention rate, you can find out the user interface by tracking what component (e.g. an embedded video) a visitor interacts with the most.

What is nice is that Google has made it easy for you to integrate this software with organic and paid traffic mediums such as Google AdWords.

Google’s Search Console is a platform that caters most to website admin & owners as much it pertains to the backend of a site. Previously known as Google Webmasters, this tool notifies you of issues your site has sitewide bugs, crawling errors, or HTML coding glitches. Search Console is more search engine/webmaster oriented as opposed to Google Analytics being a more user-based software.

Aren’t SEO Practices Lead Gen?

No, lead generation is NOT search engine optimization & vice versa. SEO is about having more organic traffic that has not bought yet by including any impression from an organically placed website to a paid Facebook ad on any interface such as eBay, Google, or Twitter.

Additionally, lead gen focuses on just attracting leads, mainly since SEO includes everyone at any stage in the sales funnel. In organic search engine marketing, you aren’t bound to just receiving a name, email, & phone number in a contact form, as is the case in just generating leads.

In the world of SEO, a common type of way to extract tons of information from a lead or client comes in order to serve them better is through a discovery form.

Next Level Metro is no exception. Before we serve, we make sure to cater our SEO services to your specific needs.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

As long as the end goal is to appear on the search engines, you are doing search engine marketing.

Abbreviated as SEM, it is a form of digital advertising that encompasses SEO.

Search engine marketing includes paid digital marketing procedures such as pay per click (PPC). Most paid SEM is done on interfaces like Google Ads, Bing Ads, & AdRoll.

Now that we covered what it is, let’s clarify the confusion of what SEM is not. Facebook Ads, Instagram impressions, and Twitter marketing posts all fall under social media marketing instead.

To illustrate how the encryption works, SSL certificates are files that give online platforms an extra layer of armor against hackers penetrating your website.

Simultaneously, these data certificates communicate to the Internet that the site owner has taken the necessary precautionary steps to prevent confidential information from leaking out to the public.

Therefore, your hypertext transfer protocol changes to reflect that protection to HTTPS. Search engines are notified by this as well.

They look for that indicator on every URL their “spiders” or robots crawl when indexing.

To know what indexing is, check out our home page. Make sure to have your ”Allow Your Site to be Indexed”  box checked, or you never appear on any searches.


These two acronyms are very easy to mix up. Even experts who claim to understand this niche of internet marketing use these terms interchangeably or misinterpret SEM as excluding SEO.

Don’t be fooled. There are enough contrasts that do it a disservice for me to not mention SEO as a subset of SEM.

SEO is a set of procedures designed to attract free traffic online without having to fork over a budget to the company that runs the paid digital advertising platform.

SEO is a form of search engine marketing. Before we go further, let’s tie up some loose knots regarding each acronym associated with SEM.


Probably the most common confusion in SEM is understanding the difference between the cost per click (CPC) and PPC. Pay per click is a search marketing strategy that allows a participant to place an ad on a shared platform for a fee.

While sharing that platform, the marketer includes an attention grabber and a call to action that would, for example, link to their website to sell a product or service.

On the other hand, a cost per click is a metric that measures how much each click the advert receives costs. Almost all PPC platforms have this metric for you to analyze. A successful ad campaign tends to have a low cost per click (usually in the cents range).

That means that for every monthly fee that you spend, you have so many people engaging with your ad that the marketing investment divides to an extent at which that significant investment you made converts to you paying next to nothing for every visitor received.

CTR vs Conversion Rate

I’ll admit these two terms can seem synonymous. Even though they are both PPC metrics, click-through rate (CTR) & Conversion Rate interpret different information in a website’s analytics.

For starters, CTR is the percentage of people who clicked on your ad to land on your site versus a conversion rate is a metric that analyzes the percentage of people who, for example, filled out a form that permits you to add them in a newsletter or a subscription to your services.

SEO vs PPC, Should you go the Organic or Paid Route of Online Marketing?

That is up to you. From personal experience, we at Next Level Metro have down both. There is no right answer as both can be converted to successful campaigns for your organization.

Looking at their similarities, organic & paid search marketing are both meant to drive more traffic. You need to build a brand out & understand your clientele’s demographics.

Lastly, both require keyword research or understanding what users are typing in your target niche before deciding on placing ads or ranking a site organically.

If you want to capture more short-term results, pay for online marketing tactics like PPC. However, keep in mind that you will have a fixed percentage of internet traffic for your investment.

You would have to share your ad impressions with more people as interfaces like Google Ads allows for as many as seven advertisements to appear & squabble for the search volume coming to each keyword.