The field of Search Engine Optimization is a foundational aspect of the manner in which businesses establish and maintain an online presence, but you should know that this field has diversified quite a bit in the recent past. A big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that comprehensive tactics are no longer yielding good fruit, and that is making a lot of people branch of and specialize in more specific areas of the industry in some way, shape or form.
There are three basic aspects of this industry, with the first being SEO of course and it is followed by SEM and PPC. One of the biggest differences between differences in PPC and SEO is that SEO is all about driving organic traffic to your webpage while PPC stands for Pay Per Click and it mostly focuses on you getting clicks on your ads. If you have put up some ads on Google, you would obviously want people to click on them and that is where a PPC firm can help you out. They can charge you for a guaranteed number of clicks, and that can boost your notoriety within your niche.
As for SEM, this tends to combine aspects of both PPC as well as SEO. It stands for Search Engine Marketing, and the basic premise behind it is that it tries to crack the algorithm that governs search engines like Google so that your marketing posts can get a lot more visibility. SEO is the foundation, but SEM and PPC are pivotal if you want to build on it so that you can get more success.