A form of online marketing that increases the visibility of a website in the search engines by means of indexing and the purchasing of adverts as well as the optimization of the website.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the use of paid advertisements to have your website appear on the SERP pages of Google, Bing and other search engines. The search engines use an auction system, where website owners can bid on keywords that might be used as search terms by users of the search engines when they are searching for information, products, or services. This paid advertising service is actually the largest source of revenue for Google, and can be a great way for a new business to get traction, since the paid results will appear in prominent positions on the SERP results.
The ads are known in the digital marketing industry as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, since the person posting the ad doesn’t have to pay for it until a user clicks the ad. There are a number of different formats for these PPC ads. They can be small and text based, or larger visual ads, or even video ads.
The greatest strength of search engine marketing is that it gives website owners the opportunity to get their product or service in front of the right customers at the right time. By choosing the proper keywords, an advertisement can appear in a users search results just when they are in the proper mindset to make a purchase. There are no other types of advertising that can do this, which is why SEM is so incredibly powerful.
SEM versus SEO: What's the difference?
SEM refers to paid advertising campaigns that show results in the SERPs, while SEO refers to activities that increase the potential for a website to show up in the organic results on a SERP.
Both SEM and SEO are considered to be important parts of any online marketing strategy. SEM is a great way for a new site to get a quick start, or for an existing site to generate large amounts of traffic easily. SEO is a long-term strategy that can deliver free traffic for a very long time.
There are four categories and methods to search engine marketing: keyword research, back-end tools, website saturation and popularity, and Whois tools. Whois tools will reveal who a website belongs to and will give valuable information on trademark issues as well as copyright. Keyword research is often considered the most important of the four, as everything revolves around the selection of correct keywords in your marketing efforts.