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What Is Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing, typically shortened to SEM, is a digital marketing strategy that doesn’t seem to generate as much buzz as the popular Search Engine Optimization (SEO) these days, but it’s equally as important to a website’s marketing plan. Although SEM focuses on the use of paid advertisement, it does envelope SEO under its umbrella as part of its marketing strategy for a website for its organic results. SEM utilizes search engines to make sure that a website’s ads are displayed as visibly as possible for the audience they hope to attract.

So, how does SEM find its core audience? Websites pay a service like Google Adsense to display their sponsored ad at the top of the search results for relevant keywords. The more you pay for an ad, the higher in the sponsored results a site will show. Every time an ad is clicked, the site pays the service (e.g. Google). The higher in the results a website is, the more they pay-per-click. Alternatively, a site can pay for cost-per-impression, which requires that a site pays for every 1,000 times an ad appears in the results. In this way, sites can really focus in on connecting with their core audience without hoping their keywords are relevant enough to make them appear organically.

With so many companies wanting to engage as many users as possible, SEM helps to make a site more visible by targeting users that search for certain keywords associated with the site through programs like Google Adsense. Using SEM effectively requires that a site does extensive research on the keywords that are popular in their genre. Staying aware of the changing trends in their targeted market is how sites ensure that their brand reaches as many users as possible. A website that stays well-educated about their core audience and the types of keyword search they perform will always have an advantage over a competitor that doesn’t use SEM to it’s maximum capabilities.