What does SEM mean in marketing terminology?


Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is the practice of using the internet to market and advertise your business, product or service. This practice includes pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is a digital marketing strategy used to promote a business or website through the use of search engines. SEM encompasses both paid and unpaid search engine activities, and can be broken down into two general categories. SEM includes the use of paid search engine ads, such as Google Ads and Bing Ads, as well as organic search engine optimization strategies, such as on-page analytics, link building and content optimization. When attempting to decide which method of SEM to use, it is important to consider the budget allocated for the business, the goals the business hopes to accomplish and the target audience.

PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising involves the purchase of sponsored listings on search engine results pages, such as Google or Bing. In order for businesses to be successful with PPC, they must bid on keywords that are highly relevant to the service or product they are promoting. Bids are usually in the form of price-per-click (CPC) which is the amount paid each time someone clicks on the listing. The position of the ad in the search results page is determined by both bid price and the quality of the ad.

Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves the optimization of website content to increase its visibility and ranking in search engine results. SEO can be considered the opposite of PPC, as the results are free and don't depend on a budget. It does, however, require more effort and time to reach a respectable ranking in the search engine. SEO strategies such as on-page markup, keyword research, meta tag optimisation, content optimization and link building should all be taken into account when looking to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results.

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When both SEO and PPC are used in conjunction, it often has a positive effect on a business’s desired outcome. Equally, if done correctly, both SEO and PPC can be utilised at no extra cost. Therefore, choosing the right search engine marketing strategy not only requires an understanding of the budget that can be allocated, but also an understanding of the marketing goals and the target audience.

The best practices for search engine marketing involve making sure that the website is both perceived by search engines and highly visible when search engine users are looking for services or products that are being offered. Therefore, websites must be optimised for both organic and paid search engine activities, letting search engine users know that the website is both relevant to what they are searching for, and offering something of value.

To ensure success in search engine marketing, businesses must choose keywords that are relevant to their service or product, create content that is high quality, highly optimised, and provides value to readers, and ensure that the site has a correct and easy to navigate internal structure.

It's important to have an understanding of the users’ search behaviour. This involves understanding why they are using the search engine and what type of content they are looking for. In order to accurately target the right audience, it may also be worth exploring different types of advertising, such as display and video ads, as well as remarketing.