What is SEM in Digital Marketing

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a form of Internet Marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.

SEM is usually used to describe the immediate, money backed portion that commonly takes the shape of PPC (Pay-per-click)/CPC (Cost per click) Search engine results page ads in one form or another.

SEM was once used as an umbrella term to encompass both SEO (search engine optimization) and Paid search activities. Over time, the industry has adopted the SEM acronym to refer solely to paid search.

SEM was growing much faster than traditional advertising and even other channels of online marketing.Managing search campaigns is either done directly with the SEM vendor or through an SEM tool provider. It may also be self-serve or through an advertising agency.

As number of websites on the web increased in the 1990’s search engines started helping people find information quickly. Search engines developed business models to finance their services such as pay per click programs offered by Open Text in 1996 and then goto.com in 1998.

Goto.com later changed its name to Overture in 2001, later Overture was purchased by Yahoo in 2003 and now offers paid search opportunities for advertisers through Yahoo search marketing.

In Year 2000 google also began to offer advertisements on search results pages through google adwords program.  By year 2007 pey per click programs proved to be primary moneymakers for search engines.

Some of the latest theoretical advances include search engine marketing management (SEMM). SEMM relates to activities including SEO but focuses on return on investment (ROI) instead of relevant traffic building (as is the case of mainstream SEO).

SEMM also integrates organic SEO, trying to achieve top ranking without using paid means to achieve it, and pay per click SEO. To assist the combat of challenges, the main objective for businesses applying SEM is to improve and maintain their ranking as high as possible on SERPs so that they can gain visibility. Therefore search engines are adjusting and developing algorithms and the shifting criteria by which web pages are ranked sequentially to combat against search engine misuse and spamming, and to supply the most relevant information to searchers.

This promotion has helped their business elaborate, offering added value to consumers who endeavor to employ AdWords for promoting their products and services. One of the most successful approaches to the strategy of this project was to focus on making sure that PPC advertising funds were prudently invested. Moreover, SEM companies have described AdWords as a fine practical tool for increasing a consumer’s investment earnings on Internet advertising SEM is the wider discipline that incorporates SEO.

SEM includes both paid search results (using tools like Google Adwords or Bing Ads,formerly known as Microsoft adCenter) and organic search results (SEO). SEM uses paid advertising with AdWords or Bing Ads, pay per click (particularly beneficial for local providers as it enables potential consumers to contact a company directly with one click), article submissions, advertising and making sure SEO has been done. A keyword analysis is performed for both SEO and SEM, but not necessarily at the same time. SEM and SEO both need to be monitored and updated frequently to reflect evolving best practices.

Below are some of the most common terms also used to refer to SEM activities

Paid search ads

Paid search advertising

PPC (pay-per-click)

PPC (pay-per-call) – some ads, particularly those served to mobile search users, may be charged by the number of clicks that resulted in a direct call from a Smartphone

CPC (cost-per-click)

CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)

Most search ads are sold on a CPC / PPC basis, but some advertising options may also be sold on a CPM basis.