Search engine marketing, or SEM for short is different from SEO. The term was once used as a blanket term to describe SEM and SEO practices. The verbiage has changed, and SEM is now used to describe paid marketing tactics.
SEM is a method of marketing a business online through paid advertisements. Businesses purchase advertisement space, so their site can be featured in a search engines results page. Advertisers place bids for keywords that users of search engines, such as Bing or Google, would type into a search bar when performing a search query.
The keywords that an advertiser bids on will complement the niche or targeted traffic for their website. By winning the bid on a specific keyword, an advertiser will gain the opportunity of having their ads appear along search queries related to their niche. This marketing tactic is designed to increase website traffic to the advertised site.
Types Of Paid Ads Available
These coveted paid ads, also known as pay-per-click or PPC, are available in different formats. Some of the ads are small, and feature a few rows of text, while others may be large and visual. Product listing ads enable users to see important information about an advertised site at a glance. Giving them just enough information to decide if they would like to visit the site.
PPC campaigns work just like they sound. Anytime that a user clicks on a paid advertisement, the website owner paying for this service will be charged a fee. The fee is charged, regardless if the user who clicked on the site makes a purchase or not. The amount to be paid for this service differs based on the search engine that a user is marketing on.
When To Use Search Engine Marketing?
SEO and SEM are great ways to drive traffic to a website. SEO is an unpaid marketing method that drives organic traffic to a site. SEM involves paying for advertisement space, to drive targeted customers to a site. Both tactics are effective for marketing a website. SEM should be used by businesses that want to increase their online visibility quickly.