Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages.

While the industry term once referred to both organic search activities such as search engine optimization (SEO) and paid, it now refers almost exclusively to paid search advertising.

Search engine marketing is also alternately referred to as paid search or pay per click (PPC).

What Is Search Engine Marketing and Why It is Important

Why Is SEM Important?

With an increasing number of consumers researching and shopping for products online, search engine marketing has become a crucial strategy for increasing a company’s reach.

In fact, the majority of new visitors to a website find it by performing a query on a search engine.

In search engine marketing, advertisers only pay for impressions that result in visitors, making it an efficient way for a company to spend its marketing dollars. As an added bonus, each visitor incrementally improves the website’s rankings in organic search results.

What Is Search Engine Marketing and Why It is Important

Since consumers enter search queries with the intent of finding information of a commercial nature, they are in an excellent state of mind to receive marketing messages and to be nurtured as prospective customers.

Search engine marketing reaches consumers at exactly the right time: when they are open to new information. Unlike the majority of digital advertising, search engine marketing is non-intrusive and does not interrupt their tasks.

Results are immediate with SEM. It is arguably the fastest way to drive traffic to a website.

What Is Search Engine Marketing and Why It is Important

How SEM Works

Search engines use complicated algorithms to ensure the most relevant results are returned for each search, including location and other available information.

In paid search advertising, sponsored ads appear at the top of and on the side of search engine results pages to gain more visibility and prominence than the organic results.

Let’s say that you are a customer looking for a product or service online. You go to a search engine and type in your search terms (also known as keywords).

In your search results page, you will come across various company ads whose keywords match the keywords in your search.

These ads appear in prominent locations on the page – along with the other search listings that match your keywords. The paid listings are highly relevant to your specific search, making it likely that you will click on them.

What Is Search Engine Marketing and Why It is Important

Do I need Both SEM and SEO?

Do you absolutely need both SEM and SEO? No. But will you end up getting a lot more leads and sales if you implement both? Absolutely yes.

It’s always a good idea to optimize your site according to SEO best practices. You want to lay out a solid foundation that will put you as far up in the SERPs organically as possible. After all, SEO clicks are basically free—why wouldn’t you want as many of those as you can get?

Utilizing search engine marketing, however, can significantly speed up your ability to build your brand and your client base. It will put you in front of target audiences who are actively searching for products, services, and brands just like yours. You want to appear at the very top of their searches, or someone else will get their sale.

I tried to cover as much as I could for a newbie to get started, but if you still have a question in your mind, feel free to give us a comment

Monty Solanki

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