What is SEM? Search Engine Marketing Explained

by Michel // March 23 // 0 Comments

How to promote your website with the major search engines.

Simply put, search engine marketing (SEM) involves operations that help search engines (like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing) find and rank a website. It is things you can do to make sure your website ranks high in search engine results when someone searches for information related to your business.

2 Major SEM Strategies

There are essentially two ways you can approach search engine marketing:

SEO or search engine optimization.

SEO is a “free method” of SEM that is used for organic search. This method uses a mixture of techniques to help search engines understand what your website and web pages are about. So in turn, search engines can deliver the results (SERP) to web searchers. These tactics include things like using titles, keywords and descriptions in a website and web page’s meta tags. This helps search engine determine relevant content on the topic, by using heading tags (like <H2>,<H3>), internal linking post/pages, also linking to and from quality online sources.

PPC or pay per click.

PPC advertising involves paying to have search engines display your website listing alongside organic search results. You only pay whenever someone clicks on your offer. Google AdWords program, for example, will display your paid ad at the top, bottom, or right side of the search results page. Your actual ad placement will depend on many factors, including keywords, type of ad and level of competition. Google also feeds your PPC ads to websites running its AdSense program. There are also other kinds of PPC marketing, like Facebook Ads. In PPC advertising, it differs from organic search because you’re paying to have your website or offer displayed higher in search results.

Which one is better?

Most people realize that the returned search results give them both organic and paid options. Often, they are more inclined to pursue organic search results. However, if your website listing shows up on page two or farther back, you might be better off using PPC to be seen. Since PPC costs money, it’s best to use it for offers that you sell, as opposed to promoting an article or free offer on your blog.

On the other hand, many online marketers have used PPC marketing to successfully promote a free lead magnet.

No matter if you use PPC or not, you should still employ SEO tactics, because it’s free and it works!

Applying SEM to Market Your Business


Even though you don’t want to rely just on search engines to bring in web traffic and customers, they shouldn’t be ignored either. 61% of all online searches are still conducted by using Google Search. Plus SEO strategies are free to use and search engines are always crawling and ranking websites – so it doesn’t hurt to help them find your website.

However, website ranking doesn’t just come from what’s on your website. The number one search engine, Google, uses a variety of additional factors to rank websites. Things like social media activity, your links that appear on other sites from interviews or guest blogging, and being listed as a resource on authority sites all increase your standing in Google.

Caution, if you try to game the system, in which search engines and Google in particular, are well acquainted with and have been working hard to stop, can hurt your rankings.

So be sure that you understand SEO before using it in your search engine marketing strategy.

PPC Search

Advantage of PPC search – you can have your website listed on the first page in a prominent spot on Google or other search engines. However, showing up there is only part of the process. You must create an optimized ad that generates clicks and can deliver whatever result you’re looking for. If you don’t know what you’re doing, your ad could get people to click on it, but not make any sales. With PPC, clicks can add up quickly, and you can lose lots of money.

For example, let’s say you pay 50 cents per click and 100 people click the ad per day. That means it will cost you $50 each day. And if you let the ad run for a month, you’ll pay $1,500 in 30 days for those clicks.

The point is to make sure your paid ad not only gets clicks, but also generates enough income in return.

Offering Search Engine Marketing Services

Once you master SEM techniques and get positive results, other businesses would be interested in paying you to help them. Running a search engine marketing service can be quite a profitable home based business. You can get started just by showing proof of your results – including organic search ranking for keywords, income or other results from paid searches.

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Michel has actively been online as an Internet and affiliate marketer since 2009. He has experience with many systems and programs that he has used throughout those years, finding some to be great and many not so good. He’s learned what works, and what doesn’t work and is willing to share it with you. And it is always changing!

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