Search engine marketing (SEM) is the overarching term for all activities associated with using a search engine for marketing purposes. It also encompasses any other method that helps to capitalize on the advertising power of search engines. This includes any activity related to positioning a company’s web page or advertisement in a search engine.
SEM often gets confused with search engine optimization (SEO) because the terms are fairly similar. However, SEO is one component of search marketing.
Why is search engine marketing (SEM) important?
A large part of search engine marketing deals with paid search listings. Achieving efficiency in SEM means knowing how to get the most productive use out of a business's paid search listings for the lowest price. If done properly, a marketer's strategy should increase the odds that a company's advertisements will be seen by its target audience, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
It is important for companies to have a solid SEO strategy in place, because it plays a large role in the efficiency of a search marketing campaign. As online search engines continue to develop and become more complex, this aspect of marketing becomes increasingly more important.