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What Is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

When someone is looking online for a new pair of shoes, a local landscaping service, or anything else they might want to purchase, it all begins with a web search. Search marketing is the practice of capturing this search traffic to get your business seen by potential customers who may be interested in your products or services. Search engine marketing, or SEM, utilizes paid tools to put you at the top of search results. This differs from SEO (search engine optimization), which focuses on organic—rather than paid—search results. Ideally, your marketing strategy will include both SEM and SEO. This article provides an overview of search engine marketing, so you can begin to reap the benefits of this strategy.

Understanding the Basics of SEM

One of the most essential tools for SEM is pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These are created through Google Ads, and they appear in the most prominent positions on any search engine results page. This is true whether the query is something simple like “sunglasses” or a longer phrase like “dancing lessons in Fort Myers.”

With paid search ads, you still target specific keywords, just as you would with organic search marketing. This ensures that your ads are only shown in relevant search queries for your business. However, it’s not enough to simply run an ad based on common search terms. Most ads will require well-designed landing pages on your website. This will be where a user can complete a purchase, sign up for your newsletter, or book a consultation with your company—whichever action makes the most sense for the context of your ad.

Using SEM with Other Search Marketing Strategies

SEM doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It should be a part of a larger approach to digital marketing that also includes onsite search engine optimization. One of the perks of SEM, however, is that it can bump you to the top of search results well before you see real gains from your organic search marketing strategies. Master search engine marketing and every other strategy you need to get your business seen online with Smargasy. Our Fort Myers marketing agency offers a wealth of expertise in PPC ads, reputation marketing, and so much more. Call (239) 214-8592 to build your digital marketing plan.

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