What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to strategies for increasing visibility in search engine results pages to drive more traffic and conversions to a website. SEM includes both organic and paid strategies.
Organic Search Engine Marketing
Organic SEM focuses on improving ranking positions in search engines’ unpaid results based on relevance and authority. This involves:
- On-page optimization with keywords in titles, headers, content, etc.
- Building high-quality backlinks from other sites to earn trust signals
- Producing compelling content that solves searchers’ queries
- Site speed optimizations for better user experience
Ranking higher organically leads to more clicks, traffic and exposure for your brand.
Paid Search Engine Marketing (PPC)
Paid SEM uses advertising placements like Google Ads to promote visibility. This includes:
- Purchasing ads tied to relevant keyword searches
- Bidding on keywords based on value and competition
- Optimizing ads with compelling titles, descriptions and landing pages
- A/B testing ad creative, offers and placements
PPC ads allow you to reach users when they are searching for topics related to your business. You pay only when searchers click your ad.
Benefits of Search Engine Marketing
An effective SEM strategy delivers results like:
- Increased targeted organic and paid traffic to your site
- Higher brand visibility and exposure to potential customers
- More conversions and sales from interested searchers
- Stronger rankings for relevant keyword terms
SEM provides the visibility needed to grow your business online through search.
Developing an SEM Strategy
A results-driven SEM approach includes:
- Conducting keyword research to identify high-value search queries
- Optimizing existing content for those keywords organically
- Creating new content to target priority keyword gaps
- Monitoring search rankings and traffic to identify growth opportunities
- Setting up and optimizing PPC campaigns based on conversions and ROI
Ongoing refinement of organic and paid efforts improves visibility over time.
Why SEM is a Smart Investment
With proper management, SEM delivers a strong return by:
- Driving qualified traffic to your site at a reasonable cost per click/lead/sale
- Increasing brand awareness and associations for your business
- Providing insights on searcher intent and behavior
- Generating leads and sales that otherwise may be missed
The combination of organic SEO and paid search ads gives your business visibility in front of motivated searchers, leading to tangible results.
Find Out More
SEO GLOSSARYWhat is Anchor Text?Anchor text refers to the clickable words or phrases in a hyperlink that take users to another webpage or section of a webpage when clicked. Anchor text serves an important purpose in providing context for where a link will lead,...
SEO GLOSSARYWhat is Link Juice?Link juice refers to the ranking power or authority that a webpage passes to another webpage via a link. When website A links to website B, website A is essentially "voting" for website B by directing some of its own ranking power to it....
SEO GLOSSARYWhat is Domain Rating?Domain Rating is a way to measure the authority and trustworthiness of a website. Just like your credit score rates your financial reputation, Domain Rating rates the quality and reliability of a domain. In short, it's a score that...
SEO GLOSSARYWhat is White Hat SEO?White hat SEO refers to ethical search engine optimization tactics and strategies that focus on improving the quality and value of a website in order to achieve higher rankings in search engines like Google. The term "white hat" comes...
SEO GLOSSARYWhat is Keyword Stuffing?Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of overloading content with keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine results. The goal is to rank content higher in search engines by repeating keywords over and over.How Keyword...
SEO GLOSSARYWhat are Canonical URLs?Canonical URLs are the preferred or primary URLs that point to a specific page on a website. They help search engines and users find the correct page and avoid duplicate content issues. Why are Canonical URLs Important? There are a...