What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search engine marketing, also known as SEM, is the primary method of getting your business out into the online world. The online marketplace is far more competitive than it used to be and it is only getting more competitive by the day!

Search engine marketing for small businesses helps you advertise your business and individual products over and above other businesses. Without SEM, you’ll have an extremely limited ability to grow out your business. (Or at least, it will take much longer without it)

In this article, we’ll learn the basics of SEM and what exactly it is. Read on to find out the basics of SEM and what makes it different from SEO!

Basics of SEM

SEM is the form of marketing where you use paid advertisements as your primary marketing methods. You pay for these advertisements in order to turn up on a Search Engine Results Page, or SERP.

Businesses will place bids on keywords that people are likely to search while using popular search engines, such as Google or Yahoo. When people use the keyword you’ve paid for, your advertisement will appear at the top of the results page automatically.

Using SEM gives your business the unique opportunity to get your brand and products to interested customers without them needing to know your exact business from memory. While SEM costs money for the advertisement, if your business is sound then you’ll easily earn it back as your number of interested customers increases rapidly.

Difference between SEM and SEO

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has similarities with SEM. The two search engine options often get confused with one another.

SEO involves optimizing your website with keywords, links, and other things that are noticed by search engine crawlers. Google, as the prime example, has very specific guidelines for how a website should be set up in order to improve ranking.

You can increase your search engine ranking with a variety of methods, such as strong keywords and organic backlinks to authority websites. As your website increases in rank, you get closer and closer to the first page of the SERP.

SEM, on the other hand, bypasses the ranking requirements. Instead of building up your website to the point that the search engine places you on the first page, you pay that search engine to put your website at the very top of the results page.

Basically, SEO is free and time-consuming while SEM costs money but gives you near instantaneous results.

Primary Means of Accomplishing SEM

SEM works with keywords. For every advertisement you pay for, you can choose keywords that you expect customers interested in your product would type. If your choice of keywords isn’t good, you may not gain anything from your ad and waste your money.

You should already know what keywords you plan to use before buying the advertisement privileges. The question many people ask is ‘how to start your search engine marketing campaign.’ Keyword research would be an excellent place to start in my opinion! Once you know what your customers are looking for, it is much easier to find them using the SEM method!

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