What is Search Engine Marketing?

what does sem marketing mean

Search Engine Marketing (SEM), also known as search marketing, is a marketing method involving increasing your website’s visibility in search engines. It’s similar to search engine optimisation (SEO) and can include the use of SEO but search engine marketers usually pay for advertising in search engines. With SEO, you strategically create content that’s optimised for search engines in order to drive free (organic) traffic to your website. A search engine has a complex algorithm that determines the rankings of websites in the search results. When search engine optimising your site, you utilise known ranking factors to rank as high as you can.

With search engine marketing, you pay to advertise your website in search engines. Sometimes SEO tactics are combined with SEM to improve search engine traffic results. Search engine marketing includes the concepts of paying for search engine traffic (PPC advertising) and obtaining it free with the latter strategy being optional. Common avenues of paid advertising in search engines are Google AdWords and Bing Ads. It’s advisable to utilise both SEO and PPC advertising (pay-per-click) when you adopt an SEM method in order to generate the best results.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

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