Search engine marketing (SEM) is the practice of using paid advertising on search engine result pages (SERPs) to reach potential customers and drive traffic to a website. It is one of the most effective ways to reach a large and targeted audience, as people using search engines are actively searching for products or services like the ones being offered.
There are several types of SEM, the most common of which are:
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: This is the most common type of SEM, where businesses bid on keywords that they want their ads to show in search engine results. Each time a user clicks on an ad, the business is charged a small fee. Google AdWords and Bing Ads are the two most popular platforms for PPC advertising.
Cost-per-impression (CPM) advertising: With CPM advertising, businesses are charged based on the number of times their ad is shown, rather than the number of clicks it receives. This type of advertising can be useful for building brand awareness, but it is not as effective at driving direct sales as PPC advertising.
Shopping ads: These ads are used by e-commerce businesses to promote specific products. They include a photo of the product, the price, and a link to the website where the product can be purchased. They are often shown at the top of search engine results and are triggered by specific keywords related to the products being sold.
SEM can be an effective way to reach potential customers and drive sales, but it can also be expensive if not managed properly. To be successful with SEM, businesses need to carefully choose the keywords they want to bid on, create compelling ad copy, and use targeting options to reach the right audience.
Additionally, SEM should always be combined with a comprehensive SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. SEO is a process of optimizing websites and content to get organically ranked high on SERP to drive more traffic, while SEM will drive more visibility to your website by bidding on keywords, both can work together to achieve desired results and can be used to complement each other.