SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – A handy online marketing strategy


Many businesses today are  allocating their marketing budgets to both offline and an online marketing strategies.

Online no longer means access through PCs or laptops only, but with the growing evolution in mobile technology and Applications, many people are using their mobile phones to browse the net.

Just in the US alone, more than 200 million people browse the internet through their phones. And, most people are purchasing things online and using internet even for traditional services like banking and shopping.

The online world has become the real world that most people dwell in. And, this is the audience that one needs to address with online marketing.

What is SEM?

SEM is a method of advertising over the internet. Search Engine Marketing is often confused with often talked about SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

The fact is that SEM can be successful if SEO techniques are used in the first place.

SEO techniques focus on optimizing the content of a business website by focusing on the right keywords, HTML, META tags and sometimes modifying the content to ensure that the website ranks high on the search engines during organic searches.

Organic searches are natural searches conducted on search engines using a keyword or a key phrase. Except for the cost of hiring professionals, this is free of cost. If your website content is SEO-based then you will reap benefits albeit slowly.

SEM implies marketing a business website to ensure that more traffic goes to the website and in turn, generates more conversions or sales.

SEM techniques are:

  • PPC (Pay-per-click) Advertising: You pay for any clicks on your advertisements on search engines that appear for pre-determined keywords or key phrases.
  • Pay for Inclusion (PFI): You pay for inclusion in certain web directories pertaining to your business or industry. There are free directories like DMOZ, but your listing here takes a lot of time to appear, as it is manned by volunteers.
  • Google Adwords: This is Google’s own advertising for text, banner, or image ads. This includes PPC advertising, CPM (Cost-per-thousand) advertising, and site-specific placement of advertisements. All these are paid advertisements.

Search Engine Marketing does not cost too much if you use it sensibly. Social Media Marketing along with SEO and SEM can be used to complement each other as online marketing techniques.

Each works at a different level, and overall, you try to reach out to a majority of your target segment.

SEM is an online marketing strategy that can help you get visibility and conversions.

Remember, monitoring and tracking is very crucial here. Do consider SEM when drawing up your online marketing strategy.