SEM (search engine marketing) is a powerful online customer acquisition medium. It is a form of Internet marketing and essentially promotes web sites by increasing their exposure in search engine result pages. In other words, SEM is all about researching, submitting, and placing a site within the search engines to attain maximum visibility of the web site.
SEM comprises of various methods, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), paid listings, contextual advertising, and other search engine related services that increase the site’s visibility as well as attract more traffic to it.
Therefore, the main functions of SEM include:
1. Search engine optimisation: As abovementioned, SEO is one of the methods of SEM that seeks to improve the position of a web site within the search community.
2. Submission of directory and link development: A professional SEM campaign starts by submitting to all major directory services and the topic or industry specific directories across the web. This is one of the best ways to enhance the site’s credibility.
3. Pay-per-placement campaigns: For a successful pay-per-placement SEM campaign, the SEM manager should do thorough keyword research, write and test the content, form and test landing pages, plus measure and monitor the results.
4. Paid inclusion programs: This SEM technique is one of the fastest ways to achieve the top ranks in the major search engines, but a paid inclusion program is somewhat different from a pay-per-placement method.
Thus, SEM is a set of methods related to marketing to increase the visibility of a website. Once learned, this technique can provide an effective way of driving highly targeted traffic to the web site.