Digital Marketing: What Is Sem?

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Search Engine Marketing Definition

SEM or Search Engine Marketing (also known as Search Marketing) is the process of getting traffic from search engines either organic (free) or paid (through advertising). SEM has two main pillars: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PSA (Paid Search Advertising).

SEO is a way to get free traffic from search engines, and paid search ads are the process of paying for your ads to appear on search engine results pages.

Why is SEM important?

Before diving into the details of what SEO and PSA are and how to use them for getting more visibility and getting traffic from search engines, let's quickly examine the importance of SEM for success. website or online business.

In today's world, the Internet is the source of everything we need to know, learn, ask, buy, or do. Whenever we have a question or search for something, the first thing we do is switch to the search engine (in most cases Google) and enter the keywords to look for. When we press Enter, we expect to get a direct answer to our question (including the ad and the website). The majority of users click on one of the top ads or one of the first five organic search results.

Search engines are working hard to improve the quality of their search results by presenting to the searcher websites (or advertisements) that will keep their users happy and come back to search more. To do that, they have developed complex algorithms for deciding which websites (or ads) show up in the first positions.

SEM is important because it's the process for optimizing your website or ads so they appear in top positions.

Your goal is not only to have a presence in a search engine (e.g.: Google), but to show up in one of the top 5 positions for the search queries (keywords), important to your business or your website.

Search Engine Marketing

There are a number of techniques you can follow to improve your presence in search engines and to achieve a higher position for your ad. As mentioned above, they are grouped into SEO and PSA.

What is SEM
What is SEM

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing your website to achieve higher search engine rankings for certain keywords. SEO Guidelines can also help you create high-quality websites with good content and satisfying the needs of your users.

Paid Search Advertising (PSA)

Besides getting organic traffic from Search Engines, another way to leverage the millions of users who use search engines every day and get targeted traffic to your website. you are through paid advertising.

If you search on Google, you'll notice that above and below the organic results will show Paid Ads. Instead of waiting to achieve high rankings through SEO, you can pay your way for the ad to appear on top. Of course, as we will see below, that was not so easy. It becomes more complicated when several advertisers are competing for one of the top advertising positions.


The most commonly used model is PPC (Pay Per Click), which means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and the most widely used PSA system is Google Ads.

 PPC Advertising
PPC Advertising

Google Ads is owned by Google, and it's the platform you need to display your ads on Google or Youtube.

Which ad will show on these 5 available placements?

Similar to SEO, the Google Ads system will take into account a number of rules before deciding the position of each advertiser.

Some factors may be controlled by advertisers such as the bid they are willing to pay per click, the quality of the ad, etc. some are decided by auction and some are known only to Google.

What you need to understand is that Paid Ads are a great way to promote your website on Google, but it's not always as simple as setting up an account and launching a campaign.

When to use PPC advertising?

When you want fast results - One of the downsides of SEO is it takes time to get to the TOP.

So while you wait patiently for SEO to get higher rankings, you can start a campaign in Google Ads and get traffic this way.

You will pay for the traffic but as long as you are profitable.

PPC and SEO can be combined together in a marketing campaign. It is never this or that. If you've had some good results with SEO, you can increase your market share by running ads for the same SEO keywords to drive more traffic to your website.

SEO is a great way to get customers but if your business depends on it, then it's better to promote PPC as a second way.


No business or website can exist online unless it follows solid SEM methods.

SEM gives you the framework, tools, and process to gain more visibility in search engines by getting a higher position in organic results or a better position for your ads. friend.

The two main components of SEM, SEO, and PPC can work complementary and maximize your profits.

Launching a successful SEM campaign is not easy, it requires a lot of special skills and a lot of experience ...

If you don't have those skills then it's best to leave it to the professionals. Save your valuable effort and time and at the same time increase your chances of getting the results you want in the fastest possible way.


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For Irvine Marketing Services, our team is carefully crafted and consisting of professionals who are excellent in their areas. We work together to bring the best results out of your project. We know that one size does not fit all, and your project is unique in its way. That’s why we offer full support to our clients, from start to finish, to bring an outstanding project that matches our clients’ goals with a reasonable price. Contact us for a free quote!

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