Search Engine Marketing
By definition Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result(s) pages (SERPs), primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine result(s) pages to enhance Pay per Click (PPC) listings.
In SEM the marketer usually pays the search engine a predefined amount of money for showing a marketing message at various places within the search results for specified keywords or phrases. SEM is basically a form of Pay-Per-Click advertising.
The difference between SEO and SEM is simply that Search Engine Optimization is part of Search Engine Marketing or simply the Search Marketing, as it is widely known. Both processes aim in increasing visibility in search engines. SEM involves other methods that can get more search engine visitors like PPC advertising.
While SEO describes the process of getting unpaid traffic from search engines; SEM refers to the paid traffic from search engines. The most common form of search engine marketing is probably Google Adwords for the simple reason that Google is by far the most used search engine.
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