Since it was made commercial in 1995, the internet has become home to roughly 400 million active websites. Whether for personal purposes or commercial efforts, the internet offers countless platforms for user consumption. However, with such a vast assortment of websites to choose from, surfers would have been lost without a way to search. Various search engines, such as Google and Bing, have been developed to solve the inability to pinpoint the digital content users are looking for on the internet. With millions of web pages battling answer consumers searches, what can businesses do to strategically position themselves at the top of the list? The answer is Search Engine Marketing or SEM.

 

What is SEM? 

 

SEM is a digital tactic employed by businesses to influence search engine results and increase specific website visibility. Once used as an umbrella term for both organic and paid organic traffic, SEM has now shifted to specifically reference ads, with search engine optimization (SEO) used for unpaid content. While SEO is the process of creating content to appeal to the complicated algorithms used by search engines, SEM is a more direct approach in which businesses use a combination of monetary bidding and carefully-curated content to win high rankings on search pages. SEM can be employed on various search engines however, Google dominates due to the resounding popularity of the platform and the size of its Ads services – roughly 2x greater than the next highest competitor, Bing. With the majority of a website’s traffic deriving from search engine results, businesses need to leverage SEM as a tool to increase visits and drive leads. Furthermore, one of the most prominent advantages of SEM, for both B2B and B2C companies, is that it places businesses directly in front of motivated customers at the exact moment they are seeking a product or service.