Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a form of marketing for search engines in the organic search results or SEO and paid marketing or PPC.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is marketing a business on a search engine. By search engine, we mainly mean Google. So till we have an alternate search engine that starts dominating like Google, let’s say SEM is a strategy to increase the visibility of a website in Google search by optimizing it for better ranking in organic search results or SEO along with PPC using Google Ads.
Search Engine Marketing Definitions
As Per Wordstream:
Search engine marketing is the practice of marketing a business using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (or SERPs).
As per Wikipedia:
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results 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 results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings.
There is a disparity. In many online definitions of search engine marketing, it is referred to as only paid marketing or pay per click (PPC).
However, I disagree. In my opinion, search engine marketing includes both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC). It is a balance of both and not either one.
Those who consider only PPC as the form of marketing are of the view, SEO is natural, and one doesn’t need to be doing anything for it, which isn’t true at all. There are a lot of things one has to be doing about on-page SEO, and then there is a whole new world of Link building and SEO.
SEO Vs. CPC/PPC
SEO versus PPC
Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC)
Pay per click (PPC) refers to paid advertising for Google and other search engines. For Google, we use Google Ads (earlier Google Adwords).
Advertisers bid for keywords. When a user searches, the ads by the advertiser appear alongside the organic search results.
It is a system where business owners pay when someone clicks on the ad in the search results (SERPs).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) includes making pages inline with the guidelines of the search engines so they can rank the pages well in organic search results. Here business owners don’t pay anything to Google but may hire an expert to get it done.
Google doesn’t charge money to send users to a webpage for organic ranking.
Both SEO and PPC are an integral part of SEM. And I strongly agree that both of them must be fundamental parts of the search engine marketing strategy.