SEM stands for “search engine marketing.” It is the process of gaining traffic from or visibility on search engines. The phrase is also sometimes shortened to “search marketing.”
SEM is an umbrella term that covers two broad areas:
- Gaining traffic through free SEO efforts
- Gaining traffic through paid search advertising
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the overall process of combining the two processes of search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
While the results of successful SEO and PPC appear on the same page of search engine results, the underlying processes to get each result there are quite different to each other.
SEO has strengths where PPC does not, and vice versa. Combining the strengths of each is why the two processes are so powerful when used together. In a perfect world, your new or existing web site would immediately get a lot of free/cheap, relevant search engine traffic.