A form of internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). SEM methods include: search engine optimization (), paid placement (contextual advertising, digital asset optimization, and paid inclusion).

Editorial / Organic / Natural Listings: Any good search engine, such as Google or Bing, has “editorial” or “organic or “natural” listings. these are listings that appear without anyone paying for them. they are provided as a core product of that search engine, in the same way that a newspaper has a core product of writing stories about topics it believes are of interest to its readers, rather than to its advertisers.

Paid Search / CPC / PPC Listings: Search engines also have paid search ads, sometimes referred to as “CPC” or “PPC” listings. Those acronyms come from the way advertisers are charged for these ads, on a Cost-Per-Click or Pay-Per-Click basis. You pay, you get listed. When you stop paying, your listings goes away. Similar to newspapers, these ads typically appear alongside – but – separate from the editorial content. They are also not supposed to influence the editorial coverage.

SEM thus involves use of marketing principles, only in a way that the strategizing is around reaching out to your consumer via search listings.

When this term is used to describe an individual, it stands for “Search Engine Marketer” or one who performs SEM.

SEM is said to allow for more targeted marketing because it involves the marketer reaching out to the seeking consumer. It is thus a two way process, in which the consumer seeks out his / her need, and the marketer, through SEM, is ready to provide the need of this consumer.

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