What is SEM?
There are plenty of marketing acronyms that markers have to keep track of like SEO, SEM, SMO, CRO. It can be difficult to keep everything straight, especially the difference between SEO and SEM. So, what exactly does SEM mean? Search engine marketing (SEM) is a sort of umbrella term that covers search engine optimization and paid advertisements. SEM is an effective way for businesses to reach new customers, increase revenues and trim acquisition costs.
SEM vs. SEO
The biggest difference between SEM and SEO is that SEM refers to paid search marketing, where businesses pay a search engine to show their ads in the search results. With SEO, you are taking certain steps to help your website appear higher in the results of a search engine. SEO costs nothing, you’re just optimizing your content for what people are searching for. SEM leverages search engines like Google to reach potential customers as they use the search engine, but through paid ads that track clicks and impressions as users engage with them.
Benefits of SEM
There are plenty of benefits to using an SEM-based strategy. The most obvious benefit is an increased brand awareness, which will help you to connect to and build relationships with the most relevant customers of your products. In addition to increasing your brand visibility, SEM will also improve your engagement with new and returning customers. It’s all about making a last impression, and SEM is a great way to do that. SEM can also improve your targeted ads so that they reach more customer, and generate more qualified leads for your business.
Components of SEM
As you begin to familiarize yourself with SEM practices, it’s essential to understand the basic components of SEM. These components will help you better understand how SEM works, and help you make changes to your approach based on what’s successful and what’s not.
- Impressions – While it doesn’t mean the user actually saw the ad, impressions count how many times your ad was visible on the screen.
- CPC – The cost-per-click calculates how much you pay when someone clicks your ad.
- CPM – The cost per thousand impressions refers to the cost of displaying an ad one thousand times.
- CTR – The click-through rate determines the number of clicks you got to your website from the users that saw the ad.