Types of Marketing. Part 1/6 – [2020 Update]

Photo:Christin Hume

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Some in the industry use SEM as a broad term encompassing both search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and paid-search activities. For the purpose of this article, we’re referring to the narrower definition that strictly refers to the paid-search side. This type of marketing is all about serving advertisements to people using search engines like Google® or Bing. Search engine marketers bid to buy ad space on popular keywords related to the businesses they represent.

It may sound simple, but there is a lot of work that goes into optimizing a paid-search campaign. Search engine marketers need to be analytical, strategic and willing to experiment and tinker with their campaign strategies to excel in this role.

What does it look like? Time for an experiment—next time you fire up Google, try searching for “running shoes” (or nearly any item you’d purchase in a store, for that matter). Take a close look at the top handful of results. Notice anything? They’re likely all paid advertisements. That is the work of a search engine marketer.


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