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Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

What is SEM?

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is an overarching term that includes various methods for promoting websites specifically to gain better placement on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).   SEM is often confused with SEO (Search Engine Optimization); however, SEM is a broader term that encompasses SEO, as well as paid advertising. SEM may include other approaches for approved positioning in the SERPs too. Social Media Marketing (SMM) or Social Media Optimization (SMO) may influence ranking on the SERPs but may be considered their own independent form of internet marketing too.


Are all these acronyms making your head spin? Here’s a visual showing how SEM includes SEO and paid advertising. Social media marketing is part of the picture too but can stand on its own as separate marketing strategy.

SEM Overview

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Overview

Organic SEO

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Pay Per Click Management (PPCM)