Search engine marketing, short SEM, is an Internet marketing form that allows companies, retailers and service providers to be listed with their website on result pages of a search engine (e. g. Google or Yandex). SEM is elevating websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) mainly through paid advertisement.
SEM covers paid tactics or paid search, while SEO covers organic tactics or organic search, meaning you are not paying for your website to be listed, ranked or promoted.
A website has to perform well on several relevant factors in order to rank higher in a SERP. These factors include having applicable website content, keywords, backlinks, usability of the website, site speed, site’s health, organic traffic, and that the website is mobile responsive (meaning it automatically changes to fit the device you're reading the website on).
Search Engine Optimization, short SEO, involves all the on-page optimization activities to get good rankings in organic search and for higher ranking in a SERP.
SEM is all the rest you pay for, such as for example pay-per-click advertisement, short PPC, where companies, retailers and service providers are paying for their ads to be shown within a search engine and to be clicked.
Are you using SEM for your business? Share your experience on using SEM in the comments below.