What is Search Engine Marketing?

“Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.”

– Michael Hyatt

Marketers and business owners use Search Engines everyday to promote their products and/or services by crafting ads that show on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) whenever a search is performed. These ads typically show up at the top of the SERP depending on the platform, as shown below and discussed later in this series.

Advertisers then only pay for the ads that are clicked on by the searcher, which gave birth to the term Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, a synonym for SEM.

With the most common search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! providing results to billions of searches every day in a matter of seconds, their business model turned to paid ads as a means to monetize their efforts very early on in their existence.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of promoting websites by paying for ad spots on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).



SEM Tree of Knowledge

Some of Search Engine Marketing’s more common synonyms & terms are:

  • Paid Search Ads/Advertising
  • PPC – Pay per click
  • CPC – Cost per click
    • The metric used by SEM’s to identify the cost associated when someone clicks on their ad
  • CPM – Cost per thousand impressions
    • The metric used in some forms of SEM that represents the cost associated with showing their ad 1,000 times

SEM is usually associated with a more common marketing term: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In reality, SEO is an extension of SEM that formed due to the need to send this valueable traffic to a quality webpage that contains the information the searcher is looking for. If you’re interested in learning about SEO, check out our post on What is Search Engine Optimization, aka SEO? 

The process of building these ads, targeting the correct audience, implementing a SMART Strategy, and measuring the success or failure of said strategy are the core actions SEM’s perform everyday.

SEM’s Role in Business

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”

– Tom Fishburne

Living in the Information Age, we take for granted the ease in which we are able to find answers to our questions. Before the internet, when you wanted to know something, you used rudimentary things called “books” to find their answers.

These ancient objects were kept in large book warehouses called “libraries”. Pretty crazy to think of how far we’ve come, right? Now we have the luxury of having our questions answered by the tap of a button.

This massive shift in access to knowledge has brought with it different types of information dissemination. Whether through traditional television, social media, search engines or email, information is flying around the world at a speed like no other time in history.

I think it’s safe to say that any business without marketing, will inevitably fail. This is common knowledge in the world of marketing, but is even widely accepted within other disciplines of business.

With roughly 2.4 Million searches performed on Google every minute, it is even more apparent that marketing, specifically SEM, is more critical to an organization’s success than ever.


Make Your Own Luck

If you think your organization is in need of Search Engine Marketing help in today’s hyper-competitive business environment, contact Luckless Digital today. We will perform a FREE SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING AUDIT. Just fill out the form below or give us a ring!

With years of experience passionately helping businesses grow, we would love the opportunity to discuss your business with you!

About The Author

Zach Williams


Zach is the founder and CEO of Luckless Digital. When he's not working to help clients create their own luck, he can be found learning, riding his motorcycles, spending time with his wife and beloved dogs, or traveling.

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