Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Definition and explanation: Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a sub-area of ​​the large field of online marketing, which also includes social media marketing or newsletter marketing, for example. Search Engine Marketing (SEM for short) is the general term for the two sub-areas Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA). In short, SEM deals with the goal of making websites and web shops under Keywords (search terms) on the first search results page of search engines (e.g. Google).


Why is Search Engine Marketing important?

Search engines are usually the first port of call when people look for information, services or products. As a source for new customers, search engines are therefore a very important channel for companies to be visible to the target group in the long term. Are companies quickly on the first page of Google and co. found, this has several advantages. On the one hand more visibility for the brand, on the other hand more potential new customers and as a result more inquiries and more sales.


How does Search Engine Marketing work?

If websites or web shops want to be found among their services and products in Google, the expectations of the target group can be hit exactly. What worked a long time ago by simply offering the service or product on the site is now more difficult. SEM and the sub-areas SEO and SEA are about the interaction of Flawless technology, high-quality content, target group-oriented usability and Customer Journey and linking to other websites (Backlink Building).

If these necessary areas are not met, a good position in search engines such as Google is usually unthinkable. For this reason, it is important that companies deal with search engine marketing or hire an agency to support them in this. 


SEM, SEO, SEA - what is the difference?

SEM is the abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing. This term includes the two sub-areas Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA).


Measures by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are aimed at websites and online shops under the respective Keywords (search terms) under the organic search results on the first search results page. In this sense, organic means something like “not paid” – i.e. the first natural search results.



A position in the organic search results can be achieved when search engines such as Google recognize the relevance of the website or web shop for the respective search term. The Search Engine Optimization measures are a science in their own right, and the following sub-areas must be briefly considered:

SEO pillars

Since Google's algorithm is constantly evolving, the necessary measures from SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It is advisable for companies to get advice and support from an SEO agency in order to develop long-term visibility in search engines.

Search Engine Advertising (SEA)

SEA (Search Engine Advertising) is the second part of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). As the name suggests, this is about paid advertisements in search engines like Google. With SEA, online ads are displayed in search engines such as Google, Youtube, Bing, Yahoo, etc. in order to reach the target group. You have to pay for each click on the ad (CPC – Cost per Click). Ads are then displayed when users search for specific search terms (keywords). Clicking on the advert will take you to the company's website.

The advantage over SEO is that the ads are positioned directly on the first Google page and are thus visible to potential customers. The disadvantage compared to SEO is that each click costs. 

The task of Google Ads agencies is to constantly reduce the costs per click on an ad so that maximum profit is achieved. The following points are particularly important:

  • The content of the advertisement coincides with the content of the website
  • The expectations of potential customers are met
  • The website is quickly accessible (loading time)
  • Potential customers quickly find the solution they are looking for

Easier said than done, because it also happens with Search Engine Advertising (SEA), like SEO, on an interplay of technology, content and usability.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Conclusion

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a very effective marketing measure that companies should definitely calculate in their online marketing planning. The two sub-areas SEO and SEA can not only work well on their own but also together. If you do not have any know-how in the field of Search Engine Marketing, we recommend consulting a professional SEO and Google Ads agency to get a trained Get a look at the potential and opportunities.

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