SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. Studies over time have shown that while banner advertisements do have the power to bring customers to websites, most consumers are five times more likely to purchase products at websites found through search listings than through online banner advertisements.
Direct mail campaigns and banner advertisements may be effective, but not nearly as effective as search engine marketing can be. Using search engine marketing techniques, you will get conversion rates which are much better, costs per-click which are much lower, and acquisition costs which are barely existent.
The process of working out a website in such a way that it gets an excellent response by one or more search engines is basically known as SEO – search engine optimization It is difficult to make your page rank, but if you play it well, SEO ranks it for free.
SEM mechanisms include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social networking, bid placement, pay-per-click (PPC), contextual advertising, paid inclusion, geomapping, AdSense and AdWords, as well as multiple media formats, such as YouTube and geospecific marketing, like Foursquare.
Before you come to imagine that SEO is simply a checklist of things you have to do to get your Website to the top of the organic search results forever, let me point out that you’re not the only one working towards this goal; your competitors are, too.