What Is Search Marketing?

Search marketing is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid and unpaid efforts.

Search Marketing encompasses:

  • SEO: Earning traffic through unpaid or free listings
  • SEM: Buying traffic through paid search listings

Originally called “search engine marketing,” the shorter phrase “search marketing” is now often used as the umbrella term over SEO and SEM. The longer phrase “search engine marketing” — or SEM — is now typically used to describe paid search activities.

Yes, we know that can be confusing — but that’s how things have evolved. Our article, Does SEM = SEO + CPC Still Add Up?, explains the evolution in more depth.

For those who want to learn more about either SEO or SEM, see our guides below:

  • What Is SEM & Paid Search Marketing
  • What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?

SEO (Search Engine Ranking Optimization) In conjunction with the SEM strategy, complementarity and coordination make it efficient to increase your return on investment.

When you decide to choose SEM (PPC ads, Google AdWords, Facebook ads, etc.), you can see the results in a short time.
SEM is to pay for Google to quickly get traffic and show your ads at the top of the search results page; SEO takes a long time to see results. Therefore, you can use SEM to receive immediate results while waiting for your website SEO to take effect and climb the Google rankings.

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