What is SEM in Digital Marketing - Explained

What is SEM in Digital Marketing? – Explained

The digital marketing sphere – it’s a hell of a ride. This industry is innovative, immersive and, quite frankly, insane. It can sometimes be a little tricky to wrap your head around it. 

This blog will discuss what is SEM in digital marketing and how it can be used to amplify business results. Prior to purchasing online or in-store, 88% of consumers conducting some online research, so your online presence is pretty crucial – and SEM can help with that.

Make sure you download your FREE guide to working with an SEM agency here. 


When you hear the term ‘digital marketing’, what do you think of?

Social media output? Paid campaigns? Optimisation? Email Marketing? Analytics?

Sure, they all take a slice of the digital marketing pie, but what exactly does this mean when it comes to just SEM in digital marketing?

SEM stands for search engine marketing, and it encompasses two digital marketing channels SEO and PPC. 

Search engine marketing is the process of using digital marketing tactics and strategies in order to better a website’s reputation and appearance on search engines. This can mean improving the organic rankings (SEO) or appearing at the top paid ads spot for relevant and valuable focus key terms.  If you want to appear as an authoritative voice and reputable business on search engine results pages (SERPs) SEM is the way to go.

The digital marketing tactics most commonly associated with search engine marketing are SEO and PPC. This is because they are heavily associated with the presence of a website on search engines through both organic and paid search.

If you’re looking to master SEM, check out our blog here.


SEM in Digital Marketing: SEO

SEO is key when it comes to an effective search engine marketing strategy. SEO is the process of optimising areas of your website in order to increase its reputation with search engine bots which can significantly increase your online rankings. 

A search engine bot will crawl your website and evaluate things like functionality, optimisation, usability etc in order to determine how fit your website is for search users. They use various ranking factors to determine how helpful your website content is for search queries. 

If you’re looking to evaluate the SEO content on your website, check out our blog here for how. 

ROAR tips to improve your SEO:

  • Publish relevant, authoritative content. …
  • Update content regularly
  • Optimise metadata
  • Secure backlinks
  • Use alt text and tags


Businesses that put time and effort into developing their online presence with SEO can reap an abundance of rewards. With the #1 result on Google securing approximately 32% of all clicks, you cannot afford to slack in the SEO department. 

32% of all clicks on Google go the the number one result

SEM in Digital Marketing: PPC

PPC falls into the search engine marketing category as it allows users to find your website through search queries despite not being an organic ranking factor. That’s right, PPC does not make your website rank any higher, but it does put your front and centre when it comes to relevant search queries. 

By conducting appropriate keyword research and studying your audience’s search behaviours, you are granted access to a wealth of information that confirms how they behave online and subsequently the search terms you should bid on and aim to appear online for. 

ROAR tips to improve your PPC:

  • Update keywords regularly
  • Improve website performance
  • Have a secure and accessible website
  • A/B tests
  • Develop a re-marketing strategy


Research has shown that businesses that incorporate a strong, focussed PPC strategy can see an increase in conversion rate. This is because PPC can generate up to twice as many website visitors as SEO does. 

Our team of specialists are ready and ROARing to go when devising intelligent, results-driven SEM campaigns. Speak to a member of our team now!


How to Use HubSpot for Marketing

HubSpot’s features are renowned for assisting...

How to Use HubSpot for Marketing

HubSpot’s features are renowned for assisting...

12 Days of Christmas Marketing Campaign Ideas

The festive season is the perfect time to branch...

12 Days of Christmas Marketing Campaign Ideas

The festive season is the perfect time to branch...


GET A FREE Ads Review

Do you invest more than £1500 per month in ad spend? Find out how your performance can be improved with a FREE ads account review.