When running any kind of modern business today, it’s likely you’ll wish to use the internet to market your business. One of the most popular forms of marketing at the moment is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). While many people conflate SEM with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), they are not the same thing. If you’ve been looking into ways to market your business, you might wonder if SEM is worth your investment.

Let’s take a look.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search engine marketing, as we mentioned above, is not the same as SEO. SEO, though, is part of SEM. They are not, though, the same thing. The main aim of SEM is to make the use of search engines like Google and Bing. It will help to improve your website ranking on search engines, ensuring that you can climb up the ranks and get better results for your business.

However, how you move up the search engines is specific to your industry and the kind of competition that you face, as well as your budget. There are two major forms of SEM: Paid Search Marketing (PPC, or Pay Per Click), and SEO. They both deliver different features and use different paths to help you bring in more hits to your business. How they do that, though, is very different.

For example, with SEO, the aim is to slowly build up your website traffic organically. You use various techniques to help improve your website content to make it more relevant to the audience you wish to target. From using the right keywords to make your content more suited to an audience, or editing factors like website titles, headers, and meta tags, there are many ways that SEO could be used to help boost your results.

It’s all about creating high quality content that links to other sources of authority to help build trust. By tailoring your business to fit with a particular kind of audience, you can make it much easier to take full control of your search engine results. It’s a long-term process, though, and it can take time for results to show up.

PPC, though, is a much more short-term solution that will bring you faster results at the cost of more financial resources.

What is Paid Search?

As mentioned above, paid search is a solution that is used to help boost the promotion of your website. You pay the search engines to help boost your website to the top of the results. The most common example of this is Google AdWords; where it puts your website to the top of search engine queries for the keywords you rank your advertisement for. You pay what is known as a ‘pay per click’ fee – an agreed upon rate per click to your website. When building your paid search campaign, you’ll need to associate it with a keyword or two.

Each keyword you choose to associate it with will be what a user must search to see your advertisement. If they see your ad and click on it, you will then see the agreed cost per click for the keyword deducted from your budget. Obviously, the challenge with this form of SEM is that, done incorrectly, you could waste a lot of resources and your marketing budget without any results.

The difference between SEO and PPC, then, is that SEO organically moves you up the rankings at a cost of (mostly) time. PPC, though, moves you to the top of the rankings for an agreed rate.

The benefits of Search Engine Marketing

  • Options for everyone. For some businesses, it’ll be more suitable to target SEO. Others might find PPC is more suited to their needs. If you have massive amounts of competition, PPC can help to bring you the boost you need if you cannot get ahead of them in the search engines.
  • Time or money. SEO is more suited to those who wish to use SEM without a large budget, but don’t mind committing time to learning how to market their business. PPC is more suited to businesses who wish to rise up the rankings fast, and have the budget to do so (but no the time to wait for SEO results).
  • Get a return on investment. So long as your SEM is managed by someone who knows what they are doing, the return on investment could be massive. A PPC campaign could cost you a lot of money per month; if it is managed correctly, though, any investment will be well covered in increased sales and traffic.
  • Easy to utilize. From creating helpful blog content to building an e-mail list for SEO purposes, you have many options to use search engine marketing to your advantage. So long as you are willing to learn, you can usually optimize your website without any outside input. This makes it one of the easiest forms of marketing to utilise and put into practice.
  • Target your ideal audience. Since SEM is so targeted, the aim is to try and make your website more suited to your ideal client. Over time, Search Engine Marketing should make your business an attractive option for someone looking for assistance on a search engine. It helps to hone who your business targets, ensuring more clicks to your business feel relevant.

There are many benefits to using SEM to your advantage. The main challenge, though, is either learning how to do it yourself, or picking a Search Engine Marketing specialist to help you out. So, now that you know SEM is, how will you go about using it to your advantage as a business?

Getting help with SEM

Of course, if you think SEM would be of benefit to your business, you should look to bring in professional assistance. Search Engine Marketing can be hard to do on your own, and often leads to mistakes and frustration. If you wish to immediately start using SEM to your advantage, you should look to bring in some assistance.

With the right help, you could make sure that you can benefit from the various features that SEM offers. By reducing the likelihood of wasting time and resources, professional SEM experts can help your business to get a better return on its marketing investment.

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