what is sem?

sem (search engine marketing) is paid online advertising. whether you sell products, services or both, sem can be an effective way at a) building your brand awareness in the online marketplace or b) serving as a lead generator by driving prospective buyers and customers to your website.

how does sem work?

with sem on search engines like google, you create advertisements that come in many formats from text ads, visual display ads, video ads, e-commerce product ads and more! the most commonly used sem format for small businesses is text ads or display ads.

sem ads are associated with keywords or keyword phrases that are commonly used by consumers to search for your products or services online. when a consumer uses a keyword or keyword phrase in the geographic area of your choosing, your ad may appear in the search results providing you an opportunity to get that consumer to visit your website. if the consumer, in fact, clicks on your ad and visits your website, you have the opportunity to convert that consumer into a customer! whether you’re selling products, services, or your objective is to collect data via an online survey, you can measure the success of your sem campaign(s) by defining what a successful conversion is to your business.

5 reasons to use sem

page 1 on google

with sem, you can provide your business a better chance of being on page 1 of google. while seo may also land you on the first page of google, you can leverage sem to almost guarantee visibility on the first page. it doesn’t matter whether you’re a small or large business. sem can level the playing field.


get found be known. unless you really don’t want to be known!

quality traffic

your ads are shown based on keywords you choose so your chances of getting a higher quality visitor to your website go up.

increased brand awareness

sem can be a great way to continually introduce your name to prospective customers by continually showing your ad to them across the web.

lead generation

we all know referrals are a great source of business. it is, after all, a warm lead. well, so is a consumer searching the web for your services. they’re looking for you! using sem is a great way to drive traffic to your website for conversion.