Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Paid marketing on a search engine results page (SERP), commonly known as paid search, involves advertising that appears alongside organic search results. These search engine marketing (SEM) ads aim to drive traffic to websites and can feature various calls to action, such as making a phone call or visiting a local store. SEM ads are triggered by keywords in a search query and typically appear at the top or side of search results. Most SEM operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning advertisers are charged only when someone clicks on their ad.


An example of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) would be a local bakery using Google Ads to promote its custom cake services. The bakery sets up SEM campaigns targeting keywords like “custom cakes near me” or “birthday cake delivery.” When users in the bakery’s area search for these terms on Google, they see the bakery’s ads prominently displayed at the top or side of the search results. Users interested in ordering a cake can click on the ad, leading them to the bakery’s website or prompting them to call directly to place an order. The bakery pays Google a predetermined amount only when someone clicks on their ad, making it a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model.