Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of advertising in search engine results pages via sponsored listings, paid inclusions and organic optimisation. SEM is a synergy of Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising and Search Engine Optimisation resulting in an online marketing strategy greater than any other form of online marketing.
With search engines the users tell you what they are interested in, allowing advertising networks to capitalise on this knowledge. This had not been possible with traditional forms of advertising.
SEM with search engines
Some of the major players with SEM are Google with its pay per click click advertising network 'AdWords' and Yahoo! with 'Yahoo! Search Marketing'. They are very similar in structure and pricing, using both is the best way to capture the market.
Alternate forms of SEM include Search Engine Optimisation which instead of ranking via sponsored results, your listings rank organically. SEO is free to perform and renders no cost when your website's listing is clicked. Other benefits include larger listings in the search results and the ability to rank for a large number of long tail keywords.
The best way to capitalise in search engines is to perform both PPC and SEO in a joint synergy which enables you to flood the results pages and allow your website to get the exposure it needs.