Search engine marketing is a term that refers to paid marketing that you do to promote your website usually specifically with search engines like Google or Bing. In the past, this was simply a way to refer to all of the search engine optimization methods that you used, paid and unpaid, but it has become specialized and simply refers to pay-per-click campaigns and other types of search engine optimization that you pay for. Lets take a look at the different methods.
PPC Advertising: PPC Advertising, which stands for pay-per-click, is a business model that uses advertisements on a search engine results page to draw in customers. Generally, they are on the right sidebar, but they may be in other locations depending upon the search engines used. PPC works on a bidding system. The person who bid the highest for a particular keyword is listed as the top search result.
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However, there is another form of advertising that you should be aware of, because it uses the same initials as pay-per-click. It is known as pay-per-call. It isnt very popular yet, but it is based upon the number of clicks the result in a call from a smartphone. These are used in mobile advertising and this may be more popular later.
Another form of search engine marketing is the CPM, which stands for cost-per-thousand impressions. An impression is whenever a computer screen displays your ad. Banner ads, sidebar ads and any CPM type of advertisement is based upon 1000 impressions. You will set up your ad in advance, determining how many times you want that ad to be displayed (in multiples of 1000) and then launch. The downside of this form of advertising is that you pay whether or not you get a single click.
Search engine marketing is going to become much more popular in the future as the webspace becomes more and more crowded and larger numbers of advertisers fight for the limited amount of space that is available. However, if you use SEM combined with your regular SEO efforts, you will probably be very successful. You just want to make sure that you have created the right advertisement, no matter if you are using PPC ads or CPM ads, visual or text. You need to make that ad compelling and irresistible if you want it to be as effective as possible and worth the cost.