SEM Campaign: What It Is & How to Create a Successful One

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What is an SEM Campaign?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing.

If you’re looking for information on how to create a successful SEM campaign, then you might be intimidated by how many things there are to learn.

It’s true that there are many definitions and acronyms to learn, but we can cover all the essential ones in this single post, so that’s the good news!

Even more good news: it’s not as complicated as you were likely lead to believe.

A Common Misconception

You might have read some (possibly dated) web pages where people defined SEM as encompassing search engine optimization + paid advertising.

If that was the definition of search engine marketing today, then starting a new SEM campaign would indeed have a huge learning curve for newbies!

Why? Because SEO has become a huge discipline all by itself. It can arguably stand alone next to social media marketing and other digital marketing methods.

Yes SEO can influence SEM, but they’re in two totally different ballparks.

Thankfully, the industry has largely moved on from the old all-encompassing definition of search engine marketing.

So What Is Search Engine Marketing Exactly?

Prominent marketing news website SearchEngineLand defines SEM as:

“The process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.”

This definition more or less sums it up. Search engine marketing in 2018 focuses almost entirely on paid search methods.

Why The Change In Definition?

Digital marketing is always changing. Change is the only constant – and a lot has changed with SEO and paid search in recent years.

Again, you don’t need to learn the ins and outs of SEO to run a successful SEM campaign.

If you’re curious about the difference between an SEO campaign vs an SEM campaign, check out our breakdown article here.