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Definition of SEM

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is advertising via Pay-Per-Click (ie. Google AdWords) by bidding on the top advertising slot for specific keywords.

SEM differs from SEO because you have to pay for every click you get. If you are in a hurry and want to get sales right away, Search Engine Marketing may be worth it... but it really depends on the market keywords you are fighting over.

ie. Lets say you are trying to sell real estate in Toronto. There are a lot of real estate agents out there doing the exact same thing. The bidding is going to be high, in the range of $2 to $10 per click, and there is no guarantee that people clicking will actually buy.

However, depending on the topic you are competing for, SEM can be worth it. If the price of bidding is quite low you can get lots of potential customers that way.

My recommendation is that people test SEM out for themselves or higher a SEO/SEM expert to do it for them. The advantage of hiring an expert to do it for you is that they can carefully pick the right keywords, the right bid range, do it on a budget and provide statistical analysis.

Its always cheaper to do it yourself, provided you have the technical know-how to do it properly and aren't overbidding.

HOT TIP #1: Set a maximum bid of 10 cents and don't limit yourself to Search Engines, but instead use the ENTIRE network of websites for those keywords.

HOT TIP #2: Don't forget mobile advertising, ESPECIALLY if you are advertising a place.

HOT TIP #3: If your business is a specific place (ie. a restaurant) remember to limit the location diameter to 50 km.

HOT TIP #4: You can also bid on specific websites. (Or go to that website and ask them directly for advertising rates.)

HOT TIP #5: The more specific you are, the cheaper it will be and the more likely you are to get a customer.

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