If you’ve ever looked into possibly making money online, you’re not alone. While the economy has demonstrated consistent job growth for an almost unprecedented number of consecutive years, a lot of that job growth hasn’t translated into wage growth. In fact, many employment possibilities are part time or with seriously reduced benefits as compared to before the Great Recession. That leaves many realizing that if they are going to truly hit paydirt or take control of their financial destiny, then they’re going to have to do it on their own rather than climb corporate ladders that get taller and rarer.
A lot of aspiring Internet entrepreneurs turn to obvious sources of making money, be it Amazon or eBay, but sooner or later they run out of things in their closets and attacks to sell, and everyone is already combing over yard sales and estate-closing auctions for the next big thing. You probably know you need to step it up past that and create your own little corner of the Internet, and researching things like that has to lead you to the acronym “SEM” and leaving you wondering just what does it stand for?
SEM is short for search engine marketing. It does involve building some kind of website that you can make money from, but it also involves promoting it through paid advertising. Most SEO, or search engine optimization, you read about will center around a similar concept. Someone builds a website focused on particular keywords, promotes it backlinks around the Internet, the site goes up the search engine ranking positions, and then the increased traffic to the site is converted into increased revenue.
SEM is not much different from this traditional ‘organic’ SEO, as the goal is still climbing the SERPs in order to rank higher and get more users to convert. However, what primarily differentiates SEM is that it often uses paid marketing instead of organic backlinks in order to generate traffic to its funnel site. If you ever use Google for searching for something, you’ll likely notice that there are ‘paid’ or commercial links in the first few spots before the rest of the SERPs listed out. Those paid links come from those doing SEM because they want to be seen before the organic listings.
There is simplicity to SEM, and it usually rewards with traffic faster than organic SEO. Given that Google accounts for three-quarters of Internet searching and Yahoo/Bing most of the rest, you only have to deal with advertising on a few engines.