Search Engine Marketing for Beginners: 5 Important Terms to Know

In the U.S. alone, roughly 12 billion internet searches are performed every month and over 60% of consumers conduct web searches prior to making a purchase. Search engines are the largest driver of website traffic, and 60% of searches go directly to the top 3 results on the first page. These stats are hard to ignore, making the case for a robust search engine marketing strategy even more critical for your business. Fortunately, you can learn the basics of search engine marketing on your own for free. To start, here are 5 important terms that you’ll need to know.

Organic Searchseo sem

Whenever you use a search engine and click on a website result, you’re driving organic search traffic to that website. In search engine marketing, the term organic refers to any search traffic that isn’t paid for, and nearly 90% of consumers start their product hunt with a search engine. Performing strong in organic search is a primary goal in search engine marketing (SEM), as it’s responsible for over 50% of all website traffic according to a study from marketing software firm, BrightEdge.


During your marketing research, you’ll often run into the term, SERP. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page, and this is simply the page that lists all the web results for a given search term. These pages, or SERPs, are important because they’re the first things people see on their search. That’s why it’s critical to get to the top and make a great first impression once you’re there. In order to rank better in SERPs, you need to create and implement a series of SEM strategies to make your website more visible.


One important SEM strategy is search engine optimization, or SEO. In order to rank higher for targeted search terms and their respective SERPs, you need to optimize your website content, blogs, product descriptions, and any other published content for search engines. SEO requires a wide range of techniques, one of which includes the optimization of online content with search terms recovered from SEO keyword research.

Keyword Research

Everything you type into a search engine is considered a search term. A search term, or keyword, can be anything from a question to a phrase. For example, if you were looking for an Internet marketing service in Minneapolis, your search terms will probably like the following:

  • “Best internet marketing service minneapolis”
  • “I need an internet marketing service in minnesota”
  • “Internet marketing company minneapolis”

By optimizing their content with your search terms, a Minneapolis-based marketing service increases their chances of getting your attention online. To collect the most valuable search terms for your website, you need to use various keyword research techniques to generate a substantial list of search terms to rank for.


PPC is an advertising solution that can also raise a website’s SERP position. PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, and on average, marketers spend over 30% of their total marketing budget on PPC advertising alone. PPC services charge the client once their ad is clicked, and each click helps improve a website’s search visibility. The most recognized PPC service is Google’s own Adwords service which allows you to bid on search terms to compete for visibility on SERPs. You can find these text-based ads at the beginning and end of a SERP.

Start Your SEM Strategy Today!

Stop missing out on valuable search engine traffic. Now’s the time to incorporate a SEM strategy into your marketing plan, and you can get the ball rolling right now with your trusted search engine! Learning about organic research, SEO, SERPs, keyword research, and PPC advertising is just the beginning toward crafting a new, memorable online marketing strategy for your business.


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