What is SEM?
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and it is part of Digital/Internet/Online Marketing. It also known as SEA. SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising, which is also known as Pay per Click (PPC), because everytime a User sees an ad and clicks on it, he/she has to pay a certain amount of money, which is actually pretty cool, because you pay for results instead of the traditional one. The most popular PPC is Google AdWords.
This is, how Google AdWords looks like, when type in Hotels New York City. As simple as that. So everytime someone clicks on that link booking.com/…., the company Booking has to pay for that click a certain amount of money to Google, which can be some cents to even some $. It depends on, how strong the competition is for that keyword, which also determines the price.
If you use Google AdWords, your ads will appear in Google instantly. You will get traffic to your website right away, which also has a positive effect on the Google ranking too. In order to find out, which keywords are relevant for your Business and popular at the same time, you have to use some tools for it. With a web analytics tool, you can find out, whether you get much traffic from that keyword or not. SEA doesn’t replace SEO and vice versa. With SEO it takes months to get you ranked on the top places on Google. So it takes ages to get target traffic to your website. With SEA you get it instantly, but you have to pay for it. In short term it is recommendable to use SEA, while it is recommendable to use SEO for long term.