Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a blanket term used to describe a variety of paid online advertising efforts. When ads are run correctly, they can attract highly-qualified traffic to your site.
At the center of SEM are the ads found in the search results of Google, Bing and other search engines. However, the term is also used to refer to paid advertising on social platforms and throughout the digital world.
This type of online marketing is also commonly referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising because you generally pay a certain amount each time someone clicks on your ad.