It is generally believed that to have an effective marketing campaign on the internet, one needs to ensure that their SEO matters are properly handled. After all, high quality links generally mean a high search engine ranking. However, this is only half of the truth with search engine marketing, or SEM, an essential part of the same marketing coin. In fact, strictly speaking, SEO is part of SEM, meaning that search engine optimisation is a component within an overall internet marketing campaign. Other important components include link building, directory submissions, pay per click ads, and other types of search marketing techniques. These are all designed to lead a web user to a particular site, thereby increasing traffic and in doing so, increasing the potential for direct sales of goods or services to the public. However, while SEO is considered the buzz phrase of the online marketing industry, SEM is hugely important too, and in the opinion of many marketing experts is perhaps as, if not more, important. With that in mind, you might wonder that the differences between the two are. Firstly, SEO strategically moulds website content so that it secures a high rank on search engines, and appear earliest to web users searching for specific information or services. To accomplish this, such marketing aspects as keyword integration, meta tags, the generation of back links and the use of keyword rich content are used. By improving the position of a website in search results, they will be clicked on more often bringing more traffic to the site. However, through a variety of marketing techniques within an SEM campaign, a website can attract traffic in other ways. This means promoting site visibility by pointing a page viewer directly to the site, in much the same way as a traditional print ad in a newspaper will catch the attention of a reader and direct them towards a product. Of course, it can encourage links to be generated between sites and content, by targeting only web users interested in the specific site topic, such a motorbike enthusiasts prompted towards a site on motorbikes or motorbike accessories. In this way, the relevance of the advertised site is high which, in turn, means that the relevance of any links by web users is maintained. This then bolsters attempts to improve search engine optimisation. But knowing why exactly one should invest in and embark on an SEM campaign is another matter. The reason why one should have a search engine focused marketing campaign is because of the minute chance a website has of actually being seen by people surfing the web. With literally billions of sites on the web, something has to be done to draw in site visitors, and gaining a presence on a search engine is one effective way. An SEM campaign may make use of traditional marketing techniques like magazine and newspaper print ads to help make the public aware that a particular site exists. However, when one searches on Google for a site by topic, small ads usually appear down the right side of the screen. These are not part of the search, but are ads to sites that are relevant to the search subject. In this way, a site is made visible to the web user and, in doing so, greatly increases the chances of that user actually visiting the site. And this is where SEM is so essential to a business trying to build its online presence. It not only provides users with a virtual invitation to click on the URL and visit the site, it invites users who are already interested in the site subject. It is the same as a tshirt vendor going to a Bruno Mars concert to sell Bruno Mars tshirts. He knows he is far more likely to make sales there than anywhere else. Getting a high rank on a search engine involves meeting a lot of criteria, but it can be achieved through an effective link building campaign, especially one that concentrates on utilising high quality links and back links, to and from relevant and content rich sites. However, search marketing techniques are more varied than that, and a truly effective marketing campaign will use every avenue possible to help a website beat its 10 or 20 million online competitors in terms of visibility, popularity and, of course, SEO rank.