Learning the Lingo: 6 SEM Terms You Must Know

Posted by Nick Pizzolato on Fri, May 01, 2015 @ 03:03 PM

Learning the Lingo: 6 SEM Terms You Must Know | Wicked Local Media Solutions

Learning the Lingo is a series of posts that investigate marketing terms, ideas and strategies.

“How can I get my business on the front page of Google?” That is probably a question you ask yourself every week. You know that a majority of internet users don’t click on the second page of a search engine. If you aren’t on that first page of results, your website gets lost. Your brand needs to stand tall amongst your competition.

During the month of May, Wicked Local Media Solutions is going to offer tips, advice, explanations and statistics that will help your business become more search engine friendly. Unfortunately when it comes to search engine marketing there are a lot of terms, acronyms, and practices that are confusing and aren’t always explained. I want to make sure everyone who reads this blog is in a position to understand these words and strategies.

This edition of Learning the Lingo will break down some of the more common acronyms and the buzzwords that are used. So, if you come across these terms in another blog, you’ll know what’s being said. We want you to be able build a strategy that works the best for your business.

SEM stands for search engine marketing. Simply put, it’s the term that is used to address all the strategies that businesses can use to gain traction online and show at the top of search results. From building an organic audience by using keywords or advertising on a search engine, SEM can be used to reference many different strategies and campaigns.

SEO is an abbreviation search engine optimization. These are strategies that you can develop to increase the visibility of your website without paying for ad promotion. A majority of how SEO works is finding the keywords that are going to set your site apart from others and how to appeal to search engines. Search engines look for keywords that are connected through content, titles, urls and even picture descriptions. The stronger the connections the stronger your organic growth will be.

Text Ad
A Text Ad is an ad created by a business to be promoted on search engines. The ad includes the business name, url, contact information and usually a short description that utilizes keywords. These ads generally are used with PPC campaigns.

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PPC is short for for pay-per-click advertisements. Pay-per-click gets its name because the advertiser only has to pay for their ad if it is clicked on. On search engines, part of the process includes a business owner bidding on keywords that appear in their text ad. When a keyword is searched for, text ads that contains the relevant information appear on the page. They are placed in order based on a combination of quality score and the highest to lowest bidders.

CTR is an abbreviation for click-through-rate. This measures how often your ad is clicked on and users are directed to your website.

Quality Score
The quality score is how a search engine ranks your text ad. Search engines grade your site and connected landing pages and use that score to determine price and position of the ads. This is to give the user the best possible experience online. Search engines also take into consideration, keyword strength, the geographic location of the user, the click-through-rate of the ad, the strength of content, loading time of the landing page, and other factors.

Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at

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Tags: SEM, Digital Advertising, Digital Marketing, Learning the Lingo