Learn Search Engine Marketing

SEM Terminology

Common Terms in SEM:


SEM goes by many names, and here are some of the most used ones.

  • SEM (of course!)
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC Marketing)
  • Paid Search Advertisements

Generally  SEM, PPC and/or “Paid Search” to refer to paid listings, with the longer term of Search Marketing used to encompass both SEO and SEM. 

Below are some of the most common terms also used to refer to SEM activities. These terms can be used interchangeably, and the meaning does not alter. When discussing SEM, there are many other terms as well that you need to understand. The following are the important ones:


The number of times your advertisement is visible on a search engine. This does not include if people saw it or interacted with it.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

Cost per click or CPC indicates the amount paid when a person clicks on your advertisement that is posted online.

CTR (Click-through Rate)

CTR is the number of times customers landed on your website after seeing the advertisement. Note, there is no compulsion that the customer should have clicked on the advertisement to get onto your website. Just seeing the advertisement and landing on your page by other means also adds up to CTR.

CPR (Cost Per Million)

CPR is a way to pay for the search engine advertisement you have put up. Amidst a lot of factors such as budget, reachability, and goal, CPM is used to calculate the amount you pay to have a million impressions on the advertisement.