Introduction to Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy with the goal of helping companies reach their target audience through paid search results and ad placements across the internet.

Using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (SERPS), advertisers bid on keywords that users of search engines might be using when looking for products or services. This allows the advertiser to include their ad on the page alongside the search queries. It basically enables you to buy a sponsored part of the search engine wherein you pay whenever a prospect clicks your ad.

Today, search engine marketing is often referred to as “search marketing”. It’s also used as an umbrella term for both SEO and SEM. A successful SEM campaign can benefit a business in numerous ways. Here are some of them:

1. It can increase your chances of connecting with potential customers
2. It can increase brand awareness.
3. It can target the right audience
4. It can increase traffic through ad visibility
5. It can generate revenues quickly

Why Is SEM Important?

During a time when search engines such as Google dominate the internet, it’s important that your business is on top of the search results page. Research has found that the first page of search results gets 71% of all the traffic on the world wide web.

The first page of search results gets 71% of all the traffic on the world wide web

MozGoogle Survey Result

A successful SEM strategy can increase your website’s visibility on the search engine results page. This will drive potential customers to your site and increase your conversion and traffic. Many marketers use SEM in unison with other digital marketing strategies such as SEO, Video Marketing, and eCommerce marketing.

How is Search Engine Marketing Different From Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEM helps companies target customers of search engines using paid links in search results whereas SEO provides better organic search results.

In other words, SEO helps you optimize your website for a greater chance in search results whereas SEM both increases your search rankings and helps you gain visibility by placing ads in front of targeted audiences. So if you want to be visible in both advertised links and organic, you should do both SEM and SEO.

How Does SEM Work?

SEM is all about creating the right search engine marketing strategy for your business based on keywords and good search advertising tactics. It aims to get the best results and profitability with the least ad spending. Using their own algorithms, search engines rank SEM ads to determine their search relevance.

What Are PPC Ads?

Pay-per-click ads (PPC ads) are advertising models in which marketers pay each time a user clicks on one of the ads. It’s one of the two main strategies used in search engine marketing. PPC ads are available in different formats. There are PPC ads that are small and text-based. There are others that appear as shopping ads that are more visual.

What is Keyword Research?

Search engine marketing uses different methods to optimize websites. One of these is keyword research. Keyword research is all about finding the most relevant and popular keywords for your site, service, or product. Its goal is to generate and convert traffic.

The 2 Main SEM Platforms

When it comes to SEM, there are two main platforms being used today: Bing and Google. These two powerful advertising platforms can be used to gain a larger reach and improve your brand visibility in just a short time.

  • Google Ads – Google Ads or Google Adwords is google’s search engine network. It’s currently the most popular paid search platform used by most search marketers. With billions of google searches made per day, Google remains the top search engine with the largest online audience.Google Ads consists of two separate networks: Google Search Network and Google Display Network. Search network consists of search-related websites owned by Google. The Display Network includes Gmail, YouTube, and Blogger.
  • Bing Ads – Bing Ads allow users to buy ads on both Bing and Yahoo’s network of websites. While most people would just advertise on Google, others also advertise on Bing. Wise marketers don’t view both platforms as competitors. They believe that both work hand-in-hand. Also, Google Ads might be larger but Bing is cheaper and you can get a better rank on Bing than Google.