What is SEM ?
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) can be described as any marketing strategy based on search engines. Such a strategy can be used to spread business online or offline and promote actions that happen virtually or physically.
SEM is divided into two parts. One is SEO, which aims to generate more organic traffic for a particular domain. And the other is the investment in sponsored links.
We are talking about the ads that are displayed on Google and other platforms. These materials involve strategies such as keyword searches and other techniques that are shared with SEO.
But they also involve the analysis of public segmentation and strategies more closely aligned with the purchase of traditional advertising media.
In short, SEM can be described as a kind of umbrella. Under it are inserted the SEO and other techniques that help the company be visible and well-positioned in major search engines.
There are two main ways to show up at the top of the result.
- Organic or natural results are usually displayed in the center of the page and are selected by Google’s algorithm. This algorithm assesses both the relevance of the website (the quality of the content and to what extent it responds to a specific search) and the authority of the website (links from other pages).
- Paid results are also displayed at the top of the page but in a column on the right. Unlike organic results, here the advertiser must pay a certain amount for each click on their ad. To buy advertising space on search engines, it is necessary to use platforms such as Google Ads.
Search Engine Marketing Concepts
- Keywords: these are the terms that users enter into search engines that prompt a particular ad or search result to be shown. They do not have to be individual words. In fact, it is common to use groups of words or phrases, such as “buy Nike shoes” or “what is the best accounting software.”
- Concordance: when setting up a campaign in Google Ads, you will need to define the degree of correspondence between the keywords you have selected and the terms that people use when typing a query into a search engine. This is known as “concordance.” For example, if you opt for a broad match, the ad will be displayed when the user searches for synonyms or terms similar to the keyword. If you opt for an exact match, the ad will appear only when the user enters a specific keyword in the search engine.
- Text ad: this is the standard type of ad that is shown in search engines, although today there are a variety of options such as shopping ads. Text ads usually include a title, a visible URL that can be customized, and a short description.
- Ad group: in Google Ads, an ad group consists of several ads that feature the same keywords. This way, you can see which of them are the most effective.
- Campaign: in Google Ads, the campaign is like the “umbrella” under which different ad groups with similar goals are organized. For example, if you sell school supplies online one campaign could include ad groups featuring textbooks, another could have backpacks and a third could focus on drawing materials.
- Landing page: this is the web page the user is directed to after clicking on an advertisement. To achieve good results with search engine marketing, this page must be optimized to get conversions and prompt users to take certain actions (like completing a form to download an ebook). The keywords, the ad shown, and the landing page should all be aligned to ensure a good user experience.
- Search Network: these are the places where your ads appear. The most common option is on the top and right of the results page, but you can also show them on other sites such as YouTube.
- Impressions: this refers to the number of times an ad was shown.
- Clicks: are the number of times an ad has been clicked on
- CTR: is the percentage of clicks on total impressions.
- CPC: is the average cost per click.
- Quality Score: this is the score that Google gives ads and keywords which influences your cost per click. This score is determined based on the relevance of the ad, the percentage of clicks obtained, and the experience of the landing page. The objective of this system is for higher quality ads to occupy higher positions and have a lower cost per click.
Why SEM is Important ?
SEM assists you in generating traffic for your website. SEM is a strategy that integrates search engine optimization and content marketing. Apart from that, it allows your brand to rank on top of Google, Bing, and all the other big search engines.
This section underlines the importance of SEM. Let’s learn more about it.
- Earnings: Marketing is all about generating money. SEM is a great way for marketing agencies to make more money for their clients!
- Conversion-driven: Regardless of the type of campaign, SEM plays a critical role in driving conversions. There are many forms of conversion that marketers can strive for, such as new subscribers, newsletter signups, or even contest entries.
- Increases Brand awareness: SEM also contributes to brand awareness. 80% of brands’ awareness can be increased with search ads, according to Google. Although these ads may not receive clicks, users can still read brand names, or URLs when they see an ad. So, they may eventually recognize the brand or product.
- Accessible to Small Accounts: Pay-per-click advertising is widely criticized for its cost. Clients and brands often believe that SEM is too exorbitant; however, the right management can double your investment in AdWords. A search engine advertisement doesn’t cost much either, as a minimum budget is not required for you to run ads. You can look forward with enthusiasm even if your investment is $5 or $10.
- Excellent for Local Marketing: Local marketers particularly focus on SEM as a means to drive website traffic and convert more visitors. SEM plays an even vital role if you are on a budget. Marketing on a local level seeks to connect regional businesses with the community they serve. It’s the searches like ‘food delivery near me’ that make the local marketers connect with business listings and ads in search engines.
- Immediate Results: While other formats of marketing take much longer to provide the desired outcomes, SEM is quicker. The average creation and launch time for ads is typically one business day, and though every ad is subject to approval before it appears, the process typically takes a few minutes. While you wait for the clicks, maintenance and optimization are other aspects you can look into, in the meanwhile. Therefore, SEM is considered one of the quickest traffic-generating strategies.
- Dependable traffic source: Traffic is significant as not only does it offer visibility, but also boosts sales, helps in planning, forecast, and prepare budgets. Search ads are a great way to counter the times when there could be an unexplained drop in organic traffic.
- Generates qualified leads: This is possibly the best benefit of SEM as it helps generate qualified traffic. SEM lets you create a custom audience that offers a great chance of visibility, engagement, and lead conversion.
- Quickest way to the top: Paid search ads enhance your chances of topping the SERP charts, provided you have a high keyword bid and a good quality score.
- Offers pragmatic approach: SEM offers practicality which is to say that searchers tend to click the first few search results. People can be arbitrary with their clicks while they look for the desired results, which explains the practicality of the way SEM works.
- SEM is a broad channel: When it comes to SEM, it has the power of creating diverse types of ads based on your budget, goals, audience type. Google AdWords, Bing, and other platforms can assist you in displaying ads, retargeting, call tracking, and so on.
- Excellent for Mobile marketing: You can cash in on the potential of SEM through mobile marketing. Capitalizing on this aspect can let you accomplish great traffic across multiple platforms. Search engines are what people access the most when they are searching on their mobile phones.
- Flexibility: SEM offers you unique campaign flexibility where you can make a number of customizations. From having a customized audience to location and type, you can now set your ads budget as well. You can have your ads published in various customized formats to achieve perfect marketing and great results. This is even more important as there is no standard solution for all businesses, as each is different with different requirements.
Best SEM Tools
The journey of setting up a business starts with purchasing a domain and putting in place an effective and attractive website. However, these are just the first steps. The next and important step that comes into the picture is promoting your business online. The search engine marketing tools hold the key here. Business owners can benefit from these tools to promote their websites, boost up the inbound traffic, and obtain significant conversion rates.
- SEM Tool #1: SEMrush
- SEM Tool #2: Google Ads Editor
- SEM Tool #3: Optmyzr
- SEM Tool #4: Unbounce
- SEM Tool #5: Bing Ads Editor
- SEM Tool #6: Google Keyword Planner
- SEM Tool #7: Moat
- SEM Tool #8: Supermetrics
- SEM Tool #9: Snappa
- SEM Tool #10: AdWords Wrapper
- SEM Tool #11: Call Tracking Metrics
- SEM Tool #12: PPC Protect
How to Choose a Platform?
There are many SEM platforms available on the market these days, and these are just a few of them. Choosing the right platform for you depends upon your goals and budget, so make sure you choose one that fits both.
|FACTORS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR CHOOSING A PLATFORM|
|Analyze the best tactic|
|Research on available SEM Tools|
It is true that all platforms are aiming to increase targeted traffic to your site, but they use different tactics. You should choose whichever is most comfortable for you.
You may never go wrong while selecting a platform as they all work towards a common objective of helping you achieve a successful business. But researching available tools will help you make a more informed decision about how to use their services. The only way to ensure that you get what you pay for is to do your homework first!
Best Practices for Improving SEM results
Here are the top practices you can follow:
- Performing Keyword Research:
A successful SEM stint begins with choosing an extraordinary set of keywords that are target-oriented. For this, carrying out keyword research gets a good grip over your audience’s keyword search.
- Creating Persuasive Ads:
Your ads should be powerful enough to generate encouragement and bring the customers one step closer to conversion.
- Achieving an Excellent Quality Score:
Quality score is what everything boils down to. So, ensure that your practices lead to an excellent quality score so that you rank higher among the competition.
- Optimizing Existing Campaigns:
Keep working on your campaigns. The audiences are not always the same and will not always be searching for the same products with the same keywords. The idea is to continuously optimize your campaigns so that they yield great outcomes.
Similarities Between SEO And SEM
Similarities are enlisted below:
- SEO and SEM help to grow a website and improve traffic on it.
- SEO and SEM help brands to appear in the search result.
- Website owners require knowing their audience to use both SEO and SEM.
- They both require regular testing and proper optimization to stay on top.
- They both target specific audiences for specific keywords.
Difference between SEO & SEM
|Ads||SEO doesn’t include ad designation, and search results of SEO have featured snippets.||SEM includes ad designation, and Search results of SEM have the ad extension.|
|Speciality||SEO improves the visibility of the website.||SEM can improve the sales of a small business.|
|Value over time||SEO offers high value to your website over time.||SEM offers immediate results, but it doesn’t stay effective over time.|
|Paying||There is no payment required when a visitor clicks on the search result of SEO.||Payment is required when a visitor clicks on the search result of SEM.|
|Testings||SEO is not good for testing your website.||SEM is good for testing your website.|
|Specify Audience||The SEO search result doesn’t target the audience.||SEM search result targets the selected audience.|
|Competition||Competition is lesser due to the requirement of organic content.||Competition is higher in the targeted keywords.|
|Impacts||The Impact of SEO requires time.||SEM impacts are immediate|
|Click-Through Rate (CTR)||Click-Through Rate (CTR) of SEO is higher||Click-Through Rate (CTR) of SEM is lower than SEO|