Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages. In other words, it's the things you can do to make sure your website appears in search engine results when someone searches for information

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a type of internet-based marketing associated with the researching, submitting and positioning of a website within seach engines to achieve maximum visibility and increase your share of paid and/or organic traffic referrals from search engines.

SEM involves things such as search engine optimization, keyword research, competitive analysis, paid listings and other search engine services that will increase search traffic to your site.

With an increasing number of consumers researching and shopping for products online, search engine marketing has become a crucial strategy for increasing a company’s reach.

In fact, the majority of new visitors to a website find it by performing a query on a search engine. Since consumers enter search queries with the intent of finding information of a commercial nature, they are in an excellent state of mind to receive marketing messages and to be nurtured as prospective customers.

How SEM Works

Search engines use complicated algorithms to ensure the most relevant results are returned for each search, including location and other available information.

In paid search advertising, sponsored ads appear at the top of and on the side of search engine results pages to gain more visibility and prominence than the organic results. Let’s say that you are a customer looking for a product or service online. You go to a search engine and type in your search terms (also known as keywords).

Now let’s take a look at how SEM works from the marketer’s perspective.

SEM networks are self-serve operations. Once a marketer selects a network, he or she can get a campaign up within a short period of time. The paid listings are highly relevant to your specific search, making it likely that you will click on them.

Most search engines have an ad platform for search engine marketing. The most well-known (and effective) platform to use is Google Adwords. Bing Ads and Yahoo Search Ads are also both SEM platforms that you can use.

When setting up a campaign within an SEM network, the marketer is prompted to:

  • Select a set of keywords related to their website or product
  • Select a geographic location for the ad to be displayed within
  • Create a text-based ad to display in the search results
  • Bid on a price they are willing to pay for each click on their ad.

Keywords are everything for SEM, just as they are for SEO. When you run SEM campaigns, you choose keywords that determine which ads will show up on which searches. As a result, in-depth keyword research is the key to running a successful search engine marketing campaign. You’ll want to run your campaigns targeting the exact right terms…or you’ll miss your target audience.

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