What is Search Engine Marketing?

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With competition all around, every business is looking for an advantage over its competitors. Understandably, internet marketing is now considered the best way to quickly promote products and services.

When you want things quickly, you need to consider Search Engine Marketing services.

Have you always wanted to improve the visibility of your business website on search engines like Google and over your competitors?

People visit online sites to purchase goods and services. But, the problem is that they are likely to visit only the first few websites that search engines display on the first page, rather than scrolling through numerous pages. Here, comes the need for a Search Engine Marketing agency.

Read everything there is to know about Search Engine Marketing in this article such as:

  • What is search engine marketing?
  • How it works?
  • How it is implemented?
  • SEM vs SEO
  • What are the benefits of SEO?

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Simply put Search Engine Marketing is a type of paid digital marketing that involves promoting a business or brand’s site on search engine results pages (SERPs). It simply means getting your brand on the first page of a search engine like Google to get more website traffic that can be converted for payment.

If you type in a Google search query and press ‘Enter’ you will notice that the first 1-2 results are ads and sometimes there is even a product carousel running. These are all sponsored ads and techniques of search engine marketing.

Something like this:

A search for “best streetwear shoes” shows the product listing with images



Often, most people confuse SEM and SEO. Let’s discuss both:

  1. SEO involves the organic promotion of a website, while SEM involves paid advertising and organic promotion as well. So SEO can be considered a fraction of SEM.
  2. SEM can generate quick revenue and traffic, whereas, SEO takes time.
  3. Both help in brand awareness.
  4. SEM results are instantly visible on the 1st page of SERP, whereas SEO results may take time to bring your website to the 1st page.
  5. SEO is less expensive than SEM.

How Does SEM Work?

To understand how search engine marketing works, you need to know the various terms and concepts. They include:

Keywords Research

It should be words that can briefly describe what customers are looking for. It is a term often used to describe the actual words entered into search engines to generate certain results. It could be a phrase or a group of words. For instance, keywords could be “best New York salon” or “where to get automobile tires.” Keywords are divided into two types – specific or long-tail, and they play an important role in visibility.


Google Ads is a popular SEM platform; however, when creating a campaign, concordance is needed. It is a term that describes the agreement between the keyword and the commonly used word(s) that people enter on a search engine. With this concordance, the search engine can produce the same results as the entered keyword.


In digital marketing, Campaign is a generic word used to classify various ads bearing the same purpose. Campaign keyword research is related to the business niche. For instance, a house set up campaign would include ads on furniture, appliances, kitchenware, and so on. Any campaign also needs to consider the details such as age, location, gender, and timeframe.

Landing Page

A landing page is the first page on a company’s website that a user is directed to after clicking the ad on Google. Often, this page is optimized to meet the requirements of a user – there are also recommendations for other pages on this site if it doesn’t solve the issue.

Quality Score

Google scores ads and keywords based on relevance, landing page quality, and the number of clicks (in %). This Quality Score determines the cost per click.

Search Network

It describes platforms where an ad appears. Knowing the various search engine marketing concepts makes it easy to understand how it works. The top world search engine platforms are:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Ecosia
  • Yandex
  • Yippy Search
  • AOL
  • Duckduckgo


It describes the number of times a company’s ad is clicked.


It describes the total number of times an ad appears.

What are the Types of SEM?

Using Google Ads, for example, there are various types of ads that businesses could run to ensure discoverability and promotion. However, in turn, these ads divide SEM into four different types. They include;

1. Text Ads

Text Ads are the most popular SEM strategy. It is also the simplest because it involves using parameters such as a headline, a body, and hyperlinks to a brand’s website. Text Ads often appear around organic listings in different forms.

2. Responsive Ads

Responsive Ads are also another easy type because it involves leaving Google to develop a strategy that would meet up with a customer’s or searcher’s needs or behavior. It only requires parameters such as headlines and campaign descriptions.

3. Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads is mostly used for eCommerce websites. It often involves using keywords, only that, in this case, are photos and item prices.

4. Local Services’ Ads

Local Services Ads is an SEM designed for local businesses, such as auto stores, restaurants, bars, etc. It is an ad that targets people living in a particular area.

How Do We Setup a Campaign?

Step 1. Set a campaign on Google Ads using keyword research related to the business or ad

Step 2. While crafting this campaign, you should consider entering other details such as age, location, gender, and timeframe.

Step 3. When the campaign is set, Google Ads or any SEM platform will show the ads based on an approach or term called “Ad Auction.” It is the platform’s way of ensuring the placement of ads based on competition with other businesses using similar keywords.

Step 4. To be at a better placement on a SERP, you need to pay more for this Ad Auction.

Step 5. Finally, you have to review the campaign regularly. It is important to do this so that you can evaluate the campaign’s success and develop strategies to craft and promote the next.

Common SEM Strategies

Search Engine Marketing doesn’t always appear the same all the time. It changes to meet a company’s needs. Below are 4 strategies commonly used.

1. SEM Automation

SEM automation is the future of marketing. It involves platforms executing certain tasks and processes automatically without human influence. With this strategy, there is a freeload of routine tasks, giving business owners a chance to focus on other activities. It is the perfect option for companies with limited budgets or those looking to cut marketing costs.

SEM automation technology often has a series of features for executing these tasks. They include smart campaigns, automated rules, and smart campaigns. Google Adwords, for instance, is an SEM platform with automation features to use for business promotion.

2. Voice Search Optimization

One of the many things that will change digital marketing in the future is the adaptation of voice search. Over time, people have gotten used to setting up business campaigns with texts, which can be a hassle. First, you would struggle with coming up with the right keywords; then, there is the struggle of entering the range of a target audience.

However, Voice Search Optimization will help adjust your ads and include more keywords to improve visibility. More so, introducing a unique style of conversational marketing might be an additional help.

According to predictions, the voice search shopping market will be worth over $50 billion over the next few years.

3. Alternate Ad Platforms

Alternate Ad Platforms is a strategy that involves linking two search engines for discoverability and sales. For instance, Google is a popular search engine that many have considered useful over the past decade or more. However, with the rise of other platforms like Amazon, there has been a slight decline in the use of Google.

Consumers no longer have to visit Google to find an item when they have Amazon. But with the Alternate Ad Platforms strategy, there is a way to balance both – Amazon ads listed on Google. These ads have a better conversion rate. So, as Google handles visibility, Amazon handles sales and purchases.

4. Device Customization

According to reports, most generated traffic on the internet was from smartphones. Not much was discovered from desktop devices. However, with the device customization strategy, there is a way for businesses to adjust their SEM to what works for them.

For instance, businesses can track traffic from various devices and adjust to the most suitable one. It is more or less like dealing with specificity than generic marketing. Additionally, this strategy ensures landing page optimization for ad leads, so loading time on mobile or desktop devices is convenient.


A search on “where to buy the best kitchen appliances”

Top 5 Benefits of Search Engine Marketing

Generally, Search Engine Marketing does a great job for businesses if only it was understood and the right strategy was applied. Here are the top 5 benefits it guarantees;

1. Generates More Traffic to a Brand’s Website

One of SEM’s many benefits is driving more traffic to a brand’s website. Ideally, it isn’t easy doing this organically, and sometimes requires a lot of time and resources. However, with the right SEM strategy and platform, you don’t have to do too much to generate traffic to your site. It automatically suggests your services or products to interested users when they search with certain keywords.

2. Improves Business Discoverability

Another reason why SEM is recommended is that it helps with business discoverability. People don’t have to click your link before they find you on the SERP. And as for those SERP leads to your website for your products, it is only good for your business. Recognizability is power in marketing.

3. Minimizes Marketing Budget

For every brand owner, marketing is the most of running a business. It often requires a lot of money – from setting up a campaign to finding customers. However, SEM makes this easier for all – regardless of the company’s size. It requires the least budget – although the more you spend, the higher the chances of finding more customers. But you can start small and increase your budget as you make more sales through advertising.

4. Increases Conversions

Conversions haven’t always been the best with websites. Search Engine Marketing improves it because the various tools or platforms will increase results after you’ve optimized your landing page. Technically, an optimized landing page means increased conversions.

5. Tracks Business Progress

Finally, the most SEM does for a business is to help track its progress. Based on the results and certain metrics from marketing campaigns on search engine platforms, you can tell if your business ad is doing well or not. If it isn’t, this tool allows you to develop new strategies to improve visibility and conversions.

What Do You Need to Do To Improve SEM?

If you are struggling with developing an SEM strategy for your business, you should consider the following:

1. Ads Personalization

The secret to effective marketing is personalization. Many business owners underestimate this strategy, but it delivers the best results. Personalizing your ads makes it easy for you to find the right audience. The reason is that you clearly explain the problems your potential customers face and how you plan to solve them. You may even offer a bonus approach, e.g., purchase discounts.

For some time now, ad personalization has been discovered to have a return potential of seven times the regular approach.

2. Countdown Approach

Another method to use to improve SEM is to use countdowns. It is a way to influence potential customers to buy your products or use your services. The psychological need to jump on an offer before it closes always kicks in and helps SEM.

To make the countdown approach, you should run your campaign on the search engine platform with a countdown timer. So, even if a searcher doesn’t use that service immediately, they are reminded to.

3. Match Ads with Your Landing Page

A common mistake most brand owners make when setting up an SEM campaign is working on the ads and landing page independently. It doesn’t always work for some businesses. You need to match the ads with the landing page. If you do, when people click your ad, they will automatically be interested in purchasing an item.

Therefore, you need to have the ad and landing page tackling the same issue and meeting the audience’s needs. Besides, the alignment of both means increased conversion.

4. Remarket to the Same Audience

Another thing that improves SEM is remarketing to the same audience or customers. There is power in knowing your real audience and reaching out to them using strategies such as email marketing. But if you have to know your audience, you must create a campaign to target certain people and locations. And based on the result, you can find those interested in your services or products. Then, you can use this data and remarket to them personally.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is an important tool for every business owner leveraging digital marketing for sales and visibility. It offers the most benefits if the brand applies the best strategy and uses the ideal type of SEM suitable for the business. In the future, there will likely be improvements in how campaigns are crafted to help more businesses.

Why Partner With Digital Guider?

We are not like any other digital advertising company. Many advertisers in the market often sell a package and forget. However, our team gives each of our client’s consistent attention throughout our partnership. We constantly evaluate and implement new strategies to improve your ROI (Return on investment) whether you are a brand-new client or have partnered with us for years.

Source: https://digitalguider.com/blog/what-is-search-engine-marketing/

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