What is SEM?

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing

The online marketplace has become a hub for intense competition. From 1 billion internet users to a staggering 4 billion in 2018-19, the number of users making online purchases or making online buying decisions has increased sharply. It is no surprise that thousands of companies are vying to catch the attention of their targeted customer base. As the search engine is used by almost everyone who uses the internet, it has become important to promote your brand through this great idea.SEM denotes a marketing strategy that evolves around the search engines like google, yahoo etc. In general, search engine marketing refers to paid advertisements. The effective use of paid ads on search engine results pages or SERPs can give any business a boost.

SEM Is Also known By Other Names Like

Pay per click (PPC)
Paid advertising
Paid search ads
Product listing adds
Shopping ads etc.

How it works?

Those who are new to the underlying concept behind SEM, a simple example can be enough to understand it. If you search for something on the internet via search engines like Google – you get the results displayed in a list. On the search page, you will find some results that are on the top of the results and are marked as ”AD” in the left. These results are generated because the company has opted for SEM.

In short, they have paid to be featured on the top position of the search results (above the organic search results driven by SEO). Anyone who is searching will likely choose the top initial results and websites or addresses to resolve their query. Hence, if a company wants to take advantage of the search engine and attract targeted customers, then SEM can be one of the effective marketing strategies.

Some Common Terms Used In SEM

In SEM, or search engine marketing, some terms are used to define various parameters of the strategy. These are-

CPC – CPC or cost per click is used to describe the charges an advertiser needs to pay per single click by a viewer
Impressions – Impression means the number of visibility for an advertisement. But this parameter cannot make it certain if the viewer saw it or ignored it.
CTR – Click-through rate is used to describe the number of viewers who saw your advertisement through different channels.
CPM – Cost per million impressions is just a variation of CPC. A company which is advertising sets a goal for reaching a certain number of viewers and pays proportionally to the reached viewer limit.



Well, they are connected. SEO means search engine optimization. A digital marketing professional uses keywords and other parameters in such a way that a website or page gets a top place in the search results page of any search engine organically. That means you do not pay for advertising in the search engine. It is organically decided by the search engine page algorithm. SEO allows your website to appear most relevant to the asked question.

But, SEM or search engine marketing is a paid advertising method and you get the topmost places as an advertiser.

SEO and SEM are connected for a smart marketer crafting a holistic digital marketing campaign. If SEO is used with SEM then it can help any advertiser to reach more viewers at a single time. While SEO results take time, SEM produces the outcomes quicker. Hence a savvy marketer will use a balance of SEO and SEM, optimize ad spend, and generate maximum ROI for every dollar of the marketing budget.


Importance of keywords

Keywords are important for Search Engine Marketing as it is for SEO. The keywords need to be relevant and appropriate for a business. Besides that, the keywords must also be designed as per guidelines or Google or any other search engine so that it reaches more people. If your keyword matches the search requirement perfectly then your advertisement will be featured at the topmost advertisement position. Therefore, keywords are extremely important for SEM.


How does SEM bids work?

The fact is that any advertiser must bid for the top place with its marketing strategy. It includes the website size, keywords, and website content. Google also checks the landing page, CTR and other parameters for a website. All of these are used to determine the quality score of a website.

Besides that, you also need to clarify how much you are willing to pay for an advertisement. Your advertisement rank is determined by multiplying the CPC or cost per click bid and the quality score. That means, if your CPC bid score and Quality score is higher – your website will get the higher ad rank and will be featured in the prominent positions on the search engine.

Benefits of SEM

Search engine marketing is beneficial for both small and large scale companies and brands. It is flexible and customizable. Besides that, search engine marketing also allows the advertiser to control the advertising campaign to a greater extent.

Key Benefits of SEM for Business

Here are some benefits of SEM

1. SEM helps you to attract your targeted audience properly

The biggest benefit of SEM is that it allows an advertiser to attract the targeted audience for the right instance. The viewers are now intelligent and know their requirements completely. These people know what to enquire about and what to type into their searches for accurate answers. With SEM you can manage the keywords in your content and website so that it matches the search engine perfectly and allows you to reach the targeted audience in an instant. Since you are paying for the advertisement, you get featured in a prominent place and can easily catch the attention of your viewers.

2. SEM can be measured

SEM can be measured, and the advertisement campaign can be analyzed for a detailed discussion. Since the advertisement can be measured and examined in detail, you can easily check the number of viewers, the cost of an advertisement campaign and the number of customers you have reached with this advertisement. It allows you to change or customize the advertisement so that it becomes more effective.

3.Easy to implement

SEM can be easily implemented and gives quick results. You can easily tweak the website and implement the best possible option.

In a nutshell

These are some of the important benefits of SEM, and you now just need to find the best digital marketing service provider to ensure your advertisement is properly set up and able to find its place in the search engine results pages.


author – Jamie – Barton
Jamie Barton
CEO of NASN Licensing Inc. & Shopincities.com

Jamie has more than two decades of experience in accelerating brand visibility for online businesses. His company operates SEOResellersCanada.ca, a white label SEO and digital marketing agency. With his unique and actionable business processes, agencies and small businesses can successfully expand online operations without the traditional associated cost overhead.

For over 18 years we have been the solution to fit any size agency or business. Our team of creative SEO experts and marketers develop some of the best results driven campaigns in the industry.

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