Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy that is used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages.
While the word industry once referred and paid both organic search activities such as search engine optimization (SEO), it now refers to almost specially paid search advertising.
Search engine marketing is also known as alternatively paid search or pay per click (PPC).
Why is SEM important?
With the increasing number of consumers researching and making purchases for online products, search engine marketing has become an important strategy to increase the reach of the company.
In fact, the majority of new visitors on a website find it by doing a query on a search engine.
In search engine marketing, advertisers pay only for those impressions that result from visitors, which gives the company an effective way to spend their marketing dollars. As an added bonus, each visitor increases the website’s ranking in organic search results.
Since consumers enter search queries with the intention of looking for information of business nature, they are in excellent state of mind for achieving marketing messages and being as potential customers.
Search engine marketing reaches consumers at the right time: when they are open for new information. Unlike most digital advertising, search engine marketing is non-intrusive and does not interrupt its work.
The results are immediate with SEM. This is the fastest way to drive traffic to the website.
How SEM Works
Search engines use complex algorithms to ensure that the most relevant results are returned for each search, including location and other available information.
In paid search advertising, sponsored ads appear to be at the top and above the search engine results pages to gain more visibility and prominence than organic results.
Let’s assume that you are a customer looking for a product or service. You go to a search engine and type in your search terms (also called keywords).
In your search results page, you will come across different company ads whose keywords match the keywords in your search.
These ads appear in prominent places on the page – along with other search listings that match your keywords. Paid listings are highly relevant to your specific search, so you might click on them.
Now let’s see how SEM works from marketers perspective.
SEM networks are self-service operators. Once the marketers choose the network, it can get a campaign within a short period.
When setting up a campaign within a SEM network, the marketer is prompted to:
- Choose a set of keywords related to your website or product;
- Select geographical location to appear within the ad;
- Create text-based ads to appear in search results;
- Bid on the price they are willing to pay for each click on their ad.
- Text-only advertising is easy to produce. Marketers enter a URL for a title, text for the body of the ad, a call-to-action, and a hyperlink.
Search engine marketing is considered the most effective way to spend marketing dollars by many people.
Examples of search ad network
Two primary search networks targeted by SEM professionals are Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
Google AdWords really has two networks: the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network. The first network consists of Google-owned search-related websites, while others include features such as YouTube, Blogger, and Gmail.
Bing Advertising allows customers to buy ads on both Yahoo!’s websites and Bing’s network.
While Google AdWords is a large network (approximately 2x size), prices are often lower on Bing ads. Marketers may be able to rank better for competitive keyword phrases for less than on Google. And some reports that clickthrough rates are also high
How A / B Testing Can Supplement SEM
Since you are already investing in search engine marketing to bring traffic to your website, it is a worthwhile endeavor to optimize traffic for conversions and to increase the efficiency of your expenditure.
A / B Testing your landing pages is an easy way to maximize your expenditure, either by adjusting the average order value or revenue per page.
Optimizing your landing page can increase your Quality Score with search engine marketing networks, which reduces your average CPC.
Favorably – and such other platforms – can help you easily structure and implement your A / B tests, which provide real-time results to give you confidence in your business decisions. Optimization includes integrated advertising with Google Adwords and Facebook, which make advertising-related applications quick and easy.