Search Engine Marketing (SEM): A Beginners Guide

Search Engine Marketing

Introduction to Search Engine Marketing

With the ever-increasing online market, the competition to rank top in SERPs is crucial to keep your website in-game. For better revenue and more traffic, you need to market your site smartly. You must have noticed that certain sites are ranked top by Google and this ranking changes with time. You might be thinking it’s due to SEO right? Well, SEO plays a vital role too in boosting up your site’s visibility but for faster and consistent results a solid SEM or search engine marketing strategy is required.

Using SEM to its full potential can double up your business reach and growth. Here we have jotted down basic tips and pointers for beginners to plan a good SEM strategy and generate more revenue.

What does Search Engine Marketing Means?

Search engine marketing is paid marketing strategy through which a site can rank higher in search engine result pages or SERPs. The SEM strategy is a combination of organic traffic generation via SEO and paid ad placement on search engines.

SEM has three types which include Pay-per-click or PPC, pay-per-sale (PPS), and pay-per-impression (PPI). The most popular and used type among these is PPC.


SEM and SEO are similar in focusing on the right keyword, optimizing content, and boosting a company’s ranking in search engines. However, with time both have evolved into separate strategies. 

While SEO focus on free and organic traffic generation, SEM is paid ranking enhancer using SEO and other ad services to enhance a site’s visibility. We can say that SEO comes under SEM and for an effective SEM strategy SEO is essential.

Benefits of using SEM

Apart from increasing business traffic, SEM offers various benefits, which is why business owners invest in SEM strategy. Some prominent advantages include:

1. Brand image-building

Customers trust a site that is ranked in the top position in SERPs. SEM helps in building a positive image of the company and makes it look more reliable. This lifts its reputation socially and more customers will choose the business over other competitor sites.

2. Lower bounce rate

Bounce rate means how much time a user spends on your site before leaving. The lower the bounce rate the more credible your site will appear. With the right SEM strategy and paid ads, you can engage the user more on your site so that the bounce rate gets lower.

3. Better reach

SEO might also get you customers but it takes a long time. But with SEM you can instantly engage and reach more customers. In the online market, you can’t wait long to get results, and thus for branding and reaching more potential customers an SEM strategy is necessary.

Although it might cost you a good amount of money the ROI is impressive if you pick the right SEM manager and strategy.

4. Faster response

As said before SEM makes your site and ads reach the audience more quickly than organic SEO strategies. Your content can be indexed quickly and make your site rank higher in no time.

5. Targeted advertisement

With SEO observing the viewer’s list is not possible. But with SEM ad placement, there are added features that can optimize your ad placements and viewing for targeted audiences only. In addition to that SEM strategy focuses on local customers more.

This way your brand image is built and trusted locally making it appear more trustworthy to the customers online.

6. Better ranking by keywords

Initially creating optimized content and getting ranked for your focused keywords in search engines is tough. While new businesses work on making a successful SEO strategy the SEM can give them a quick and short way to rank higher in SERPs.

7. Increased clicks

Usually, businesses or sites get paid per click. With SEM the click rate is quite higher than with organic listings thus the ROI with SEM is impressive.

8. Regular traffic

To ensure their digital presence and brand trust businesses require constant customer engagement and traffic. With an organic SEO strategy, this might be possible but can get very tough to maintain. With SEM sites can attract traffic and maintain their position on SERPs without any extra effort.

Tips to build a successful SEM Strategy

SEM has promising results but that doesn’t mean investing without thinking will pay off. While you plan to spend on paid marketing make sure to pick the right agency and keep these simple tips in mind so that your money won’t go wasted:

1. Pick a best-suited search engine

Before you start devising your SEM strategy make sure to figure out your targeted audience and where they usually search.

This will help you to pick the right search engine and SEM tools and plan out an SEM strategy that beats your competitors and effectively improve your business reach and ranking on digital platforms.

2. Go simple and smart

A successful strategy doesn’t have to be complex. Always start low-key and simple in the beginning. So don’t go for buying multiple strategies and run campaigns simultaneously. This way not one of them will be able to show results.

Smartly play your marketing game and choose a simple yet effective strategy and observe the click rate and response, then add more features and enhance your strategy.

3. Ranking the focus keywords

Don’t forget the focused keywords as they are the main factor in attracting organic traffic. Combining these best keywords can boost your SEM strategy. Although they might be engaging customers organically too, with their right use in ads you get better ad response and ranking.

4. Optimized campaign

Like still water, a constant SEM strategy will get stagnant. To ensure good results and maintain ranking it is eminent to update the SEM strategy constantly and optimize it by observing the results.

Make sure that the ads are new and that your site’s products are in sync with your ads.

5. Understanding how Ad auction works

Google lists the ads at the top by ad auction. A good SEM strategy includes steps to use ad auction to rank your ad at the top. To get a higher ad ranking in Google ad auction there are certain steps you must take:

  • Bid higher i.e. if you offer a higher pay rate for ad placement google may prefer your ad more.
  • Make sure to increase the ad quality and relevance with the searches.
  • Try to add additional information about your company or business in your ad extension.

Some of the Best SEM tools

There are many SEM tools available online and many agencies offering their services to run your SEM strategies. Here are some of the best SEM tools:

1. Google Ads

With the biggest audience at google, you get more visibility and reach. In addition to that on Google ads, you get an extensive tool list that is easy to use and proves to be very productive.

2. Bing Ads

Another great SEM platform that pays off your investment is Bing ads which have wider reach and audience engagement than Google.

3. Verizon Media

Verizon media native is the PPC platform of Yahoo! And is a great SEM platform if you are looking for something different than Google which has a good reach.

Summing it up!

No doubt to penetrate the humungous competition in the online world SEM is the need of time. To engage your audience and get more ROI to make sure to devise a full-proof SEM strategy with the help of experts. 

Start little but start now and enjoy the astounding results it has in increasing your impact over the digital world!

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