Search engine marketing (SEM) is a strategy of Digital Marketing used to increase visibility of a website in search engine results pages .
While industry term once referred to the both organic search activities such as search engine optimization and paid, it is now refers almost exclusively to paid search advertising.
Search engine marketing is also referred to as paid search or pay per click .
Why is SEM important?
Search engine marketing has become crucial online marketing strategy for increasing a company’s reach.With increasing in number of consumers researching and shopping for products online
The majority of new visitors to a website find it by performing query on a search engine.
In search engine marketing, advertisers only pay for the impressions that result visitors, making it an efficient way for the company to spend its marketing dollars. As a bonus, each visitor incrementally improves the website’s rankings in the organic search results.
Consumers enter search queries with intent of finding the information of a commercial nature, they are in xcellent state of mind to make purchase, compared to the other sites such as social media .
Search marketing reaches the consumers at exactly right time: when they are open to the new information. Unlike majority of digital advertising, PPC advertising is non-intrusive and does not interrupt the tasks.
Results are immediate with SEM. It is the fastest way to drive traffic to the website.
How SEM works?
SEM or Search Engine Marketing, is digital marketing strategy which involves in promoting website or online business through paid advertising on search engines like Bing,Google, and Yahoo. SEM is most often used to increase visibility of the website in search engine results pages and drive traffic to site. Here is how SEM works:
1. Keyword Research: First Marketers identify relevant keywords and phrases that the potential customers might use when searching for the products or services. These keywords are foundation of SEM campaigns.
2. Campaign Setup: After selecting the keywords, marketers create SEM campaigns using the online advertising platforms like Bing Ads or Google ads. In these platforms, they set up the parameters for their ads, including budget, target audience, geographic location, and advertisement scheduling.
3. Ad Creation: Marketers create compelling and relevant ads which will appear in search results when the users search for selected keywords. Ads typically consist of headline, description, URL, and often the extensions like site links or callout extensions.
4. Bidding: SEM operates on bidding system. Marketers specify maximum amount they are willing to pay when user clicks on their ad (CPC or Cost Per Click ). The search engine uses an auction-based system to determine which ads will appear for given search query.
5. Ad Placement: When user enters search query that matches keywords targeted in SEM campaign, search engine runs an auction to determine which ads will be displayed. Factors considered in auction include bid amount,the ad relevance, and expected click-through rate.
6. Ad Rank: Advertisers’ bids and quality of their ads contribute to their Ad Rank, which determines ad’s position in search results. Higher-quality ads with relevant content often achieve better positions even if they have lower bids.
7. Ad Display: When user’s search query triggers an ad in auction, winning advertisements are displayed in search results, typically at top and bottom of the page or in sidebar. Users can click on these ads to visit advertiser’s website.
8. Cost Control: Advertisers are charged when the users click on their ads. SEM platforms allow marketers to set the daily or monthly budgets to control costs. Once budget is exhausted, the ads stop running for specified period.
9. Monitoring and Optimization: Successful SEM campaigns require the ongoing monitoring and optimization. Marketers analyze performance of their ads, click-through rates, including conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI). They adjust their ad copy, keyword selection, and bidding strategy to improve results.
10. Landing Page Experience: Effectiveness of SEM campaigns is not the just about getting clicks; it’s also about what happens after click. Marketers need to ensure that landing page user is directed to provides seamless and relevant experience, leading to the conversions like purchases, sign-ups, or inquiries.
SEM can be powerful way to drive the targeted traffic to the website quickly. It requires continuous management and optimization to achieve best results and a positive ROI.