Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Search Engine marketing is an effective route that reaches consumers at exactly the right time, unlike the majority of digital advertising. Results are immediate with SEM, and is believed to be the fastest way to drive traffic to a website.
In this digital marketing era, it is imperative to establish your business on the internet. For this reason, young entrepreneurs, writers, freelancers, and web developers and designers are all focusing on the strategies to build their business online.
To rank the business in the online world and gain more customers, it is necessary to reach an audience. In this high competition game, they need to learn strategies to rank on the first page to get more customers. This is where SEM plays its part. If you just introduced yourself to digital marketing and wondering about what is SEM and how it works? Don’t worry, we took all your concerns and put solutions in this article.
What Is SEM
Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a technique that helps businesses grow by ranking on the very first page of a search bar like Google to reach maximum customers. In other words, it is a digital marketing strategy to help increase brand awareness through increased visibility by paid advertisement on the internet.
Advertisers put their ads by paying for the keyword that the audience might search for on Google. This way, the ads are displayed on results to reach the audience and convert them into customers. It is such a powerful technique to reach your customers that no other platform provides you to grow your business.
How does SEM Works:
SEM is a fast way to reach your target audience, but it cannot convert them into loyal customers without a proper strategy. Take a look at how it works.
- Make a strategy and create a Campaign: For SEM to work, it is crucial to understand your audience’s needs and pain points to convert them into your customers. It is also essential to make a strategy to bid for the ads to appear on top, schedule your ads at specific timings according to your audience availability and location, and understand your budget’s limitations.
- Keywords hunting and bidding: Once you make your strategy, work on different keywords suitable to your brand. There are many types of keywords to target your audience. It requires detailed research to choose your keywords and bid them strategically against your competitor to reach the top results.
- Ads creations: The ads displayed on a search engine should be catchy headlines, detailed features, contact details, and CTA (call to action). Well thought written ads have the power to hook your audience and convert them into customers.
- Monitoring and optimization: If your ad appears on search engines, it doesn’t mean you should sit back and relax. It requires constant monitoring of your ad progress, optimizing it now and remaining on the top, and reaching the maximum audience.
SEM Keywords can be described as the words or phrases your target audience use to search for something online. Therefore, businesses build their ads on these keywords to reach their audience. Because whenever someone uses your keyword to search online, your ad will appear on the first page of their results.
- Broad Match Keywords targets variation of a term. It can be stemming, singular, or plural forms, or maybe synonyms of the keyword. For example, your ad for hats may show up for the search of hats, summer hats, winter hats, winter accessories, etc.
- Phrase Match Keywords targets exact phrases and phrases with keywords either at the start or end of the words. For example, for the digital marketing phrase match keyword, your ad may appear to do digital marketing, take a digital marketing course, etc.
- Exact Match Keywords targets words similar or closely related to the keyword. They may be singular or plural forms of the keyword, misspellings, stemming, abbreviation, or exact match of the target keyword. For example, if you target the same match keyword for a summer hat, your ad may target summers hat, summer hats, hats for summers, etc.
- Negative Keywords exclude terms that the business doesn’t want to target. They may be stemming or closely related to the target keyword but not in your campaign. For example, if you target negative keywords for digital marketing, your ad may target digital marketing training, target digital marketing course price, etc.
Platforms that provide you to display your ads to reach your target audience are Google and Bing.
- Google Ads:
The most widely SEM platform is Google ads. Billions of searches take place on Google from all over the world to reach their audience.
- Bing Ads:
The other SEM platform that helps business reach their target audience is Bing. It enables you to get an audience other than Google by displaying their ads on yahoo and MSN.
SEM or SEO:
People usually get confused between the terms SEO and SEM, as they are often used interchangeably. Both times are used to rank your article on the top of the search engine result page. However, they are two different terms used for various purposes.
SEO is used to rank your post on the top of search engines via organic feed, meaning you do not pay Google to rate your article on the top. However, SEM is paid advertisement of your business to appear on top of the top. But it is highly scalable, and you pay Google only when someone clicks on your Ad.
SEM gives instant results, unlike SEO, which takes months to show its effects. With SEM, businesses come across their customers quickly. Therefore, it is suitable for small businesses to reach their target audience in a short period.
SEM or SMA:
People also get confused between SEM with SMA (social media advertisement). As both are ads, they are often mistaken for the same thing. However, the case is the opposite.
SMA is an advertisement on social media pages like Facebook, Instagram, etc. It helps reach a specific audience category, but the time for ad displaying is also short. However, in SEM, one can target a large audience for an extended period. That being said, if combined, businesses can reach maximum customers.
Benefits Of SEM:
There are many positive impacts of SEM on your business.
- First of all, you get instant access to your target audience. With the right strategy, you can convert that audience into your loyal customers.
- SEM can target the right audience at the right time and location, the chance of reaching your prospect increases.
- If you are successful in converting your audience into customers, you bring in profits. That happens with the right strategy and well-written ads to hook your clients to your proposal.
Mistakes To Avoid In SEM
While SEM can give your business an instant boost, you need to be careful in executing it since it is a paid advertisement. The common mistakes that frustrate a customer and make him lose his interest in your ads are:
- Irrelevant ads that only cost you money
- Boring ad copy that doesn’t hook your audience attention
- Wrong keywords that don’t help you reach your audience
- Ignoring your competitors
- Not writing a clear call-to-action
- Fail to monitor and optimize your ad
Now that we have discussed in detail SEM, how it works, and its impact on business, it is safe to say that SEM provides you visibility if you need an instant reach to your audience. But do it with SEO to reap long-term benefits. Moreover, always use SEM strategically and consider cost and time duration to display your ads. SEM may not run forever, but with the right strategy and careful analysis of your competitors, it can help grow your business.