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SEM, The new way of Marketing

Updated: Jan 25

With more and more people searching online for answers to all types of questions and queries, brands need to discover how they can position webpages above those of their competitors.

Search engine marketing, or SEM, has become increasingly important in marketing. As more people search online to all kinds queries. We'll take a deep dive into search engine marketing so we can understand how it differs from SEO.

Acronyms to know

Before we continue, let's make sure our terminology is clear and understandable. Adding more acronyms to your marketing vocabulary can seem overwhelming, so here are just a few to keep in mind:

  1. SEM - search engine marketing

  2. SEO - search engine optimization

  3. PPC - pay-per-click

  4. ROI - return on investment

BUT What Exactly is SEM?

SEM is all about using paid advertising to boost a webpage's visibility on search results page. However, it can also be applied as a general that goes along with other types of digital marketing strategies such as pay per click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO).

The most popular search engine is Google, which is why many marketers use Google Ads to create ads, but you can also use some other platforms to promote any product, brand or business. Using a search engine like Google, you will see text or product ads at the top of the page related to your search terms, then, below that, the organic results which are webpages that match your online searches.

The first result a user sees on their results page is an ideal way for brands to get their products, ads, blogs, or promotions in front of their target market and potentially get enough clicks for their promotion to be successful.

Difference between SEM and SEO

Then, if SEM is all about placing ads at the top of results pages, then isn't SEO the same? Not exactly. Basically, SEO is about getting to the top of a search results page without having to pay for a click.

In other words, you are free to use both SEM and SEO strategies simultaneously. You might get better results if you use the two techniques side-by-side rather than just focusing on one method.

Key aspects to get to know for a successful SEM strategy

1. Get to know your keywords ( Keyword Research )

When it comes to SEM or SEO, keyword research is the first thing you should learn when working with search engines. Keyword research refers to discovering the terms that online searchers use that are relevant to your product or business.

Typically, a keyword is a short phrase that someone would use as their search query, not just one single word. The purpose of keyword research is to discover words that relate to your business and that users usually use to search online. There are many different tools to find the right keywords for your business, brand or product. Play around with the free tools until you're comfortable, and once you're ready, try a pay keyword solution for a better outcome.

2. Pay Per Click ( PPC )

A pay-per-click ad is one where the advertiser pays each time a user clicks on it. PPC marketing may include some banner ads and, of course, search engine marketing. The use of this type of marketing is unlike more static advertising, with which you might pay a flat rate for your ad to appear for a specific length of time, regardless of how many people interact with it.

3. Target Audience or Target Ads

When creating relevant ads, it's a good idea to target them based on your target audience.

There are several ways to target your ads in order to get them seen by the right people, including:

  • Age : Using age ranges, you can target your ads only at a particular group of people.

  • Gender: Choose whether your ad appears only to women or men.

  • Location: if your ad is for a promotion in a certain region, you can set it only to show to people in that region.

  • Day/Time: Set ads to only display during specific hours so your ads won't waste clicks during times when you aren't available or when they aren't relevant.

The more boundaries and targets you put on each ad, the more relevant they are to the users who see them, which in turn increases return on investment.

4. Discover SEM Platforms

There are Manny SEM platforms out there for you to experiment on and discover but the best ones our team likes to vouch for are the following:

  • Google Ads

  • Microsoft Advertising

Search Engine Marketing is constantly changing and as marketers we are forced to keep ourselves up to date with all of the new trends and technology moving and changing businesses.


Gabriel E. Perez

Customer Success Manager, Accounts


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