Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – How it Impacts SEO
SEM, or search engine marketing, is a highly effective way to increase your ranking on search engines like Google and attract qualified traffic to your website. Investing in SEM is an excellent way for you to grow brand awareness and increase sales.
Search Engine Marketing Definition
SEM is a digital marketing strategy focused on growing your company or your client on the first page, if not the first position, of search engine results. The goal of this is to drive a higher volume of traffic to your site, which you can then convert.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing includes all the tools, methods, and strategies that help optimize the visibility of websites and web pages in search engines such as Google and other similar sites.
There are two main methods to show up at the top of the result.
- Organic or natural results are ordinarily displayed in the center of the page and are selected by Google’s algorithm. This algorithm assesses both the website’s relevance (the quality of the content and to what extent it responds to a specific search) and the website’s authority (links from other pages).
- Paid results are further displayed at the top of the page but in a column on the right. Unlike organic results, the advertiser must pay a certain amount for each click on their ad. To buy advertising space on search engines, it is important to use platforms such as Google Ads.
In theory, search engine marketing covers both kinds of results. But in practice, techniques aimed at improving organic positioning fall into the category of SEO, and methods aimed at appearing among the paid results are categorized as SEM. To avoid confusion, we will use the phrase SEM or search engine marketing only for the latter.
Therefore, search engine marketing consists of a series of tools, techniques, and strategies to optimize search engine advertising, appear in the top positions, get lower costs per click, and maximize conversions from these ads. The most well-known and widely used SEM platform is Google Ads, but other solutions exist, such as Bing Ads.
Search Engine Marketing Concepts
- Keywords: these are the phrases that users enter into search engines that prompt a particular ad or search result to be shown. They do not have to be single words. It is common to use groups of words or phrases, such as purchase Nike shoes or what is the best accounting software.
- Concordance: when setting up a campaign in Google Ads, you will require to define the degree of correspondence between the keywords you have selected and the terms that people use when typing a query into a search engine. This is known as concordance. For instance, if you opt for a broad match, the ad will be displayed when the user searches for synonyms or terms similar to the keyword. If you opt for an exact match, the ad will look only when the user enters a specific keyword in the search engine.
- Text ad: this is the standard type of ad shown in search engines, although today there are various options such as shopping ads. Text ads ordinarily include a title, a visible URL that can be customized, and a short description.
- In Google Ads, an ad group consists of several ads that feature the exact keywords. With this approach, you can see which of them are the most effective.
- Campaign: in Google Ads, the campaign is like the umbrella under different ad groups with related goals are organized. For instance, if you sell school supplies online, one campaign could include ad groups featuring textbooks, another could have backpacks, and a third could focus on drawing materials.
- Landing page: this is the web page the user is directed to after hitting on an advertisement. To achieve good results with search engine marketing, this page must be optimized to get conversions and prompt users to take specific actions (like completing a form to download an ebook). The keywords, the ad is shown, and the landing page should all be aligned to ensure a good user experience.
- Search Network: these are the points where your ads appear. The most common option is on the top and right of the results page, but you can also present them on other sites such as YouTube.
- Impressions: this refers to the number of times an ad was displayed.
- Clicks: are the number of times an ad has been ticked on.
- CTR: is the percentage of hits on total impressions.
- CPC: is the average cost per click.
- Quality Score: this is the score that Google gives ads and keywords which influence your cost per click. This score is defined based on the relevance of the ad, the percentage of clicks obtained, and the experience of the landing page. The objective of this system is for higher quality ads to obtain higher positions and have a lower cost per click.
What Value Does SEM Add to Your Business?
Generates Highly Qualified Traffic
Generating traffic organically can be a very long and tedious method where the results are only seen in the long term. Search engine marketing supports you to accelerate this process and get users to your website from the beginning. In addition, you can be assured that these users are interested in what you offer since they have searched for it.
Appearing in the top results of Google and other search engines associates your brand with a specific need even if they do not click the first time they see it.
The ultimate goal of Google Ads and other search engine marketing tools is to better business results. To do this, you will need to build optimized landing pages that put users on the path to conversion.
Gets the Most Out of Your Budget
One of the significant advantages of search engine marketing is that it is a suitable solution for all sizes since the minimum investment is very affordable. On the other hand, if your brand is growing, you can improve the investment and the complexity of your campaigns to keep your momentum. Also, since you only pay if you get results (in the form of clicks), you can be sure that your funds are used effectively.
Gets Measurable Results
Search engine marketing solutions such as Google Ads provide numerous metrics on campaigns and let you know what is happening at all times. This way, it is straightforward to correct the course if needed and get better results.
Search engine marketing or SEM has great potential to support companies achieve their goals quickly and scalable. To get the most out of it, it is ideal to have specialists who have extensive experience positioning brands in Google.