You want to show up on the first page of search engines but also don’t want to wait months for that. So, what’s the solution? Hi everyone, this is Digital Abhi, your digital marketing friend. And today I will share what is SEM or Search Engine Marketing.

Also, if you are a video person, you can click here to watch the video. Or you can skip directly to the end of this post where I have embedded a video on the same content. Or if you are quite busy, you can just listen to this content in a podcast form. 

What is SEM?

In the intro to SEO post, we have already discussed how you can benefit if you can show up at the top of the search results. But SEO is a time taking process and sometimes we don’t have that much time to start getting results.

And the solution to this problem is SEM or Search Engine Marketing. And what is it?

SEM is a way of marketing in which you boost the visibility of your website or webpage on search engines through paid advertising. Basically, you’re paying search engines to show your website on the top of the search results. 

Also, Search Engine Marketing is pay per click advertising method where you just pay whenever someone clicks on your ad. If no one clicks on the ad, you pay nothing. For example, if 1000 people see your ad on a particular day and out of those, you get 30 clicks. So, you will just pay for the 30 clicks you got. If from the 1000 people no one clicks on your ad, you will pay nothing.

Every search engine offers you a platform to run ads. Because that’s how they make money. But we are going to discuss about Google only as with 92% market share worldwide, Google dominates the search engine market.

percentage of google users

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<p align="center"><a href='https://digitalabhi.com/what-is-seo/'><img src='https://digitalabhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/perecntage-of-google-users.png' alt='percentage of Google Users' width='540' border='0' /></a><br/><strong>Search Engine Market Share Worldwide<br/>Image Source: digitalabhi.com</strong></p>

Google Adwords

To market our business on the Google network, we need Google Adwords. And what is Google Adwords? It is an online advertising platform developed by Google. You can sign up on Google Adwords and start creating ads for your business.

You can show ads based on the location, age, gender, search queries of your audience, their interests, and a lot of other factors. Also, you need some skills to operate Google Adwords. And there are also a few terminologies which you should know before moving on to SEM.

Also Read a quick post Intro to Digital Marketing

CPC or Cost Per Click

It is the price you pay for each click in your marketing campaign.

CTR or Click Through Rate

It is the ratio of the number of clicks to the number of impressions on your ad. If your ad is seen by 50 people and 3 of them click on your ad, then the CTR will 6%.

Creative or Ad Creative.

It is the heading and description of your ad.

SERP or Search Engine Results Page

These are webpages that a search engine shows you when you search for something.

Impressions

It is simply the number of times your ad is seen.

Quality Score

It is a ranking that Google gives your ad based on its CTR, relevancy, landing page, and a few other factors. There are a lot of other terms also. But these are the important ones.

SEO vs SEM

Now there’s one thing you need to understand. SEM is different from SEO. Sometimes people get confused between them. But they are two different things. SEO is when you try to drive traffic to your website organically. SEM is when you drive inorganic traffic to your website.

In simple terms, if you are paying the search engine to get traffic or to show your website in the top results, then it is SEM or Search Engine Marketing. And when you don’t pay anything to search engines to get traffic to your website or to get in the top results, then it is SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

When you are doing SEO, it takes time to see the results. But with SEM, the results are instantaneous. You can run an ad in the morning and start seeing the results by evening. But that’s not the case with SEO. However, SEO will generate long-lasting results. And on the other hand, SEM will get you results as long as you are willing to pay for it.

seo vs sem digital abhi

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<p align="center"><a href='https://digitalabhi.com/what-is-sem/'><img src='https://digitalabhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/seo-vs-sem-digital-abhi.png' alt='SEO vs SEM' width='540' border='0' /></a><br/><strong>SEO vs SEM (Image Source: digitalabhi.com)</strong></p>

Identifying SEM Results

When you search for something, the results you see are a mixture of organic and inorganic. So, how can you identify if a particular result is showing up because of paid marketing? 

Let’s say you search for something and if you see ‘Ad’ or ‘Sponsered’ above or below the heading of the search result, then the particular search result is there because of SEM. And if you don’t see anything like ‘Sponsered’ or ‘Ad’, then that search result is there because of SEO. 

When to use SEM?

I will explain this with an example. Let’s say you have a gift shop. And there’s a festival coming up in a couple of weeks. So, obviously people will be shopping online to purchase gifts, etc. In this situation, it is next to impossible to get your website and products at the top with SEO.

So, instead of stressing over SEO, you can spend a little money and pay the search engines to show your products at the top. This way you got both sales and brand recognition.

Why SEM or Search Engine Marketing?

This above example is one of the reasons why you should use Search Engine Marketing. Let’s see some more reasons:

Brand Awareness

The first one is brand awareness. Google gets more than 3.5 billion searches every single day. So, if you show up at the top of the search results, your brand or business is definitely going to get a lot of traction.

Great for Local Businesses

Second, SEM is great for local businesses. Let’s say, you have a clothing shop. And someone searches for ‘clothing shops near me’. And if you show on the top, you are going to get the majority of traction.

Or let’s say if someone searches for ‘clothing shops in Delhi’. Now there are hundreds of clothing shops in Delhi. And what happens if you show at the top? Again you are going to get the majority of traction. So, this will not only boost your brand awareness but will also help you to boost the revenue of your business. 

Generates Immediate results

Also, it generates immediate results. Unlike SEO, you don’t have to wait for months to start seeing the results. As I said earlier, you can run the ad in the morning and start seeing results by evening.

More Qualified Leads

Also, through SEM, you get more qualified leads. If someone is searching ‘buy Nike shoes online’ then that person is already having a buyer intent. And that’s how you can benefit from Search Engine Marketing.

For a marketing strategy, you can try a mix of both SEM and SEO. And if you want a marketing strategy to boost the revenue of your business, you can visit: Work With Me or you can shoot me an email on contact@digitalabhi.com.

And here is the video on the content we just discussed above.

What is SEM? Introduction to Search Engine Marketing

Conclusion on SEM

Search Engine Marketing is a great strategy when you want to drive traffic to your website from search engines. With this, you can start seeing the results instantaneously and you don’t have to wait for months like SEO. For a perfect startegy, you can combine both SEM and SEO.

General FAQ

What is SEM?

SEM or Search Engine Marketing is a way of marketing in which you boost the visibility of your website or webpage on search engines through paid advertising. Basically, you’re paying search engines to show your website on the top of the search results. 

What is Google Adwords?

Google Adwords is an online advertising platform developed by Google. You can sign up on Google Adwords and start creating ads for your business.

What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

In simple terms, if you are paying the search engine to get traffic or to show your website in the top results, then it is SEM. And when you don’t pay anything to search engines to get traffic to your website or to get in the top results, then it is SEO.

Why use SEM?

There a lot of reasons to use SEM which includes: Brand Awareness, Getting more qualified leads, Generating immediate results. It is also a boon for local businesses.

So, this was an introductory post on what is SEM or Search Engine Marketing. Thanks a lot for taking out time to read this post. I hope you got some value from this and if you did do let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any doubts, questions, or queries, you can shoot it in the comments section below.

Other than that, you can also connect with me on social media. You can share your doubts directly there. I will be happy to help you. Also, stay tuned. Why? Because I am consistently putting valuable content for you.

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