Content Marketing Benchmarks

What is SEM?

What Is SEM In Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a vast field that involves several similar-sounding yet different concepts like SMO and SMM. If you have been in the world of marketing long enough, you would have heard of SEM. So, what is SEM?

SEM is the umbrella term for techniques that can help drive traffic to your website. In today’s world, where every business is experiencing a digital transformation, SEM represents a crucial component of every marketing strategy.

Continue reading to get an in-depth view of SEM and how you can use it to reach your target audience online.

What Is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing SEM refers to practices and techniques used to improve a website’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs). More specifically, using SEM strategies means using paid strategies for your products or services to get the desired results.
With the help of SEM, companies pay for ads to appear on the SERPs. These ads will appear on top of every page based on some targeted keywords.

For instance, your company’s target keyword is “virtual assistant” for the ad groups. Every time an online visitor searches for this keyword online, your paid advertisements will appear! Since it is a paid placement, you will be charged every time a visitor clicks on the ad (PPC advertising).

Thus, an SEM campaign drives traffic to your web pages. More importantly, company advertisers get the opportunity to attract leads motivated to make an immediate purchase.


SEO vs SEM - Which one is better for business?

When discussing “what is SEM?”, many tend to use SEO and SEM interchangeably. They may sound similar but use very different tactics for search optimization.
Search Engine Optimization SEO uses organic strategies to gain visibility on SERPs. Instead of paid advertisements, marketers will focus on optimizing keywords, search queries, backlinks, and technical factors like loading the website pages quickly and so on.

This way, you do not have to pay anything when a user clicks on company web pages. However, managing your online brand presence through SEO takes time as it focuses on organic search results. It can take months of implementing SEO strategies before the company begins to rank higher up in the searches.

That is why SEM is known as “buying your way into search results”. You can get immediate visibility for your website with higher click through rates or CTRs.

The Fundamentals Of SEM

When you are placing a paid advertisement, you will find that several online platforms vary with their cost models. So here are some SEM parameters you need to know about before buying advertisements.

  • Costs per click – CPC or PPC is the most commonly adopted cost model where advertisers pay when a visitor clicks on the ad. Google Ads or Google Adwords follow this model.
  • Costs per impression – Here, advertisers pay every time the ad shows up on the SERPs, even if the visitor does not click on it.
  • Costs per action – This cost model and metric measures how much your business will pay every time an action is taken, i.e., conversion.

Tips On Achieving Higher SEM Profitability

While SEM proves to be a great strategy, it only works best when you can regain your advertising costs.

So how do you know if you have enough marketing investment for it?

Such complicated intricacies of SEM are hard to crack. That is why companies look to get professional help for optimizing web presence.

Even so, you should have some basic knowledge about improving SEM profitability that the tips mentioned below provide you with.

Set Budgetary Goals

To get your money’s worth, set conversion goals for your search engine marketing campaign. You can track how much money you are spending on this and how much you are making back through purchases.

Then conduct keyword research to identify the most popular keywords used by your target audience. Consider the expected ROI and choose search terms that will give you a positive ROI based on the company budget.

Later on, you can optimize the keywords to improve your Quality Score. Quality Score helps your advertisements get more visibility at a lower cost!

Create Compelling Ad Copy

It is not enough to buy an ad and reach the top. The campaign only works when you compel visitors to click on the ad. Here are some characteristics of an attractive ad copy.

  • Copy should relate to purchase intent, containing relevant keywords.
  • Communicate the unique selling point or benefit your company is offering.
  • Include a clear and concise call to action.

Use A/B Testing

SEM gets you fast results, so you can quickly make changes to your ad strategies if needed. With A/B testing, try out ad variations to analyze what resonates with the audience. This allows you to make changes, finally arriving at the perfect combination of SEM strategies for a high-performing ad.

Summing It Up

SEM cleverly acquires a prominent position on the search results for the company website. The enhanced brand presence will generate solid leads and thereby sales!

Now that you know the answer to “what is SEM”, begin planning your strategy. The first step will be to develop a complete overview of your target audience. SEM tools help you learn more about the market so you can create competitive search engine marketing campaigns.

Get in touch with Asset Digital Communications to access such tools and professional assistance for stronger online visibility.