Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy. It is used to increase the visibility of a website in any search engine result pages (SERPs).
The industry term once referred to both organic search activities such as search engine optimization (SEO) and paid. It now refers almost exclusively to paid search advertising.
Importance of SEM
Search engine is also referred to as paid search or pay per click (PPC).
With an increasing number of consumers researching for products online, search engine marketing has become a crucial online marketing strategy .
In fact, the majority of new visitors to a website find it by performing a query on a search engine.
In search engine marketing, advertisers only pay for impressions that result in visitors, making it an efficient way for a company to spend its marketing dollars. As an added bonus, each visitor incrementally improves the website’s rankings in organic search results.
Since consumers enter search queries with the intent of finding information of a commercial nature, they are in an excellent state of mind to make a purchase, compared to other sites such as social media where users are not explicitly searching for something.
Search marketing reaches consumers at exactly the right time: when they are open to new information. Unlike the majority of digital advertising, PPC advertising is non-intrusive and does not interrupt their tasks.
Results are immediate with SEM. It is arguably the fastest way to drive traffic to a website.
Examples of search ads
Google AdWords is actually two networks: Google Search Network and Google Display Network. The first network consists exclusively of search-related websites owned by Google, while the second includes properties such as YouTube, Blogger and Gmail. The Bing Ads allows customers to buy ads on both the Yahoo’s network of websites and Bing’s network.
While Google Ads is a much larger network (around 2x the size), the pricing is often lower on Bing Ads. Marketers may be able to get a better rank for a competitive keyword phrase for less than they get on Google. And some report that the clickthrough rates are higher as well.