For your company’s content to rank higher in search engines, you need to implement several tactics to promote your business and bring your products or services closer to your target audience.

One of the most effective marketing strategies you can use is SEM, which stands for Search Engine Marketing.

What Is SEM?

SEM is a method of internet marketing that branding agencies use to increase a website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

SEM once referred to processes using both paid and organic search activities such as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. But now, SEM and SEO are two different categories, with SEM referring mostly to paid search advertising. 

What Is the Importance of SEM?

In an extremely competitive virtual marketplace, your company competes with millions of other businesses for the attention of potential customers. Consumers research products before they shop online and use search engines, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, to perform a search query. In most cases, when consumers enter a search query, they aim to find more information about a product or service, with some of them intent on making a purchase. 

This makes SEM a crucial digital marketing strategy in expanding your brand’s reach and improving your website’s ranking. Eventually, this drives more traffic to your website and more conversions for your business. 

How Does SEM Work?

SEM generally involves using paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These PPC ads appear at the top of the SERPs or the marketing platform of the search engine. Some of the most recognizable marketing platforms are Google AdWords, Microsoft Ads, and Yahoo Search Ads. PPC ads are easy to spot, as they often have the tag “Ad” beside the links. They may also be in the form of display ads, social ads, remarketing ads, and instream ads. 

Search engines use complicated algorithms to ensure that they give the most relevant results when a consumer performs a search query. Search engine ad platforms work on a bidding system. This means you need to place bids on keywords and target audiences. 

If you are using paid SEM to promote your website, you will:

  • Select the keyword that you want to use for your PPC ad 
  • Identify the location where you want your ad to be promoted
  • Optimize the content of the ad that will appear on the SERP
  • Make a bid on how much you are willing to pay for each click on your PPC ad

How Can You Use SEM Effectively?

A strong SEM campaign can drive brand awareness and visibility more quickly. To use SEM effectively, you can follow these steps:

  • Plan your search campaign strategy.

Map out your short and long-term objectives. Decide whether you want to focus solely on paid search or include organic search in your marketing campaign. Do note that improving your organic search ranking may take time, while launching a paid search campaign is faster. You also need to consider factors such as the amount of traffic you’re aiming for and the budget for your campaign.

  • Create a list of relevant keywords.

As in SEO, keywords are an essential part of a successful SEM campaign. You should aim for high-volume keywords that have low competition. Choosing the right keywords will boost your ad ranking and lower your cost-per-click or CPC.

If you need help in selecting keywords, you can use keyword research tools. They can provide valuable information on keyword search volume, competition level, and average CPC. 

  • Optimize your website’s content.

You may need to rewrite some of your content to make them more timely, compelling, and valuable to your audience. Determine how you can naturally incorporate the keywords you’ve chosen. Additionally, avoid keyword stuffing, as it will only bring down search rankings. 

You can also link to existing content on your website because this shows your authority on the subject. Moreover, it helps visitors understand the relationship among the different contents on your website.

  • Create your PPC ad.

A great PPC ad not only includes the keyword you bid on, but it must also address the need of your target market and entice them to click on it. Further, your PPC ad should lead to the landing page related to it.