SEM - Search Engine Marketing

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are two acronyms that it is better to know if you have a website, and they become much more important if you will to promote it.

You have created a website, you have optimized it by creating excellent SEO, now the time has come to think if it can be useful for you to activate your site’s promotion campaigns on search engines.

If you have already heard of these acronyms but not yet understood what they are, here is a useful guide to understand what SEM is, or Search Engines Marketing.

1. What is SEM?

When you search for something on Google or Bing, the results immediately at the top and those in the right column are marked with the “Adv” tag.
Those sites are advertising themselves through paid ads and for this reason their visibility is higher than other organic search results.

SEM campaigns can target both the search network, then the results on Google or Bing, and the display network, which are all the other sites affiliated with Google Adv in the form of text ads and advertising banners. A third option is to also cover the video network, which covers Youtube and other Google partner sites.

This is the SEM explained in a simple way: a paid advertisement with the aim of being highlighted to people really interested in the products and services offered.

"Organic audiences and advertising are not in competition with each other, but should complement each other."

2. Why is SEM useful for you?

Marketing is an essential element in promoting a product or service. Flyers, advertisements in magazines and radios, advertising posters are all useful tools for promotional purposes, but have you ever wondered who are the people who see your ads?
If you pay for a leafleting service for your advertisement, it will be seen by a general public, who is most likely not interested in your advertisement. You are wasting your time and money this way.

Who are the users who see your site’s ad on search engines? They are people interested in keywords related to your company, because they just searched for them on search engines.

3. How a paid SEM campaign on search engines works?

Each search engine reserves only a few spaces for paid ads, for this reason the various sites willing to appear first compete for those spaces by participating in an auction.
What the various websites compete for is the value of the single click, called pay-per-click, in simple words: how much are you willing to pay for each click on the announcement of your site? The higher paying wins.

If it seems expensive, think that one advantage of this type of promotion is that you pay only if people click on your ad, not to appear.

A winning strategy in online marketing always provides interesting and SEO-optimized content and a well-balanced budget at SEM level.

4. How do I activate a SEM campaign?

The first step, if you haven’t already, is to sign up for the advertising services of Google ADS and Bing ADS, which together cover 87% of the research carried out worldwide. Keep in mind, however, that not all people use these two channels, and users in some countries prefer other search engines such as Yahoo, Baidu or Yandex, so select the most suitable ones for your business.

Then you need to set up your account and establish the total budget of the campaign, as well as your maximum cost per click in relation to specific keywords, what in technical terms is called CPC MAX.

The search engines at this point will evaluate how relevant your site is with respect to the keywords identified, so even if you had won the auction, it may not be published or in the top positions.

Here is where SEO takes over, if your site has effective SEO, it will have no problems convincing search engines about its relevance.
Bing, Google and other search engines assign what is called the Quality score, i.e. a score from 1 to 10, which evaluates the quality of your website and its level of relevance in relation to the keywords.

Your positioning in paid research areas therefore depends on the relationship between these two factors: MAX CPC and relevance. Those who have achieved the best score will rank higher in the paid search results.

5. Tips for an effective SEM campaign

There is a fundamental principle that should never be overlooked when carrying out a SEM campaign: Learn by doing.

There is no universal handbook for the perfect campaign, every site and product needs different systems, so it is useful to proceed by trial and error, keeping these three golden rules in mind:

Monitor your campaign: once a SEM campaign has started, it is essential to constantly monitor it to see if the positioning changes, and if it is necessary to increase or decrease the established budget.

Don’t fossilize yourself: create different types of campaigns, differentiate your ads and try to understand which one works better and generate more conversions among your target audience.

Differentiate yourself from the competitors: be original and add an incentive for your customers to your ad such as a call to action, special discounts and free shipping.

Up to this point we have only told you a small part of the marketing on search engines, in particular the one related to keywords, however, know that you can also activate paid campaigns for video promotions, banners and products to buy.

If you want to understand more and activate a SEM campaign for your business, do not hesitate to contact us.

We can help you, tell us your ideas.

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