SEM, or search engine marketing, is the paid search marketing method that bids for advertising spaces to appear in search results. The benefit of paid listings is receiving more website traffic through keyword searches in top advertising real estate that maximizes online exposure.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
SEM or search engine marketing works by displaying paid ads on search result pages to a targeted audience. Bidding on the right search keywords and advertising real estate can quickly drive traffic to a website. Search engine marketing provides businesses with opportunities to gain exposure to be in front of ideal customers and capture more addressable markets.
How Search Engine Marketing Works
SEM or search engine marketing is one of the fastest ways to get a business found online within an allotted budget. Let’s say you are a start-up company trying to create awareness about a new product. SEM fast-tracks and markets to the relevant audience by strategically showing them ads from your business.
Example of an SEM Pay Per Click Advertising Listing in Google
How to Run SEM Marketing Advertising Campaigns
There are two major advertising platforms to service SEM ads – Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. You also have the option to select where the ads appear.
Try the Free Google Ads Generator for Ad Headlines
SEM Marketing Ad Placement
Examples of SEM Marketing Ads
Here are examples of online search ads appearing in Google and Bing. Both platforms are free to sign up.
Try the Free Google Ads Generator for Ad Descriptions
Google Shopping Ads
Google Ads: Advertising campaigns in Google Ads are posted in Google search results.
Microsoft Bing Shopping Ads
Microsoft Bing Ads: Advertising campaigns in Microsoft Bing Ads are posted in Bing search results.
How SEM Marketing Drives More Search Traffic
Here are the three most-practiced SEM marketing bidding strategies to leverage for advertising campaigns.
3 Types of SEM Marketing Bidding Strategies
Learn more about SEM marketing campaign metrics to fast track SEM campaign results.
SEM Marketing Bidding Strategy #1: PPC – Pay Per Click Marketing
What is PPC Marketing?
PPC, or pay-per-click, is the most popular and commonly used method of SEM advertising. Advertisers pay a fee every time an ad in search results or a display ad is clicked.
What is CPC?
CPC or cost-per-click is often used interchangeably with PPC. CPC is the metric that measures the specific cost for one single click of an ad.
How Does PPC Marketing Work?
Pay-per-click is an effective SEM method to gain search visibility and acquire online traffic quickly. PPC works by advertisers bidding on the keywords they wish to rank for in Google Ads or Microsoft Ads. The more value a keyword is, the more search volume it will generate, which leads to a higher bidding price to rank a top position in search results.
How to Create a Successful PPC Marketing Campaign
Not every ad space is created equal because not every PPC campaign guarantees a high return on investment or low cost per acquisition. To run a successful and profitable pay-per-click campaign, focus on the content and messaging that goes into creating the ad. Learn more about how to optimize PPC ad campaigns.
How to Win in PPC Keyword Bidding
Here are the top three most important metrics for a successful PPC campaign.
Top 3 PPC Keyword Bidding Metrics
Google will assign quality scores that range from one to ten to an ad, with one being the worst and ten being the best. Learn more about how to create a winning PPC keyword campaign.
How PPC Marketing Drives Traffic to a Website
Think of PPC as bidding for an auction. The final bid amount is what you pay every time someone clicks on the PPC keyword ad. Bidding for keywords on prime advertising real estate is more expensive than the ad spots with low visibility.
Advantages of PPC Marketing
The advantage of PPC marketing is gaining more opportunities to convert a sale or lead as long as you have the budget.
Disadvantages of PPC Marketing
Depending on the industry and what keywords you are bidding for, keyword auctions can get expensive and burn through ad budgets quickly.
SEM Marketing Bidding Strategy #2: CPM –Cost Per Thousand Impression Marketing
What is CPM Marketing?
The “Impression” in cost-per-thousand-impression stands for the number of times visitors see an ad. The industry standard for paid impression is measured in increments of every one thousand views. Hence, the “M” in CPM is used to represent 1000.
How CPM Marketing Drives Traffic to a Website
Instead of paying for each click, you are paying a set amount for every 1000 views of a keyword text ad or a display ad.
Advantages of CPM Marketing
You can benefit from increased brand exposure with the CPM model.
Disadvantages of CPM Marketing
With CPM, ads may be shown to potential customers who end up not visiting your website, resulting in lost opportunities you are paying for.
SEM Marketing Bidding Strategy #3: CPA – Cost Per Acquisition Marketing
What is CPA Marketing?
The “acquisition” in cost per acquisition means paying for a visitor’s response to a specified call-to-action. You pay a fee when a conversion action is performed on the website.
How CPA Marketing Drives Traffic to a Website
With CPA, you can define the action visitors take for the advertiser to get paid. Here are a few examples of call-to-actions that can be defined as part of the CPA campaign.
Examples of CPA Call to Action
Advantages of CPA Marketing
One of the most significant advantages of a CPA model is the ability to better control ad spending and pay only for results.
For example, if you are making a CPA campaign for visitors to sign up for the weekly promotions, you only pay when someone signs up.
Disadvantages of CPA Marketing
Once the threshold of the CPA campaign rule you’ve defined is reached, you can potentially miss out on additional ad clicks due to the set CPA price limitation.
For example, if you set a CPA limit of $1, other advertisers are bidding $1.10. You could miss out on lucrative potential customer acquisition because of a $0.10 bidding price difference.
Leverage SEM Keyword Research Tools to Uncover Insights on SEM Keyword Bids
A keyword research tool like Semrush gives an upper hand in uncovering less competitive, lucrative keywords and saves on advertising spending in the long run. Semrush is a top search engine marketing research platform known for its ability to conduct profitable keyword research, competitor analysis, and provide a complete SEO and SEM audit of any website. Keyword research tools are imperative in SEM marketing because they deliver valuable competitive insights.
$108.33 / Month
Best for SEM Marketing.
Sign up on Semrush’s website.
- Discover all the best keywords to target and bring traffic to your site through Semrush keyword research tool.
- Audit webpages and suggest ideas to improve SEM performance.
- Uncover all of the keywords and content in competitors’SEM strategies.
- Research competitors to uncover their display ads and SEM marketing campaigns.
- Track hundreds of relevant keywords and their Google CPC pricing on a daily basis.
- Easily research keywords that have search volume relevant to any blog or website.
- Get competitive research on SEM and display ads.
- Does not include social media analytics
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