A Complete Guide to Search Engine Marketing 

 April 16, 2022

Are you interested in learning more about search engine marketing but you’re not sure where to begin? Is it tough to figure out the difference between SEO and SEM? Do all the marketing terms start to feel like another language sometimes?

If so, you’re certainly not alone. However, it’s vital you learn about SEM strategies if you want to increase online traffic and bring in more customers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that roughly 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, and 45% fail during their first five years. Bad marketing is one of the contributing factors that lead to businesses going under.

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However, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about search engine marketing in this guide. Read on to discover important tips you can start using today.

SEM vs. SEO: Know the Difference

Many entrepreneurs are confused by the terms SEO and SEM, and may even confuse them. However, there are some differences between the two, although they do relate to one another.

Search engine optimization (SEO) improves your site and increases your ranking on search engines, like Google. Proper SEO techniques help improve your organic search results. For reference, organic search results refer to unpaid results.

Search engine marketing (SEM) uses paid search results to increase your reach and visibility. You’ll create a marketing campaign designed to increase your website’s ranking.

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You can learn a lot more about the differences and similarities in this blog post.

Using Paid Ads

When you want to gain new customers and bring in more traffic, you can use paid ads to do so. Part of search engine marketing involves the use of paid ads, such as PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.

SEM strategies often overlap with your social media marketing and SEO strategies, but the key difference is paid to advertise.

SEM works by putting paid ads at the top of search engine results pages. These ads are related to the search query typed in by the consumer. Businesses only pay for these ads when a consumer clicks on them.

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You can also see paid ads at the bottom of the pages. Users see an “Ad” designation, which marks it as a paid placement. You might also see a featured carousel of products, which is another type of paid advertising.

SEM Keyword Research

One part of SEM strategies is researching keywords that relate to your ad campaign. You’ll want to choose keywords related to your products or services and avoid keywords that talk about services you don’t offer.

For example, if you sell sporting equipment, you might target keywords such as “volleyballs” and avoid keywords like “volleyball game,” or phrases that mention unrelated terms.

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Ad Auctions

Once you choose the keywords you want to bid on, you should set a budget for them. You’ll have to enter an ad auction and try to “win” the bidding. Both your maximum bid amount and your ads quality score matter.

Keyword research and navigating ad auctions is a confusing part of SEM for many businesses, which is why many choose to work with an SEO and SEM company.

You might have to ask yourself if PPC or SEO is better for your business. There is no straightforward answer, as each method has its advantages. The best solution is to find a combination of both that fits your business.

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Need More Search Engine Marketing Tips?

If you’re interested in increasing online traffic and sales, utilizing search engine marketing is an excellent way to do so. Hopefully, these tips helped you to learn more about this valuable marketing strategy.

To learn more about marketing and growing your business, check out some of our other articles.

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