What is Search Engine Marketing?

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that a strong online presence can do wonders to take your company’s marketing strategies to the next level. You can promote your brand and reach out to clients. The digital world also made it easier for companies to market their services. However, your efforts to delve the potential benefits that your business can reap from the world wide web will likely be futile if you know nothing about search engine marketing (SEM).

So what is SEM and why is it important?

SEM is crucial to the success of every website because the term refers to the strategies you use to ensure that your online campaigns are seen by as many people as possible. It is therefore important to be familiar with the best SEM practices before launching web marketing campaigns. With adequate knowledge about website marketing methods, your business website will get the hits and clicks you need. You also need SEM to greatly increase the conversion rate of your landing pages.

Is it SEM or SEO?

Search engine marketing (SEM) is often confused with search engine optimization (SEO) as many assume that they are the same. While both SEO and SEM aim to boost the website traffic and visibility of a website, there is a main difference between the two terms. The name SEM refers to tactics used to promote a website that mainly involves paid advertising. On the other hand, SEO refers to organic or unpaid strategies used to influence the search engine results pages (SERPs). As SEM encompasses all website marketing tactics, SEO is technically a component of the latter.

Since SEO and SEM work to achieve the same objective, web developers may wonder which methods will work best for a firm. Is it more effective to invest in paid advertising which is SEM or simply focus on getting organic traffic through SEO? Since SEO is more cost effective, is it wise to just forget about SEM tactics? The answer will depend on the goals of a business and the resources it has. Campaigns that need immediate positive results will benefit from paid traffic rather than organic ones. On the other hand, firms who can wait months to gain a high Google ranking may conclude that SEO is the more cost-effective option. A firm can also choose to use both SEO and SEM methods. SEO and SEM tactics that complement each other can surely help a firm attain goals faster.

What are SEM methods?

Various methods are available to plot a successful SEM strategy. You can display advertisements about your business or campaigns through paid listings or social media marketing. Another popular method is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. As the name implies, this form of advertising means you only owe money to the advertising company every time your ad gets clicked. Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are popular platforms where PPC methods are used. Business owners can also purchase ad spots from popular websites.

How to ensure SEM success?

Although SEM is basically paid online advertisements, the success of your web marketing strategies will not just rely on how much money you are willing to pay for an ad. The internet landscape gets crowded every second making the competition so much fiercer online. More and more companies are vying to get that premium ad spot. And even if you do land that perfect spot, you still cannot be certain if people will click it and be redirected to your website. Certainly, you do not want your investment in SEM to go to waste.o it is important to be aware of the factors and elements that comprise a successful online campaign. To assess the effectiveness of your paid ad, the following are basic questions to ask.

  • Determine Your Target Audience

To gain attention your ad should be visually appealing with a powerful message. This is a harder task if you do not know anything about the people you want to reach. It is a must to gather information about your prospective clients and create a profile of your target audience. This will help you create an ad that answers the most pressing needs of your prospects.  

  • Put Your Ads in Front of the Right People

The most beautiful ad is useless if no one can see it. The sites and platforms where you purchase ad space are very important. You want to place an ad in websites that your target clients visit. Based on the interest of your clients you may choose to place an ad on YouTube or LinkedIn. You may also decide that Facebook Ads are a better choice than Google Adwords. You are free to choose where to display your ad, but do not forget to study the ad platform before running the ad to increase the rate of success.

  • Measure the Effectiveness of the Campaign

Before launching an ad your campaign should have a ready way to track results. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are examples of sites that can help you measure the performance of your online ads. You can keep or modify your ad strategies based on what you will discover. These sites can also allow you to run test campaigns to determine the ads that work and those that do not.


The Internet era has given birth to a new kind of marketing which is SEM and your business is free to tap into the wealth of opportunities that are waiting in the digital world. Web marketing, though, can be a risky and complicated process without adequate knowledge about how it works. To avoid mistakes and guarantee success it is best to work with a team that specializes in digital marketing strategies such as Birch River Design Group! Let us know your marketing concerns and goals. Reach out to us today!


Written by Susie Eddins
Published on February 8, 2019