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What Is SEM And Create an Effective SEM Strategy

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Reading Time: 4 minutes


Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of marketing that uses search engine optimization (SEO) to drive consistent traffic to your website. SEM combines the power of organic search results with paid advertising listings to help your business reach new customers. Search engines have become one of the most popular ways for people to find local businesses, and studies show that 90% of consumers start their shopping online. With SEM, you can attract more customers who are looking for products or services like yours.

What is SEM?

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the use of paid advertising to drive traffic to your website. SEM encompasses both paid search results on search engines and display ads that appear on websites within the search results.

“Paid” means that you pay for each click or impression, rather than receiving free exposure for simply being listed in the search results. If a visitor clicks on your ad or other item, he/she will be taken to your website. If they don’t click through and stay on that page, then you don’t pay anything extra (though you do lose out on potential sales).

The term “organic” refers to any type of non-paid search result—the ones at the top of most SERPs are organic because they didn’t require any payment from advertisers before appearing there. These include things like news stories, blogs with related content about keywords searched by users, etc.

How Does SEM Work?

It works a little like this:

  • Search engines use algorithms to determine which content to show.
  • They also use keywords, meta tags and descriptions to help users find what they’re looking for.
  • Links can pass authority along to the sites you link out to (and back).

Why Is SEM Important?

SEM is a great way to increase brand awareness, generate leads and sales, drive traffic to your website, and get more qualified leads. The reason why SEM is so effective is because it allows you to target prospects who are actively looking for what you offer. That’s why it’s important that your SEM strategy includes both paid and organic search engine optimization (SEO).

During a search engine marketing campaign, you can also track how well each keyword performs in terms of click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate (CR), cost per click (CPC) and return on investment (ROI). This will help you determine which keywords are working best for the budget that you have set aside for this campaign.

Applying the Fundamentals of SEM to Your Business

  • Keywords. The foundation of your SEM strategy is the keyword itself, and how you use it on different platforms will vary based on your goals.
  • Landing pages. Since Google wants users to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, landing pages must be clear, concise, and compelling in order to convert visitors into leads.
  • Ad extensions. When used correctly, ad extensions can increase visibility and improve click-through rates (CTRs).
  • Call-only ads (COCAs). These are a powerful way to connect directly with potential customers who have taken an interest in your business or product/service offerings but haven’t yet decided whether or not they want to follow through by making a purchase.
  • Remarketing ads (RAs). While RAs aren’t new technology by any means—Google has been using them since 2013—they remain one of the most effective ways for companies large or small to stay top-of-mind while they’re browsing online so that when someone is ready to take action later down the line all they need do is click on an ad that pops up right away!

The Benefits of Search Engine Marketing for Your Business

Search engine marketing can help your business with a variety of goals, including:

  • Increased website traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search ads both drive more visitors to your website.
  • Increased brand awareness. When you reach new customers through SEM, their awareness of your brand increases as well—and that leads to better long-term sales and customer retention rates.
  • Improved conversion rates. By targeting the right people with relevant messages based on what they’re searching for, you’ll find it easier to convert those visitors into paying customers than if they came from other sources like social media or organic search results (which are less targeted).
  • Higher sales volume and revenue per visitor/customer over time thanks in large part because of increased conversion rates!

Best Practices for Creating an Effective Search Engine Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking to create an effective search engine marketing strategy, there are a few key steps you can take. First, a detailed keyword research plan is essential. This presents the opportunity for you to find out what content and topics people in your target market are searching for on Google and other search engines.

Next up: a detailed keyword matrix will help you identify which keywords are most relevant to your business or industry and how much competition there is for each one. You can use this information as part of developing landing pages that include those keywords, which will ultimately result in more clicks and conversions from users who found what they were looking for (and maybe even new customers).

A third important step is creating an effective content strategy based on what has already been proven successful in the market place through testing different variations until finding something with higher engagement rates than competitors’. Once determined, this information should be used as part of determining what type/solution/product would best solve their problem(s). The solution could then be presented via landing page(s) using one or more tactics such as PPC ads where appropriate due its highly targeted nature which allows companies get in front of potential customers at precisely when they need them most!

Afterwards comes determining campaign goals based on whether direct sales leads are needed first before moving onto other types such as brand awareness driving leads down line later down road once trust established.”

With an effective search engine marketing strategy, you can get more qualified leads and drive website traffic that converts.

The goal of SEM is to get more qualified leads and drive website traffic that converts. Search engine marketing is an effective way to do this because it allows you to reach your target audience at the exact moment they are looking for a solution.

With the right strategy, you can increase sales and revenue while reducing costs by reaching more potential customers with less money spent on advertising.


We hope this blog post has given you a better understanding of what search engine marketing is and how it can help your business. If you need more information, we recommend reading through our other SEM posts or contacting us today to get started on an effective strategy for your company!

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