If you’ve ever pondered, “What is SEM?” then you’ve come to the right place. You are not the only one who was struck with this curiosity. In the world of digital marketing, there are a number of terms that sound the same or have similar concepts, yet they’re completely different things  We want to explain things up in this post.

What is SEM? 

Search engine marketing is the act of adopting paid tactics to boost search. Previously, the term “search engine marketing” was used to refer to both search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search. However, now it only refers to paid search marketing. Brands pay for advertisements to feature as results on search engine results pages using SEM (SERPs). They target specific keywords so that users who search for those terms would see a brand ad. The brand will only get charged when a user clicks on the ad.

In a world of business competition, search engine marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. With hundreds of business competitors, you can’t survive the competition by traditional marketing. It’s never been a more important time than this to advertise in the online world. And for that search engine marketing can really get you ahead in-game.

Search negine marketing

The technique of marketing a business through paid adverts that display on search engine results pages is known as search engine marketing (SEM). Search engine marketers bid on keywords that users of search engines like Google and Bing might type in when looking for specific items or services, allowing them the chance to have advertisements represented alongside the results for those queries.

The most powerful feature of search engine marketing is that it allows advertisers to put their ads in front of customers who are searching for those items or willing to pay for your product.

Keywords are the foundation of SEM

The core of search engine marketing is keywords. As people search through keywords (as part of search queries) to locate what they’re looking for, it’s no surprise that keywords are the foundation of search engine marketing as an advertising approach.

As part of search engine marketing, you must conduct extensive research before deciding which keywords to utilize in your search engine marketing campaigns. Tools such as Google keyword planner, Spyfu are there for you to give an idea about the competition against those keywords that you wish to rank for.

what is sem - keyword research

Keywords and Account Structure

Account structure is an essential component of keywords for a search engine marketing campaign’s effectiveness. Better click-through rates and lower cost-per-click can be achieved with relevant keyword grouping and account structure. When you have formulated a list of keywords, it will assist you in the best way to structure your account.

For best results, Google Ads and Bing Ads accounts should be structured as follows:

what is sem - Ad hierarchy

An optimally formed account, as shown in the diagram above, consists of five elements:

  • Ad campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Keywords
  • Ad text
  • Landing pages

Ad campaigns can and should completely focus on similar products. For example, if you have a store that sells apparel, one ad campaign could focus on winter clothes such as hoodies, sweaters and joggers. Whereas another ad would be on leather shoes.

Ad groups have a feature of further breakdown into subcategories for relevance. In an apparel clothing store, one ad group could be for different winter tops like sweaters or hoodies. For shoes we further categories whether are shoes are leather shoes or textile shoes. This level of optimization may take a longer time for us to set up initially but the rewards in terms of CTRs at lower prices would be achieved.

The Ad Auction

One of the misconceptions about SEM is that whoever puts more money into the advertising budget wins. Although a huge advertising budget can definitely give you a leg up on others, certainly when targeting highly competitive keywords. But it’s not the key requirement for the success of search engine marketing. This is due to the fact that all advertising goes through an ad auction before they show on the SERP.

How does the Ad Auction work?

The ad auction process happens every single time when someone on the search engine hits a certain search query. To be able to enter in Google ad auction, advertisers identify keywords, which they want to bid on. And state how much they will be spending to have their ads appear alongside results relating to keywords. Your advertisement will be placed in the ad auction if Google determines that the terms you bid on are contained inside a user’s search query.

How do companies ‘Win’ the Ad Auction?

Not everyone who’s going for paid ads will appear on a single search. As ad auction takes several factors into account when deciding the placement of ads on SERP. Moreover, not every keyword has enough commercial intent to justify placing ads next to results. Although, getting your ad to appear beside search results is a hard job. Still, you can get your ad displayed by google if you have a good quality score and you offer a maximum bid. Google considers maximum bid and Quality score as an evaluation process.  

The maximum bid is the highest you’re willing to pay for a click. Quality score is one of the criteria that determines the overall quality of your advertisement. Google assess these metrics during ad auction to determine the placement of advertisements. Therefore, the result of this calculation is known to be ad rank.

what is sem - Ad rank

Why Quality Score in Search engine marketing is important?

As we know, Google AdWords’ Quality score involves half of the ad rank formula. Yet being the most crucial metrics of SEM. A high-quality score assists you to achieve better ad placement at a lower cost. Otherwise, you will have to bid high. And Google do favours ads that are highly relevant to the search query and high quality.

ad ranking factor

Have a look at the picture, as you can see that although Advertiser 1 has the lowest bid yet still it’s in the first place. This is because of the high-quality score, which means their ads has been given priority over others in terms of the display during the ad auction.

Succeed at Search Engine Marketing with ESOLS

We believe that after finishing this article you would be able to define what is sem? and how it works? Well, if I tell you about ourselves. We eat, sleep, and breathe search engine marketing at Esols. We want to offer you everything you need to succeed at search engine marketing, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie to paid search marketing.

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