Search Engine Marketing (SEM): What It Is & How to Do It Right

Search engine advertising and marketing is one of the most effective methods to promote your small business in a competitive marketplace. With millions of businesses out there competing for the same customers, it has never been more important to promote online. And SEM is the most efficient method to promote your products and expand your business.

Now that you understand the basics of search engine marketing, here’s some advice and techniques for performing it successfully.

Search Engine Marketing – An Overview

Search Engine Marketing

Marketing a company via search engine advertising is the practice of placing paid advertisements on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs). Advertisers bid on keywords that potential users of services such as Google and Bing might enter when looking for certain products or services. Which gives the advertiser the potential for their ads to appear next to results for related search queries.

These steps, known by the term pay-per-click ads, fall into different varieties. Some are text ads, whereas others, named Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Are graphic product listings that allow customers to see crucial information at a glance, such as a price and reviews.

Search engine marketing is one of the best marketing techniques that provide advertisers the ability to get their advertisements in front of sets in buying mode. No other medium can do this. Which is why search engine marketing is such an outstanding choice for the majority of marketers.

Are you currently doing SEM on Google? Check your Google Ads performance with our Free Google Ads Performance Grader tool.

Read more – What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? SEO Explained


SEM versus SEO: What’s the difference?

Search Engine Marketing

Generally, search engine marketing refers to paid search marketing. A system where businesses pay Google to show their advertisements in the search results. Search engine optimization is separate from paid search marketing because businesses won’t pay Google for traffic and clicks. Rather, they make a free spot in the search results by having the most relevant content for any given keyword.

Both search engine optimization and search engine marketing are important parts of your Internet marketing strategy. Search Engine Optimization content is effective in driving evergreen traffic to your site at the very top. While search engine ads are an affordable way to get conversions out of visitors at the bottom of the funnel.

Keywords: The Foundation of Search Engine Marketing

Keywords are the foundation of search engine marketing. As internet users enter search phrases (as part of searches) into search engines to find what they are looking for. It should come as no surprise that keywords form the basis of search engine marketing as an advertising strategy.

SEM Keyword Research

Search Engine Marketing

Before you decide on the keywords that you will use in your search engine marketing campaigns. You should carry out thorough research as a part of your keyword management strategy. First, you have to identify keywords that are relevant to your business and those prospective customers are likely to utilize when searching for your products and services.

One way to implement this tactic is by using the WordStream Free Keyword Tool. Enter a keyword that is relevant to your business or offer, and then receive relevant keyword suggestions that may be the start point for launching many creating search promotions.

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool provides a wealth of information, including search volumes for certain keywords in Google and the general competitiveness of those keywords.

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Thorough keyword research can also help you identify negative keyword search terms to exclude from your campaigns. Negative keywords are not words with negative connotations, but rather irrelevant words unlikely to result in conversions.

For example, if your business sells ice cream, you may want to exclude the term “ice cream recipes” or “ice cream recip.,” As the user searching for these will not be interested in purchasing your product. Search intent is the likelihood that a user will complete a purchase or desired action after searching for a given term.

Some search keywords are regarded as likely to contain commercial intent or have a high indicator that the user wishes to purchase something. Examples of commercial intent keywords include “buy-” and “sell-after-use.”

  • Buy
  • Discount(s)
  • Deal(s)
  • Coupon(s)
  • Free shipping

Read more about commercial intent keywords in this blog post.

Search Engine Marketing

Keywords and Account Structure

Another primary element of keywords that’s essential to the success of a search engine marketing campaign is how keyword grouping and account structure can help you boost your CTRs and CPCs. Keyword research can enable you to think about ways to best reorganize your account.

Set Google Ads and Bing Ads accounts up in the most efficient manner possible for optimal results.

As you can see in the figure above, the structure of an excellent Google Ads account has five distinct parts.

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

Ad campaigns often strive to draw in similar purchasers as each other. For example, a hardware store may run several campaigns promoting leaf blowers, rakes, and leaf bags in the fall. While others may focus on hand and power tools, and so on. Ad groups allow for each campaign to be further classified for relevance.

Read more – Traditional vs digital marketing Explained

In the hardware store example, one ad group might be specifically for rakes or leaf blowers containing different types of rakes. While another could be for power tools like drills and circular saws.

This level of organization might take slightly more time to install initially, but the rewards, namely higher CTRs at lower costs, make this endeavor worthwhile in the long run.

The Search Engine Marketing Ad Auction

Search Engine Marketing

One of the most common misconceptions about search engine marketing is that whoever spends the most on advertising has the best chances. While a larger marketing budget is certainly advantageous, especially in competitive keyword bidding areas, it is not a requirement for success with search engine marketing.

This auction is often referred to as the Google AdWords auction. For this explanation, we will be focusing on the ad auction within Google AdWords.

How the Ad Auction Works

The ad auction takes place every time someone enters a search query into the Google search engine. To enter the auction, advertisers identify desired keywords they want to bid on, then set the amount they are willing to spend (per click) to have their ads appear alongside results relevant to those keywords.

If Google discovers that the keywords you have bid on are included in a search query made by the user, your ads will be entered into the ad auction.

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How Ads ‘Win’ the Ad Auction

Search Engine Marketing

Not every ad will be shown in the ad auction for every search query. Some factors lead to ads not even being displayed in a particular auction. This, in combination with Gluten-Free Diet How To Eat Better For Better Health. not always having enough commercial intent, is why not every keyword is eligible to show advertisements next to results.

However, two main factors that Google takes into account as part of the ad auction procedure are your maximum bid and the Quality Score of your ads. The maximum bid is the maximum amount you have specified you are willing to pay for a click. Quality Score is a metric based on the overall quality of your ad.

Google uses these metrics during an auction to determine the location of advertisements. The result of this calculation is known as an ad rank.

The Importance of Quality Score in Gluten-Free Diet How To Eat Better For Better Health.

Google AdWords AdWords Quality Score makes up a major portion of the ad rank formula, which makes it one of the most important metrics advertisers can aim for. High-Quality Scores can help you receive a better ad position at a lower cost because Google has a stronger position to advertise commercials that are relevant to user searches.

In the table above, you can see that although Advertiser #1 has the highest maximum bid, they have the lowest eligible Cost Per Click, therefore their ads are given priority in terms of placement during the ad auction.

Quality Score is regarded as the most significant parameter in search marketing. To learn more about the impact of Quality scores on your campaigns, read the resource cited below at PPC University.

Succeed at Search Engine Marketing with WordStream

Search Engine Marketing

At WordStream, we are regularly engrossed in search engine marketing. Whether you are a novice or advanced, we guarantee we can provide you with the resources you need for achievement in paid search marketing.

WordStream’s Google Ads Performance Grader

One of the hardest parts of search engine marketing is determining which segments of your campaigns are performing well and which parts you will need to work with to improve. To discover how your campaigns are airing today, try WordStream s free Google Ads Performance Grader.

In no more than 60 seconds, the Google Ads Performance Grader assesses your search engine marketing account and recommends actions that will improve your account’s performance. The account is graded against 10 key benchmarking metrics, including targeting quality, billing & payouts, and traffic & conversion quality.

  • Wasted spend
  • Click-through rate
  • Quality Score
  • Negative keyword usage

The Word Stream Google Ads Performance Grader is completely free to use, which makes it a perfect tool for making immediate improvements to your search engine marketing campaigns.

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