SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the acronym used to describe generating website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.
Once upon a time, SEM was the all-encompassing term for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and paid search actions. Nowadays, SEM uniquely refers to paid search – other phrases used to refer to SEM activities include paid search ads, paid search advertising, PPC (pay-per-click), CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions).
Information for SEM novices
The main platform used to measure SEM is Google Ad Words, which offers users tutorials and guidelines – Google’s ‘Insider’s Guide to AdWords’ is also a useful resource to have in your arsenal when starting out with SEO and SEM. Whilst newcomers can monitor their online activity without outside help, enlisting the help of an agency that has extensive experience of Google AdWords acquired over a number of years is the best way to maximise your online success.
The impact of SEM
Search engine marketing comes in different forms, including text-based ads, product listings/’Shopping’ ads that are more visual-based, and product-based ads that offer up essential information (like reviews and prices) at first glance – this is particularly important in the fast-paced society of today where you do not have much time to entice your users – attention spans are shortening all the time…!
SEM’s principal strength is giving advertisers the opportunity to get ads in front of customers who are prepared to buy the moment they see something they like, setting it apart from other advertising methods.
Keywords and SEM
Keywords are the main driver of SEM. Users will enter keywords when they make a search query – these keywords are the foundation of SEM as an advertising tactic. Choosing your keywords involves meticulous research; you will need to find keywords that users are likely to search for when searching for the type of products or services you offer. You can do this using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, where you can enter a keyword that is linked to your business and view associated keyword suggestions. WordStream’s tool will offer up information like the search engine volume for every keyword in Google and the related competitiveness. You can also identify negative keywords (those that are unlikely to get you conversions), that you should exclude from your campaigns.
Watch this space for more detailed information on SEM and Paid marketing strategies for beginners. Pen and paper at the ready!
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