If you’re a business owner trying to get your company online, then you have probably seen the myriad of internet marketing acronyms being thrown left, right, and center.

SEO, SEM, SMO, SERPs, CRO—it can be hard to keep it all straight.

So what is SEM?

You’re not the only one asking that question. Today, we will be discussing just what SEM is and how you can use it to effectively market your business in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The Apollo 36 guide will provide you with an overview of search engine marketing basics, as well as some tips and strategies for doing search engine marketing properly.

A Beginner’s Guide to SEM

What Is SEM?

SEM stands for search engine marketing and is an umbrella term that refers to the process of increasing website visibility on search engine result pages through paid search advertising. The most commonly known and used paid search tool is currently Google Ads.

What is the difference between SEM and SEO?

SEO and SEM are two different strategies that should not be confused. Both search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) aim to increase website traffic and drive more traffic to your website.

However, that’s where the differences end.

In general, “search engine marketing” refers to paid search marketing, in which businesses pay Google to display their ads in the search results.

Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is different because businesses don’t pay Google for traffic and clicks. Instead, they earn a spot on the search results page by having the most relevant content.

A successful online marketing strategy should include both SEO and SEM. SEO drives evergreen traffic to the top of the funnel while search engine ads are a cost-effective way to drive conversions near the bottom.

What Is Included in SEM Marketing?

SEM marketing mainly includes paid methods that leverage the power of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo through paid ads to reach potential customers at the perfect time and place.

With that being said, you might be asking “Is PPC the same as SEM?”—the answer is: Yes.

It’s also known as “Paid Search Ads” and “Paid Advertising.”

You will also want to stay on top of the terms used to discuss SEM, so you can better understand how SEM works. Some of the most important ones include:

  • CPC (cost-per-click) — How much you pay when a user clicks your ad.
  • CPM (cost-per-million-impressions) — Another way to pay for a search ad.
  • Impressions — How many times your ad was visible on a screen (which doesn’t mean a person saw it).
  • CTR (click-through rate) — The number of clicks you got to your website from people that saw the ad, even if they didn’t click on the ad itself.

Top 5 Benefits of Search Engine Marketing

A rocket launches out of a cardboard box with the text "Search Engine Marketing.”
The internet is used by many people for many purposes, such as shopping, selling, entertainment, interacting, and finding information. It is for this reason that more businesses are realizing the importance of promoting their products and services online using tools such as SEM that will enable them to engage with potential customers.

Here are some of the benefits of investing in SEM for your business:

1. It creates brand awareness in search engines

SEO and unpaid social media take up time that many business owners do not have. Google says it can take up to a year for a quality site to scale the rankings in a competitive field. Even then, your ability to climb the rankings depends on the strength of your strategy and what your competition is doing.

SEM, on the other hand, places you at the top or bottom of page one, so businesses without much visibility or brand recognition can get noticed instantly. If you can convert this visibility into paying customers, it will have a huge impact on your revenue.

2. Easily generates revenue

The right ad copy and strategies can result in sales the same day. It doesn’t take much time to rev up.

It does, however, require maintenance to get the best ROI.

3. It reaches people in the right place at the right time

Over 50% of the world population is now online, and over 68% of online experiences start with a search engine.

Visibility in search results means being where the customers are. It’s also the perfect time to increase your website traffic and gain new customers.

Search engines are used by people who are looking for something. When you’re the one who delivers it, you build stronger trust with the recipient.

It’s a touchpoint that furthers the person’s journey toward becoming a paying customer, even if the click doesn’t result in an immediate sale.

4. It grows with your business

A key benefit of SEM is that you can track every single onsite action related to your campaign (e.g., users filling out a form, downloading a PDF, making a purchase on your site). Therefore, you can examine in detail what works and what doesn’t and optimize budgets and campaigns based on actual business goals.

Additionally, there is no minimum investment. Therefore, every business can plan their campaign strategy based on how much budget they have.

5. The cost is much lower than traditional advertising

Traditional ads run for the duration of your contract. Changing it requires approval. The cost of doing so is much higher as well.

By narrowing your focus instead of targeting a very broad demographic, you will be able to increase the conversion rate. If an ad has a low conversion rate, you can pull it or fix it right away.

Furthermore, it is cheaper since you know what is working and what isn’t. A sale can be directly attributed to an advertisement.

Launch Your Business SEM Strategy with Apollo 36

At Apollo 36, we know that the digital landscape is always changing, which is why we stay up to date with the latest trends to deliver the best possible SEM outcomes for your business. If you want to know more about how we can bring your company out of this world results, contact us on our website, or by emailing info@apollo26.com.

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