Marketing analytics & reporting

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Strategy

Are you tired of waiting a little longer to get the right result from your Search Engine Optimization? Why not consider Search Engine Marketing.

Whatagraph marketing reporting tool
Gintaras Baltusevičius

May 14 2020 4 min read

Whatagraph marketing reporting tool

Table of Contents

  • What is Search Engine Marketing?
  • SEM vs. SEO: What is the Difference?
  • Developing an Effective SEM Plan
  • Define Your Goals
  • Assess The Competition
  • Pick Your Pay-Per-Click Platform
  • Keyword Research
  • Set a Budget
  • Want to Improve Your SEM Campaigns?

Vast technical knowledge, in-depth keyword research, and time are the three cogent factors that will help you climb through the ladder of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

In reality, Search Engine Optimization takes time. SEM can significantly help you in skipping through the few steps and saves your time.

In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at SEM, how it is different from SEO, and the right strategies to develop an effective plan.

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What is Search Engine Marketing?

This might appear like a broad term to amateurs, but it actually means a specific form of marketing on search engines. Alternatively, it is referred to as paid search. The most popular paid search tool is Google Ads.

Commonly, SEM describes the use of paid search advertising to market your business using search engines. For many brands and businesses, the sole benefit of paid search advertising is to increase web traffic, drive massive leads, and generate sales. Search Engine Marketing is synonymous with the common term, PPC advertising which means Pay-Per-Click.

The greatest strength of Search Engine Marketing is that it offers advertisers the opportunity to place their adverts right in front of motivated buyers that are ready to purchase your products or services.

No other advertising strategy can do this than search engine marketing. This is why search engine marketing is an effective and amazingly powerful strategy to grow your business.

SEM vs. SEO: What is the Difference?

Generally, SEM simply means “search engine marketing”, which involves paid search marketing whereby a brand or business pays Google to display their ads in search results.

SEO, on the other hand, means “search engine marketing”, and it is different from SEM as it doesn’t involve businesses paying Google for clicks or traffic. Instead, it involves earning a free spot on Google search results by having the most relevant content for a specific keyword search.

Both SEO and SEM forms the fundamental parts of the online business marketing strategy. However, SEO is a powerful strategy to drive evergreen traffic at the top of the funnel, while SEM is a highly cost-effective way to drive conversions at the bottom of the funnel.

Developing an Effective SEM Plan

Define Your Goals

What action do you want people to take once they click on your pay-per-click adverts? Before you delve further into the technicalities of search engine marketing, you need to define the reason why you’ve spent your money and resources in the first place.

Do you want to prompt your users to download a particular app? Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? Or probably you want them to subscribe to your podcast?

Define your goals and ensure that it is clear for your team. Then, you can set up a marketing strategy that matches your search engine marketing efforts.

Assess The Competition

Before proceeding further on the drawing board, you need to examine the current situation of search engine marketing for your niche.

  • What does the competition look like?
  • Did you discover some aggressive campaigns from your competitors?
  • What are their targeted conversion metrics?

Once you have a good grasp of whom you are competing with, you can then build a marketing strategy that makes it easier to accomplish your goals.

Pick Your Pay-Per-Click Platform

Similar to social media platforms, different pay-per-click platforms also have their strength and weaknesses depending on your specific requirements. Among the bunch is Google, which boasts of the highest search volume. However, pay-per-click bidding also comes with intense competition. One the other hand, Bing is inexpensive, but it has less search result compared with Google.

Whether it is Google or Bing, your choice of platform largely depends on your unique business requirements as well as your audience. If you want to get the most accurate result, you can explore different pay-per-click platforms and determine the one that produces the best quality traffics.

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Keyword Research

When it comes to paid search advertising, keyword research is something that can make or break your campaigns. So, you need to conduct active research on the right keywords to use.

You can decide to focus on fewer, high volume variable quality keywords or otherwise enlarge your coverage across a large number of low volume, highly specific keywords. Whatever the case may be, you should embrace a perfect mix of both short and long-tail keywords. Then, you can keep testing and optimizing as appropriate.

Set a Budget

Unlike SEO, which is absolutely free, SEM has a steep and often expensive learning curve when it comes to identifying the optimal starting budget. SEM is a tricky strategy that can make your dollars go down the drain without moving an inch towards your target.

That’s if done wrong. This is why you should contact the right PPC advertising agency for your business. This involves you paying for expert search analysts to help you with your Paid Search Advertising.

Want to Improve Your SEM Campaigns?

Further steps to creating an effective SEM strategy include writing a compelling web copy, building a landing page, constant testing and iterating, and so forth.

Launching successful SEM campaigns is easy and hassle-free with Whatagraph. You can simply track your progress with the SEM report which will give you all data about your Google Ads, SEO, and other channel's performance as well.

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Published on May 14 2020

Whatagraph marketing reporting tool


Gintaras Baltusevičius

Gintaras is an experienced marketing professional who is always eager to explore the most up-to-date issues in data marketing. Having worked as an SEO manager at several companies, he's a valuable addition to the Whatagraph writers' pool.