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May 15, 2022

What is Search Engine Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
What is Search Engine Marketing: The Ultimate Guide


What if there was a way to increase the effectiveness of your marketing? Do you wish to gain an advantage over your competitors? In this guide on Search Engine Marketing, we have answered these questions for you.

In this blog post, we have shared the basics of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and how does it work?

What is SEM?

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is online advertising that uses search engines to reach potential buyers. It is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, as it doesn’t require you to spend money on banners, pop-ups, or other annoying advertising methods.

Instead, you can use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your website’s SEO score and rank higher in the search engines. This will ensure that your website is easily discoverable by potential customers and can draw them in with your attractive offers.

What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are two different but equally important techniques to boost visibility in search engines. 

The term "Search Engine Marketing," also called paid search marketing, is an advertising system where advertisers pay search engines for the ad display. 

On the other hand, SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it can rank higher in search engines without any paid advertising. This means making sure your website’s content is high quality and using keywords and other marketing techniques to get your site ranked on page one for those keywords.

How does Search Engine Marketing Work?

Search engines use complicated algorithms to guarantee that relevant results are provided for each search, incorporating location and other readily available information.

In paid search advertising, sponsored ads show at the top and side of SERPs to get higher visibility and prominence than organic results.

PPC advertising is less intrusive than Search Engine Marketing because it seeks to reach users when they are most in need of the information you provide.

Overall, a well-designed SEM plan can help your website's SEO by bringing in high-quality visitors. 

When launching a campaign through an SEM network, the advertiser needs to:

  • Perform keyword research and choose the keywords related to its website or product.
  • Select the geographical location. 
  • Design a text ad to appear in search results.
  • Bid on the amount they are willing to spend for each ad click.
  • Text-only advertisements are simple to create. Marketers need to provide a headline, body text, a call-to-action, and a URL.

What are the Factors Affecting Search Engine Marketing?

What are the Factors Affecting Search Engine Marketing?

Here is the list of factors that affect your SEM strategy:

Keyword Intent

The pay-per-click (PPC) strategy begins with selecting the appropriate keywords to bid on.

That entails researching which keywords to bid on or what queries you want your ad to appear for. Begin by thinking about brand names, product descriptions, and competitor descriptions.

Keyword Search Volume

The keyword search volume reflects the volume of searches for a particular keyword on a particular day.

It helps you better understand the performance of your website and content. 

The higher the monthly keyword search volume, the higher the click-through rate (CTR) will be for your ads. The more people are searching for a particular keyword, the more likely they are to click on your ad. CTR is simply the percentage of people who click on your ad compared to the total number of people who saw it.

Keyword Competition

As with any other selling opportunity, your ad will be more successful if it’s placed against lower-competition keywords. A high number of low-competition keywords increases conversion chances and improves ROI.

As competition in the digital world intensifies, so does the need for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and tap into new and innovative marketing strategies.

When there is a high level of competition, SEO agencies and consultants must use various SEO techniques and strategies to help their clients rank higher in search engines. This way, they can garner more leads and customers from their competitors.

CPC (Cost-Per-Click)

CPC, which stands for Cost-Per-Click, is one of the most important factors in SEM.

When you bid on search engine ads, you are charged based on the number of clicks your ad received. Higher CPCs mean higher costs for your ad campaign and may not be the best option if you're looking to attract a large audience. However, if you're targeting a small audience or only want to run a few ads, a high CPC may be just what you're looking for.

Account Structure

Another important thing about SEM is the account structure. 

Keyword research helps with account structure, and it can also help you think about how to group keywords logically.

There are various ways to structure a Google Ads campaign.

  • Ad: The text that shows up when you search for the words you want.
  • Keywords: You're bidding on keywords, which are the queries you want people to type in.
  • Ad group: Sets of keywords that are all about the same theme are put together in this group.
  • Campaign: Managing ad groups at the highest level is called a campaign.

What is working and what is not working will become clearer at each level. This shows you how your money is being spent and how it is being used.

Is Keyword Research Important for a Good SEM Campaign?

Yes. The ability to target the right keywords is one of the most important aspects of SEM. Without keyword research, you won’t be able to find high-quality, relevant terms that fit your business and website well.

At the top of the search results in Google, there may be ads that are paid for. They may be above organic results.

If you put your ad in a prominent place, it is likely to work. To get the most out of your paid ads, you need to know your audience and write content that is relevant to them.

There must be some work done before SEM can be used well. In fact, good search marketing aims to reach people when they are ready to buy.

You can use SEO or AI copywriting tools to write the best Google Ads possible.

SEM & Ad Auction

Before showing in the SERPs, every Google ad goes through an ad auction. To participate in an ad auction, you must first determine which keywords you want to bid on and how much you're ready to pay per click for each of those terms.

The ad auction process starts every time someone inputs a search query into Google. If Google determines that the terms you bid on are present inside a user's search query, your advertising will be placed in the ad auction.

Every ad will not appear in the Google Search. This is because the ad auction considers a range of variables when deciding where ads will appear on the SERP, and not every term has enough commercial intent to warrant presenting advertisements alongside results.

Your maximum bid and the Quality Score are the two most important factors Google considers when evaluating ads during the auction process.

What Makes a PPC Ad Effective?

Effective PPC ads target the right people at the right time. They are also clear and concise.

Your ad should be focused on a very specific segment of your target audience. You want to know what they care about and how you can help them.

Once you have this information, it’s easy to write an effective ad campaign that will attract visitors who are likely to convert into customers or leads.

In a nutshell, relevant ad copy and a high return on investment are what make an ad effective.

An effective ad campaign is an integral part of SEM strategy as it shows your company’s ad offers at the right place. Furthermore, SEM goes a step ahead by increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to your website. 

How to Build an Effective SEM Strategy?

How to Build an Effective SEM Strategy?

Here are the best strategies to create an effective SEM strategy:

Perform Keyword Research

One of the most crucial components of SEM success is selecting the right keywords to target. Conduct keyword research to determine which phrases your target audience uses.

Sort the results by how popular the keywords are to determine what your audience is searching for most. Find keywords with a high conversion rate that customers are interested in at the end of the sales funnel. Keep in mind the return on investment (ROI) you want from your ads, and choose keywords with a CPC that will give you a positive ROI.

Create Enticing Ad Copy

An SEM campaign must make people want to click on the ad. Ads that get more people to click on them can be made with these tips in mind:

  • Make sure the keyword is used in the ad copy.
  • The benefit or solution you're offering should be made clear to the reader.
  • When you write your text, think about what the person who is looking for is looking for.
  • When possible, include prices and promotions.
  • Add a clear call to action.

Scalenut Ad writer template creates the ads that align with your brand voice and uses the relevant keyword in your Ad.

Create Enticing Ad Copy

Achieve Better Quality Score

Quality Score affects the ad frequency and your budget. The best practice is to incorporate the target keywords in your ad copy and landing page to boost the quality score. This also informs search engine marketing platforms that ads and URL are relevant to the searcher's goal. 

Regularly Optimize SEM Campaign

Optimize your SEM campaigns every week to improve visibility and interaction with the target audience. Perform keyword research every month, make necessary changes to ad copy (including title tags, meta descriptions, and images), measure the effectiveness of each campaign using Google Analytics or another third-party tool, and take corrective action as needed.

Make use of new search terms in your ad copy to boost visibility. Also, keep in mind that negative keywords tend to exhaust your budget. Therefore, it is really important to remove a negative keyword.

One advantage of SEM is obtaining quicker feedback on what works. A/B testing can be used to produce several variations of your ad tactics.

Examine what works and fine-tune your campaigns to identify the best targeting, ad copy, keywords, and landing pages.


Q. Are Bing Webmaster guidelines different from Google?

Ans: Bing Webmaster Guidelines are very similar to Google's guidelines. However, there may be some minor differences between the two. Google looks at both the context of the keywords and the keywords themselves. On the other hand, Bing focuses more on the exact keyword(s). Bing gives more points to websites that use multimedia, like videos and photos, than Google.

Q. Is there a difference between SEM and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising?

Ans: PPC is the same as the SEM. Both PPC and SEM are part of advertising in search engines.

Q. Is SEO better than PPC?

Ans: Some businesses may find that SEM and PPC are equally effective in reaching their target audience, while others may believe that PPC boasts a higher return on investment (ROI). Ultimately, it depends on the business specifics and goals. SEO can help you get consistent results and make your website more important and valuable. If your website isn't built for search engine optimization, PPC can help you get immediate results with a very specific group of people in a very short amount of time. SEO is very cheap and gives you a lot more for your money.

Q. Which keyword research tools are best for Search Engine Marketing?

Ans: Though there are various SEM tools in the industry, the best one should be accurate and accustomed to paid advertising. The best SEM marketing tools are Ahrefs, SEMRush, SpyFu, and Google Keyword Planner.

Q. Is SEM a paid advertising campaign?

Ans: Yes, SEM is a paid advertising campaign. However, it is not just about buying ads but also optimizing the website for better results in search engines.


Now, you might have understood about search engine marketing (SEM). Now that you know what search engine marketing is and its benefits, it's time to begin planning your SEM strategy. SEM is a cost effective way to reach your target audience through paid methods.

By using Scalenut AI copywriter, you can create enticing Google ad copies and create content that aligns with your brand.

Additionally, Scalenut lets you create content for:

  • Google Ad copies
  • Linkedin Ads Headline and Content
  • Landing page hero text and sub-hero text
  • Facebook primary text and many more.

Sign up for Scalenut for absolutely free and create your landing page copies, ad copies, and Linkedin Ads within minutes.

Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager
ABout the AUTHOR
Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager

Suman Samal is a Asst. Marketing Manager at Scalenut. She is a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in content marketing and SEO. She truly believes that with the right set of tools every organization can improve the ROI of their content marketing campaigns. She spends her time managing content operations at Scalenut and ensuring that everything we publish is of the highest quality.

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