What Is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)


There are a lot of terms in the field of Digital Marketing, SEM is one of them, that is almost unknown to the majority. Also, there are many which may sound familiar and similar to other terms.

Search Engine Marketing Definition:

Search engine marketing SEM services are a way of using paid strategies to increase search visibility. The term is related to paid search marketing only.

With SEM services, the brands pay for ads to appear on the Search engine results pages (SERPs). The brands target some selected keywords which when searched, the viewers see the ads of the particular brand. The tariff is levied, only when the user or the viewers clicks that ad.

To understand what is search engine marketing, think of it as a very effective and efficient way to grow your business in an extremely competitive marketplace. Competition today is the toughest as it was ever. Search Engine Marketing strategies have never been so tedious and equally essential to advertise your brand through online marketing. Therefore, in such a hassling environment use of SEM is the best and the most effective practice to follow. SEM services work to promote your products and elevate your business to the top.

To clear the related concepts among the main terminology, go ahead and read the complete article. 

What is the difference between Search Engine Marketing (SEM), SEO, and PPC Marketing?

In the broader sense, Search Engine Marketing is about a system where businesses pay Google to display their ads.

 Search engine marketing is a huge umbrella that covers Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC).

SEO:  Search Engine Optimization is a technique to improve the site, that helps to rank your website and increase visibility. By increasing the visibility means, that it will readily grab the attention, and hence increase the traffic.

PPC: Pay-Per-Click is a method of working upon search engine advertising to generate clicks, instead of getting them organically. These are visible on the top of the Search engine results pages (SERPs).

When the visitor visits the website and clicks your ad, only then you have to pay a small amount of fee, this is pay-per-click. The advantage of this advertising campaign is that you earn more from the clicks than you pay. For instance, if you pay $5 per click, the click in real results in a $300 sale, therefore using PPC is a beneficial deal to take in.

What are the famous SEM platforms to work with?

An SEM is nothing more than a platform, where a brand projects its ads which are displayed at the time of the user’s search. The most widely used SEM platforms are Google and Bing.

Google Ads: this is the most used SEM platform. The main search engine Google itself is the largest online searching platform. It caters to billions of requests in a single day.

Bing Ads: According to their claim, Bing joins 3 million searches. Clients who do not use Google, use Bing instead. Bing serves its customers by its partner sites such as Yahoo and MSN.

Types of keywords used with SEM

People use different terms and phrases for the search intention, and SEM targets those words that strictly hits the search in search engine marketing.

For example, if you set the word “steam iron “for your ad campaign, then your ad will be shown on the search page whenever this phrase will be typed.

This creates the notion that it is crucial to set up the SEM campaign to choose words wisely. Worthwhile research is necessary to look for the words and phrases most popular in search by the majority. In doing so, you do a practice of targeting the desired and avoiding unnecessary keywords.

On a broader scale, there are four main categories of keywords. These are helpful for you while setting up the SEM campaign.  

  1. Comprehensively matching keywords: these terms target different variations and combinations of the words. For instance, when the phrase steam iron is targeted, then the relevant terms like the light steam iron, new steam iron, a wireless steam iron are also targeted in the campaign.
  2. Phrasal matching keywords: these targets the precise match and the words or phrases that come before and after the exact match. For example, for a steam iron, the words that may be considered are buying a steam iron, steam iron price, best steam iron, etc.
  3. Exactly matching keywords: these are the words that are closely related or matching terms. The campaign may choose to use these words, which will be plural or singular forms, abbreviated, corrected spelling, paraphrased, or near same with the word typed in the search console. Taking the same example of steam irons, the campaign’s comments may be steam irons, steams iron, etc.
  4. Negative matching keywords: these are the range that is not related and is not picked up for use as the campaign’s targeted keywords. These terms may be semantically related to your main keyword but are unrelated to the search intent.  

Is SEM really important?

SEM is the best possible technique for businesses to reach their targeted population for the present-day online buying situation. Through the research and experience, it has been observed that SEM services are a very operative way to have new visitors on your website, since they search their queries through search engines and therefore, they come across your website.


To survive in a competitive market, businesses need to advertise their services. SEM in this effort provides a way of getting a gain of more visibility of your ads on the search engine.

Thank you for reading.


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