In this article we will analyze one of the concepts that you will have heard the most if you move in the Digital Marketing environment, since it is one of the practices that brands perform the most due to the good short-term results it usually offers.
Do you know what SEM is? Do you know the benefits that carrying out this type of action can bring to your brand or business? Pay attention because we are going to tell you everything.
WHAT IS SEM AND WHAT DOES IT CONSIST OF?
The acronym SEM represents the initials of Search Engine Marketing , in Spanish search engine marketing, and although in marketing slang, SEM is used to refer to all paid search engine ad campaigns, the reality is totally different, since the Search Engine Marketing encompasses all the marketing actions that are carried out in different search engines, whether organic or paying in Google Ads or Bing Ads, for example. To avoid confusion, in this article we will refer to SEM whenever we talk about paid ads to appear in search engines or on Display .
After the clarification, and to give a more specific definition of what SEM is, comment that it encompasses all the techniques, strategies and tools that are responsible for optimizing the visibility of different web pages in search engines . That is, what is intended, through this set of actions, is to appear (paying) in the top positions of search engines when the user searches by inserting different keywords.
KEY CONCEPTS TO KNOW WHAT IS SEM
As nine out of ten Spaniards use Google as the main search engine on their computers, the concepts that we are going to explain below have to do solely and exclusively with Google Ads:
- Impressions: This data reflects the number of times your ad has been shown to users.
- Clicks: Number of times users click on your ad.
- CTR ( click through rate): It is a formula that collects the number of clicks an ad receives compared to the number of impressions it has had.
- CPC (cost per click):This is one of the bidding strategies in Google Ads, in which the advertiser only pays if the user clicks on their ad.
- CPM (cost per thousand impressions):In this strategy, advertisers pay when their ad has received 1,000 impressions.
- CPA (cost per acquisition):With this bidding strategy, advertisers look for conversions and only pay when they occur.
- Text ads in the search engine: This is one of the types of ads that we can create in Google Ads. It is based solely on text, with a title of no more than 25 characters, two descriptive lines, and a linked URL.
- Image ad on the Display network: Everything related to advertising in the form of banners that appears on web pages of different scope.
- Ad group: As the name suggests, ad groups are sets of ads and keywords that are grouped into campaigns, and it will be in these campaigns that the maximum daily budget allocated is specified, and the physical placements in which you want the ads to appear.
- Keyword: Any marketing strategy that has to do with search engine advertising is based on the keywords or keywords, since they are in charge of activating your ads.
- Quality level: It is a score given by Google. If your ad has a higher quality level, you will pay less for the CPC, in theory.
HOW TO MAKE PAID ADS APPEAR IN GOOD POSITION?
Now that you have a clear idea of each of the basic concepts that make up the SEM, let’s go with the most important thing, the creation of paid ad campaigns:
- Before creating a campaign in Google Ads or in any other search engine advertising management tool, it is best to do a study of keywords to discern which ones go best with the products or services offered by your business or which ones are more similar to your client . To carry out the study you can use specific tools for this , such as Semrush or Google’s own Keyword Planner.
- After the study, the next step you should take is to choose which keywords you will bid on to activate your ads . It is advisable to choose keywords with a large number of searches and that have little competition , that is, there are not many advertisers bidding for that word.
- Then, you must start with the creation of the campaign, and for this you need to establish the total daily budget and the maximum bids , that is, the most you are willing to pay for your ad to be activated when users enter a keyword.
- To create the campaign, you must start by creating ad groups, since in each of them we will include the keywords referring to the products or services that we want to advertise. It is recommended that we create landing pages for each product or service that we offer and that these include the same keywords that we have defined for each ad group.
- Another element that you must know to know what SEM is, is that it offers measurements in real time, and, therefore, a continuous optimization of the bids and the keywords that activate each ad is necessary. A good test can be to trigger ads with different creatives to see which one works best.
PROS AND CONS OF APPLYING SEM STRATEGIES
To finish knowing what SEM is, and so that you can get an idea of what it means to start it, we finish the article by shelling the pros and cons of implementing SEM strategies for your brand.
- The SEM allows real-time monitoring of what is happening. If you don’t like something, you can modify and optimize it. In addition, Google Ads provides fairly comprehensive reports on how the campaigns are evolving, and what is happening with each of your ads.
- With SEM, you only pay if you get results. This will depend on your bidding strategy, as you will pay different amounts if you are looking for clicks (CPC), if you are looking for reach (CPM) or conversions (CPA). Therefore, depending on the bidding strategy you choose, SEM will help you improve the visibility of a brand or business, obtain more leads and, therefore, more conversions.
- SEM obtains faster results if we compare it, for example, with SEO .
- SEM allows for large segmentations because it works around keywords. If we have done a good study of keywords, users who are really interested in our products or services will click on our ads.
- For very common products or services there is usually a high level of competition, since there are several companies that want to position their ad with the same keyword.
- In SEM, if you cut your advertising investment in half, the results will almost certainly be negatively affected by that same percentage.
- Display ads may not appear if users have thead blocker turned on.