What is SEM?

What Search Engine Marketing Can You Provide for Your Business?

If you are attempting to attract more customers to your website and business, it takes a concerted digital marketing strategy to be successful. However, what part of digital marketing can help your business the most and attract an audience most likely to purchase your products or services? One such major digital marketing tactic, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), can help get your company the visibility it needs. But what is SEM, and how does it help promote your business and website? Allow WebDesign309 to explain!

A notebook with SEM and SEM terms written in it

Understanding SEM

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a comprehensive digital marketing strategy aimed at increasing the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs), but not done “organically.” By leveraging paid advertisement campaigns, businesses can ensure their site appears prominently for those searching for relevant keywords and phrases. With precise targeting and optimization, SEM can drive quality traffic to your website, facilitating better conversion rates and enhancing your online presence.

Another definition for SEM that’s gaining credibility and is considered more accurate by many marketing professionals is an “umbrella term” for SEO and paid search advertising. In fact, SEM was first known in this broader sense before Wikipedia incorrectly defined it as only including paid advertising services. However, Wikipedia’s definition stuck, and most marketers now refer to only paid advertising strategies when discussing SEM.

Is Being at the Top of SERPs Necessary?

It is if you want your website to be seen! How do you use search engines yourself? Do you find yourself scrolling to the third, fourth, or fifth pages to find what you’re looking for? Or do you find what you need amongst the first results? You pick the top results! If your website isn’t on the first or second SERPs, the likelihood your target audience can find your business is severely diminished.

To help encourage users to click past the first few SERPs, Google has begun rolling out infinite scroll for some of their search pages, eliminating pages entirely! However, users still opt to click links from the top three results, meaning websites at the top still get the most traffic. Thus, having your website featured first in SERPs is still essential to a successful digital marketing strategy; and paid search ads are a surefire way to reach the top of search results quickly.

The Benefits of SEM

There’s plenty to be gained from Search Engine Marketing; appearing at the top of SERPs alone is incredibly beneficial for businesses growing their brand and exposure. As such, SEM proves advantageous for business owners as the digital marketing tactic often enables:

  • Immediate Visibility – Unlike organic search strategies like SEO, which take time to affect your website fully, SEM can instantly position your website at the top of SERPs. Through paid advertisements, SEM ensures your target audience sees your business first.
  • Increased Traffic – By targeting keywords relevant to your audience, SEM drives more focused and qualified traffic to your website. In turn, this can significantly increase the number of potential customers.
  • Measurable Results – Search Engine Marketing provides detailed analytics that allows you to measure the success of your campaigns in real-time.
  • Flexibility and Control – SEM campaigns can be easily adjusted, paused, or optimized based on performance data or business needs. This gives businesses control over their advertising spend and campaign focus.
  • Competitive Advantage – SEM enables you to compete with larger businesses by helping your brand appear alongside or above competitors in SERPs, leveling the playing field in highly competitive markets.

Where Do You Find SEM Across the Web?

Any digital paid ads you place on websites and search engines are considered part of SEM. As such, it’s important to understand what SEM entails, where ads can be placed, and what types of ads are available to advertisers. At WebDesign309, our SEM services include:

An illustration of a computer with lots of digital ads, part of SEM services
  • Search Ads – When users search for a product or service on Google, Bing, or other search engines, featured paid results appear at the top of SERPs, also called search ads.
  • Display Ads (Targeted & Retargeted) – Display ads are banner or video advertisements that appear on websites and apps across the internet. These can target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, or previous online behavior.
  • Paid Social Media Ads – Paid advertisements can also be placed on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, etc., allowing businesses to reach their target audience within these networks.
  • Online Video Ads – Video advertisements can be placed on popular video streaming websites like YouTube, Vimeo, etc., helping businesses reach a large audience through engaging visual content.
  • Streaming Video Ads – Similar to online video ads, businesses can also place advertisements on popular streaming services like Hulu or Roku.

Incorporate SEM into a Full Marketing Strategy

Although Search Engine Marketing is an effective digital advertising strategy, it works better alongside additional marketing! SEO, for example, helps your business target the organic top spots in SERPs; in addition to SEM, your business can dominate the top of search results! Thanks to SEM, SEO, social media management, website design and more, you can increase your traffic, generate new leads, and establish your brand.

If you are interested in building your marketing campaign or learning more about our SEM services, reach out to the experts at WebDesign309 today. We provide our clients with exceptional web design and digital marketing local competitors can’t match! You can contact us by calling 309-213-9398 or filling out our online form.