Search Engine Marketing

You are reading this now because you probably have a business website or an online store that you want to boost or plan to create. You are looking to see how you would eventually increase its visibility. You certainly came to the right place because we understand that dilemma and that predicament. We get how it can be daunting to discover that a website you created and have poured your time, attention, and efforts into is barely getting any of the attention you want and need it too. And with all the websites out there today, it is normal and understandable to seek help. You can do many things to improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages. One of the best ways to do that is to do search engine marketing - which you probably have gathered from the title itself. In detail, this article will discuss what that is, what advertisements it involves, its difference with SEO, and how you can do it for your website.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

SEM or Search Engine Marketing can be a blanket term for all kinds of marketing strategies that involve search engines. This means that it may include strategies like Pay-per-click advertisements, keyword optimization, and other techniques. Anything to increase the visibility of your website on the search engine results page or SERP. However, it is specifically known as the marketing strategy that mainly uses paid ads (SEM ads) and other paid strategies that can help website owners like you boost your website's search engine results page visibility.

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Search engine marketing includes different ad platforms that you can use for your SEM ads. Most popularly known are Google Ads and Bing Ads - though as Google is the number one search engine, Google Ads still hold higher stature. But you must be wondering what sort of ads we are referring to as SEM ads. To clear things up, the ads involved in search engine marketing strategies are not the ones you would see on different websites that pop up on the sides or other parts of the website. It also does not refer to the advertisements randomly flashed for a few seconds or minutes and replaced by another. SEM ads are the kinds of ads you see on top of search engine results pages. You know those search results that you see first when you search a particular keyword, the one that has an “Ad” on its top left-hand side (just right beside the URL displayed) of the website information? Those are the SEM ads. They are also pay-per-click ads. This means that while there is an entire process you have to go through to have that position on top, you only have to mainly pay for the ad platform you are using every time someone actually clicks on your advertisement.

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This is both a pro and a con of using search engine marketing. It is a con because it involves money. You have to incorporate this in your budgeting and financial planning because you must have a certain amount allotted for this endeavor.

On the contrary, SEM is also a very helpful tool to be part of your marketing strategies. In hindsight, its benefits outweigh its costs. See, because of these SEM ads you can place, you not only enhance the chances of your website being seen by people or increase its ranking on search engine result pages, you actually ensure it. There is no shame in using your resources to stay ahead of the game. After all, with all the websites existing today, you need to be creative and smart in what you actually produce. Still, you must also be resourceful and clever in getting these products to the market and helping people to take notice.


As mentioned earlier, SEM can be an umbrella term involving SEO. Thus, it can be concluded that SEO can very well be just a component of search engine marketing. To further help you understand their difference, let us also discuss SEO.

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Search Engine Optimization or SEO usually refers to the different strategies and techniques that revolve around the goal of generating organic traffic. This means that its end goal is also to improve the position of your website on the search engine results pages, but it uses methods that don’t involve money or payments. This usually involves optimizing your website content - managing keywords, adding alt-texts to your images, having good titles and descriptions, sharing your website on other online platforms, watching your website analytics, etc. While this all seems like something that will be covered by search engine marketing strategies, the techniques mentioned above are usually done without any money involved. In opposition to SEM is its ability to help website owners like you generate traffic and good visibility of SERP in the most generic ways possible.

Search Engine Marketing: How Does It Work?

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Now that we’ve covered the basics of what is search engine marketing and what its difference is from SEO, let’s dive in on the process that you actually have to go through search engine marketing. Fair warning, it might be overwhelming and daunting to read about techniques and methods that you are only hearing about now. But rest assured that it’s easier to understand than you imagine. Because for this article, we would tell you how to do SEM using the three important things that it centers on:

1. Keywords

If you have done your research about SEO, you probably already know the essence of keywords, and doing keyword research - as SEO also centers on the same concept. Keywords are what puts your website on the search engine results page. It is the primary and most important part of any website because it allows people to find out about your website. With search engine marketing, keywords also play an essential role because it is what advertisers and website owners, like you, identify. It is also what ad platforms look at. In short, keywords are one of the things that define your website’s relevance.

2. Ad Auction

The ad auction is where the SEM ads of various companies and businesses are filtered. What happens is that every time anyone in the world makes a query on a particular search engine, an ad auction takes place. Advertisers or website owners like you can enter into this ad auction by identifying keywords you want to associate with your SEM ads and your website and putting money (bids) on it. With multitudes of website creators and advertisers out there, it is not logical that search engines display all of the ads and bids. Search engines still have to consider which are the best ones to place on top. So to win, you have to improve your SEM ads rank. To do that, you look at and consider two things: Maximum Bid and Quality Score.

3. Quality Score

Contrary to popular belief, money is not the main component of search engine marketing advertisements and PPC ads - it is only one of them. The quality score comprises CTR (Click-through rate), the relevance of your SEM ads to the search query of users, and your landing page. To win the ad auction, you have to allot a certain amount of money (Maximum Bid) while ensuring that your quality score is high. Your advertisements should have a good click-through rate, or your ads have a good chance of being clicked in proportion to how many times it is viewed. You also have to look carefully at your SEM ads to ensure that you have relevant keywords and content to support the query search. And finally, you also have to optimize your landing page so that your site visitors will have the best experience when they click. To do this successfully is to be successful in your search engine marketing efforts.

See, with just these three things, we have thoroughly talked about what search engine marketing is all about and how you can go about doing it for your website. While it can be complicated along the way, know that there are a lot of different tools and online platforms that are willing to give you a hand on how to handle your website.

You started reading this article with minimal knowledge about what search engine marketing is. So give yourself a pat on the back because you are now finishing up with so much more information that you can use for your very own website. And whether you have already started to create your own website or are planning to start one of your own, Strikingly is a good website builder that is more than willing to help you in this journey. You can never go wrong with your various website marketing strategies with its tools and features. Sign up or log in with Strikingly now!