A Simple Guide To Understand How Search Engine Marketing Works

Every business has to deal with competition irrespective of what industry they belong to. Consumers have many choices when it comes to buying a product. Once a consumer enters a search query on Google, he/she will have a variety of options displayed relevant to their search. To thrive in this competitive environment, businesses need to be more visible to their audience. Search engine marketing or SEM is one of the ways that can help businesses become more visible and thrive in the competitive environment.

Search engine marketing helps brands build brand awareness, promote their products or services and ultimately grow their business. In this article, we will discuss what search engine marketing is all about and its various strategies.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search engine marketing leverages paid advertising to ensure that your business’s products or services are visible on the search engine results page. When a consumer uses a certain keyword in the search query, SEM enables the relevant product or service to appear as a result.

The online advertisements are called pay-per-click ads. These ads have various formats like search ads, display ads, video ads and shopping ads. SEM allows advertisers to reach potential customers who are looking for products they sell. With SEM, businesses can enable their ads to be more visible to their target audience. This drives more conversions and helps the business grow.

Difference between SEO and SEM

Search engine optimization or SEO focuses on optimizing your website so that it can rank higher on search engine results page organically. SEO does not require businesses to pay money to help them rank higher. While in SEM businesses have to bid on keywords to help their ads rank better on the search results page.

Both SEO and SEM are an important part of any digital marketing strategy. With SEO, businesses can build a credible website, drive more traffic, create a great user experience and more. And SEM can help businesses place their ads before their target market, get quality leads, and drive maximum conversions.

Important Aspects of SEM Strategy

SEM strategy focuses on optimizing paid search ads. To create a successful SEM strategy, you need to know how it works. Here are some key elements that make up your SEM strategy.

Relevant Keywords

Keywords are the building blocks of any pay-per-click ad campaigns. Before starting out with a PPC strategy an in-depth keyword research is required. Keywords are the search queries your audience is looking for. These are the terms people key in when they are looking for a product or service on a search engine. Your ads will then show up for the keywords that you use. Hence, it is important to spend some time on researching relevant keywords.

Start by looking at what terms the consumers use when searching for the type of product or service you sell. People can use different variations of a search term related to a product. You need to be sure to include some of them in your campaigns. Any keyword related to the product or service you sell can be leveraged.

When choosing your keywords, you need to ensure that there is enough search volume for them. Because if people are not using those keywords then your ads might not show up. Also, look at the competition for them. Too much competition will not give your ads an opportunity to rank higher. Ideally, it is good to select keywords with a high-volume and low competition.


The next important factor is bidding. For ads to have a higher rank, you need to bid on your keywords. This bid is a contributing factor to the ad rank, along with quality score of an ad. Before an ad appears in the SERP, it goes through an ad auction. To enter this auction, you will need to first select the relevant keywords and then place a bid on them. Once Google determines that the keyword you bid on matches the user’s search query then your ads enter the auction.

Not all ads appear in every search. Your bid amount and quality score determine the placement of your ads. Even if you bid more but have a low-quality score, your ads still would not show up. Hence, appropriate bidding along with relevant ad copies is a way to rank higher than your competitors.

Do you want to get started with Google Ads campaign? Click here to learn more about how Google Ads work. 

Account Structure

To create a successful ad campaign, you need to know how the account structure works. This structure helps you to group your keywords and organize campaigns. Account structure allows you to control how your ads are triggered and where they appear. It ensures that the search queries triggering your ads are relevant. In addition, it improves your quality score and reduces costs-per-click. A well-structured account simply improves the overall performance of your ads.

Here is what an account structure consists of:

Campaign: Ad campaigns have their own budget and settings that will help you determine where your ads would appear. One campaign usually focuses on similar products or services. Each campaign will include ad groups.

Ad groups: Each campaign will have relevant ad groups that are more specific to a product or service. Each ad group will contain its own set of keywords.

Keywords: Keywords are part of an ad group and control how your ads are triggered.

Ad text: This is the actual ad that will appear when your ad is triggered. Each ad group should include 2-3 ads that direct to the same landing page.

Landing page: This is the destination page where your users end up after they click on your ad. A landing page should be relevant to the keywords and ad copy in an ad. This is an important factor in determining the quality score of your keywords.

Ad Copy

Ads that you create should be enticing enough for your target customers to click on them. Enticing and relevant ad copies can drive more engagement with the ads. Ad copies also have a structure. You need to ensure that you create an ad copy that is relevant to your keywords and includes some of the keywords in them.

Title: This is the title of the ad and should include come keywords.

Display URL: Ensure that you use the correct URL of the landing page.

Description: Write a quality and relevant description of your product or service.

Good Quality Score

Quality score gives you an estimate of the quality of your ads. This metric is determined on a scale of 1-10 for each keyword in your account. It is an important metric as your ad rank depends on quality score along with the bid amount. Quality score is determined by three factors:

  • Expected clickthrough rate
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience

Having a high-quality score implies that your ad copies and landing pages are relevant to the keywords you bid on. A good quality score can help you rank better than your competitors and reduce you cost-per-click. Ensure that you have relevant ad copies to the search terms. Also, monitor your landing pages and keep improving them to create a good user experience.

Search engine marketing has the ability to improve revenue for a business. It is also important for brand awareness and helps in overall growth of a business. With the above knowledge, you can get started with your SEM efforts and create a successful strategy.

Found this helpful? Check out more interesting articles from our blog.

Akshata Shirsath

You May Also Like