• Digital Marketer

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

What is Search Engine Marketing and How is it different from PPC marketing?


Digital Marketers must know about advertising. When a business has setup a new website and wants to let their customers know instantly the approach they would take would be the SEM. This is primarily because SEO is an organic approach and takes time to show the results. While a business page has anything but time to reach its customers, else they will run short on business and customers. The brighter part is your ads get displayed to those customers for exactly what you are offering them as what they are searching for. The process of increasing a product or service visibility on a SERP(Search Engine Results Page) through paid advertising is called SEM.

Marketers can also use SEM for specific E-Commerce Platforms where users search for products they want to buy. These sites are also referred to as product-based search engines. Digital Marketers also consider Youtube as a search engine platform.

Typically advertisers don't get charged for displaying ads, it's more like when a customer clicks on these ads that they get charged which again depends on pay models like PPC.


There are typically two pay models involved with this type of marketing.

  • PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising model allows businesses to pay only when their advertisements are clicked.

  • Impressions-based advertising model allows businesses to pay depending upon the number of times users have seen the ad.

Advantages of involving SEM in a digital marketing strategy:

  • Reach likely customers

  • Quickly appearing in the search results.

  • Learn which ads perform better

  • Control over where you send searches.

Different SEM Ads depending on Ad formats

  • Text Ads are classic ads with a title as a link and a description that appeal to the searchers on SERP.

  • Shopping Ads are specifically for eCommerce businesses that show products related to various companies displayed in the search results.

  • Local services ads are specifically for businesses with locally based customers. For displaying these ads businesses must have been screened by Google as legitimate businesses that are businesses with verified My Business Page.

  • Google Maps ads are meant for local businesses with the major difference from Local service ads being that they can be for local product-based business searches as well.

  • Call ads are specifically meant for mobile searches when the customer is searching on mobile and receives a call button in the searches.

  • Video Ads are meant for video platforms like Youtube when the customer is searching for a product and the relevant ad is displayed.


Ad Extensions for various Google Ad Formats

For most of these ad types, Google provides Ad extensions that feature additional information about a business such as a website link, a phone number, or an address.

  • Sitelink Extensions include additional website links.

  • Call Extensions make it possible to call the business.

  • Location Extension lets customers find local businesses by pulling it up on Google Maps.

  • Price Extension is for e-commerce businesses that show the product price along with its details.

  • Structured Snippets Extension which highlights specific aspects of products and services.

Setting Up a Google Ad

  • Define your campaign goal or objective.

  • Choose the campaign type such as search, Shopping, Local, or Video.

  • Set up a budget.

  • Choose a bidding strategy like conversion, clicks, or others. Google uses machine learning to optimize the ads.

  • Select target audience.

  • Create your ad

  • Setup conversion


What is Ad Auction?

Ad auction determines which ads show in what order for each search result that contains SEM ads. Ad Rank determines ad position. Ad matching happens based on keywords. Keywords are the phrases used in a search. For more on Keywords read the article "Types of Keywords". The relevancy of the ad displayed depends on the matching type which can be broadly classified into

  1. Broad Match - phrases that relate to the keyword

  2. Phrase Match - that includes the meaning of the keyword

  3. Exact Match - same meaning or intent as keyword

Factors determining ad rank

  • Your bid - the price you are willing to pay for getting your ad displayed.

  • The quality of your ad and landing page is determined by the Quality Score for diagnostic purposes.

  • Use of Ad extensions - use all relevant ad extensions for your ad to rank higher.

Apart from the above to rank your ad higher you need to provide value to your customer. By Including one keyword in the headline, providing specific CTA, and optimizing the landing page for relevancy and reliability can help score your ad rank higher.


What is Display Advertising?

Placing paid ads anywhere on Google property falls under SEM.

Another option for placing ads is websites or applications that are not Google properties. These ads are termed display advertising. These ads can be placed on Websites, Apps, Youtube, and Gmail. Avoid ad fatigue by rotating new ads. The significant difference with SEM ads is that they are not ads that are shown after a user searches for the given product or service, these ads are merely displayed yet are targeted based on Machine Learning Algorithms. Google Display Network has a major role to play in this display advertising. Google Display Network is a group of more than two million websites, videos, and apps where programmatic display ads can appear. For more on ad networks read this article.


There are two types of Google Display Ads :

Uploaded - which are uploaded by the user which could be a Banner, Leaderboard, or a Skyscraper Ad depending on the size.

Responsive - Google ads will automatically generate ad combinations.


Now that you have understood the major differences between SEM, PPC, and Display Advertising you may be in a position to set up an advertising campaign on your own. For more information on digital marketing read the articles.










4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All