Just How Important Is Search Engine Marketing

What Is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Search engine marketing, also known as SEM, is an online marketing strategy that aims to increase website traffic or online leads and sales.

SEM combines search engine optimization (SEO) with pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to deliver short-term results and a robust long-term organic marketing funnel.

The core aim of SEM is to increase the visibility of a website on the search engine results page (i.e., the SERP).

Any good SEM strategy will seek to operationalize a conventional SEO strategy.

However, it will focus more heavily on content and local SEO to maximize visibility for keywords and local searchers across all marketing funnel stages.

On the other hand, PPC focuses on short-term gains at the bottom of the marketing funnel.

This means that PPC is more effective for attracting high-intent searchers and converting them quickly into customers.

On the one hand, SEO means that you are three times more visible on the search if you already have a high-ranking website.

Conversely, SEM is a great online marketing strategy for start-ups or established companies looking to harness the power of SEO but can't afford to take the time to build it out and need results while they wait.


Why Is Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Important?

Over 63% of shopping journeys start online, which is only set to grow in 2023 and beyond, meaning that SEM is more important than ever.

Moreover, an ever-increasing number of consumers research products online before making a purchase.

With that in mind, if you are a new business or have not yet invested in SEO, you will find it tough to get a foothold or catch up with the competition.

By this, we mean that you will need to invest heavily in developing your website, building more backlinks than the competition and getting keywords optimized content right immediately.

The latter would optimistically take over one year and cost at least £50,000 in investment to achieve.

This is why SEM has become a crucial online marketing strategy for companies looking to expand their reach.

The key benefit of SEM is that you pay for impressions that result in visitors, leads or sales with PPC while incrementally improving your website's rankings in organic search results with SEO.

The net result is a functioning online sales funnel and an ever-increasing organic sales pipeline.

How Does Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Work?

Search engines work using complex algorithms.

These algorithms ensure that the searcher gets the right content based on the search they have entered in terms of language, location, and search intent.

PPC ads appear at the top of the SERP and are the first thing searchers will see when they enter a query.

The aim of these ads is to skip the organic results and go straight to the top of the SERP without the hassle of doing the SEO work.

For example, let's say a searcher enters a query into Google's search bar.

They are going to see a few different things:

  • First, they will see up to five ads

  • Next, they will see local results on the right-hand side

  • Finally, they will see the top organic results

These results spring up because they relate to the keywords the searcher has typed into Google.

Now that you know how it works and looks on the searcher's side, it's time to look at it from an SEM perspective.

The first thing that the SEM pro will do is conduct keyword research.

Next, they will select the most effective keywords related to their product or service.

Once this is done, they will create an ad and select the relevant geographic parameters.

This ensures the ads are only shown to searchers in suitable locations.

They will then create a text-based ad that will appear in search results and set the price on Google they are willing to pay for a click.

Once they hit go on their ad, they will get to work setting up their local SEO profile.

Following this, they will then work steadily doing all the right things to build their organic search rating up so they won't need to do PPC one day.

And that's it in a nutshell.

Interested in learning more about SEM? Check out our other blog posts for more SEO tips and guidance, whether you’re a total beginner or looking for more advanced SEM techniques.

Alternatively, if you want to reap the benefits of SEM but lack the time or expertise, get in touch with us today. At Innovation-X, we’ve got all the digital marketing knowledge needed to boost your website traffic, leads, and sales.