Have you ever typed a query into Google, hit search and seen advertisements pop up at the beginning of the search results? Ever wondered how they got there in the first place? Well, if you have, it means you have asked the question ‘What Is Search Engine Marketing?’, and in short it is a text advertisement triggered by the keywords users search online. At its most basic level, SEM or search engine marketing, is paid advertising that is purchased through the likes of Google and is triggered to appear in search results, based on the targeting and keyword choice of a campaign.
What does it look like?
In Google search results, SEM text advertisements appear in the top of the results of the first page and down the right hand side; all placements are marked as ‘Ads’ to distinguish between organic results for the user. Take the below example, searching for online beauty courses shows us a few ads above organic search results, along with those down the side that are also relevant to users.
Other options for SEM include image and video advertisements, all of which can be configured through Google Adwords. These options can be placed on websites the advertiser feels are relevant for their audience and are also be triggered by keywords and search queries. For example on the travel page of news.com.au, you can see these image based ads for car rental which are presumably targeting those who may be researching, planning or interested in their services.
Why is it used?
There are numerous reasons and benefits to use SEM in your online advertising efforts, but here are our some of ours:
Measureable – Unlike traditional marketing, SEM efforts can be easily measure and reported on to determine how successful a campaign was and hence the return on investment for either your business or another clients.
Immediate results – unlike SEO efforts which, (while important), can take months to see results, SEM begins working as soon as your campaign goes live. This not only allows you the chance to get to the top of search results quickly, but can help you reach your goals sooner too.
Higher engagement – with the option to use other ad formats other than text, SEM advertising provides the opportunity to create a higher rate of engagement with your audience in areas that they are searching for information.
Control over budget – whether you want to spend big or spend small, SEM can be used for everyone and the bonus is that you are able to set your own budget.
Search Engine Marketing is a very effective way to advertise online within your set budget and with the ability to easure and optimise results throughout a campaign. If you would like to find out more about how you could use SEM, contact us today or, download our Introductory Guide To Google Adwords to get you started.