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SEM: the meaning, how it works and why it’s essential4 min read

14 May 2021


SEM: the meaning, how it works and why it’s essential4 min read

You have always heard of SEO and SEM but the definition and usefulness are not yet completely clear? Read below and get ideas for your business!

SEM: the meaning

The SEM is the set of Internet Marketing activities, which are carried out in order to channel the largest possible number of users interested in the content offered within its website, while browsing the search engines. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the main branches of Web Marketing. According to its original meaning, SEM consists of two fundamental disciplines: SEO, search engine optimization; SEA, search engine advertising.

Indeed, over the years, the acronym SEM has been used to refer exclusively to paid activities (SEA). Following SEM strategy means adopting a very powerful sales strategy for entrepreneurs: when you need a product, you probably look yourself for it on search engines.

You will therefore immediately understand that SEM is a very powerful sales lever, because it has a very important return on investment (ROI).

So, you can take advantage of search engine marketing to increase your sales. The user tends to scroll through the results of the Google SERP and consult the first positions. Diversifying your digital marketing strategy investing in paid search advertising allows you to be present among the sponsored results, therefore at the top of the SERP, among the best positions.

How SEM works

We must first start from the assumption that SEO and SEM are not two separate worlds, but two similar and synergistic worlds. A good digital marketer does not put the two channels in competition, much less consider them alternative, but rather tries to make a integrated strategy.

An undisputed advantage of SEO is related to the characteristic of working long term. At the same time, among the advantages of SEM, we can mention the possibility of competing with big brands in the same sector, getting more traffic to your page in less time, making your brand, product or service known, thus making you known quickly and segmenting the audience by achieve so that it is more targeted.

Are you actively pursuing a SEM strategy then? Aim a Google ADS! The search engines around the web are different as well as the applications designed for creating and managing advertising campaigns on them. In addition to Google ADS, by far the most used by all marketers in the world, Bing Ads has certainly been able to carve out niches, which also delivers most of the advertising on Yahoo, Yandex Ads for the Russian market and Baidu advertising for the Chinese one. Their complexity has progressively grown over time with the addition of the number of functions allowed.

First of all, when creating an SEM campaign, the first thing you need to do is choose which network you want to communicate on. There are mainly three different types of campaigns and channels:

  • Search network campaigns: those to which everyone commonly refers when it comes to advertising on search engines, this type of campaign allows you to communicate with the target user who is carrying out a search. The construction of these campaigns starts from the study of the keywords. It is about defining the audience by imagining what search terms users would type to search for our products / services. Fortunately, there are several tools to support this activity.
  • Display Network Campaigns: those that give the user the opportunity to place advertisements or banner ads on pages of other websites (always from the Google Adsense circuit). The peculiarity of these campaigns lies in the ability to select the main user on the basis of perceived interests, topics consulted or their demographic characteristics.
  •  Video Network Campaigns: allow you to communicate through video ads on the YouTube network and on Google partner sites, selecting the target audience as for Displays.

These three channels allow those who want to carry out online activities to communicate with their target users at different times of their navigation. Search engines are the main gateway to all information on the Internet. The reason is rather trivial to understand: according to what Google declared in 2016, at least 2 billion searches are carried out worldwide every year.
Remember: to get a good organic ranking in relation to certain search queries, it takes a lot of time and resources, not just a lot of money.


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