Search Engine Marketing: What Is It & How To Do It The Right Way!

April 10, 2021

6 minutes Read

SEM, aka Search Engine Marketing, is a marketing practice that involves paid advertisements to market a business in order to appear on search engine result pages (SERP). In paid Search Engine Marketing, advertisers bid on keywords that search engine page users enter when looking for a particular product or service. This helps advertisers find their target customers and also the opportunity to place their ads in the search results. These ads are termed PPC or Pay Per Click.

PPC comes in a variety of formats, text-based and visual-based. Text-based ads are often small and therefore can be fitted in a smaller space of a webpage. Product listing ads or shopping ads (aka PLAs) are, however, visual ads with more information given to help consumers grasp the product or services. The information may include a small product/service description, price, or reviews. 

How Does Ad Auction/Bidding Work?

If you want to take the SEM seriously, you need to invest in it first. The way you do so is by entering an ad auction. Let’s take Google Ads, for example. Google Ads is being used most of the time, and therefore we will be using them for reference purposes.

To enter an ad auction, you need to identify the keywords you are willing to bid on. Then you need to state your budget per click on those keywords. After you have provided the essentials, Google will determine if the keywords you have selected are used in the search query or not. If the keywords you bid are on the user’s search query, this means you have entered into the ad auction. 

Note that not every ad will appear on every search; Google has become too intelligent in that aspect. This is because some keywords lack enough commercial intent for placing an advertisement on the page. When that happens, consumers won’t see ads that fall under the “irrelevant” category. The bidding isn’t the only factor here; you also need to understand the ads’ quality score to win the bidding.

A quality score is an overall estimation of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. To find your quality score, you can look it up in your Google Ads account in the “Status” column. The score is ranked on a scale of 1-10. Along with the score, the status will let you know your ad’s relevancy to the targeted consumers and how likely they are to click your ad, etc.

Strategizing Search Engine Marketing

To create a good SEM strategy, you need to understand some factors required to help your ads perform well. For example, you need to have a good grasp of keywords, budget, and copy. Today, we will be talking about all these to help you achieve success in SEM. Search Engine Marketing agencies follow these factors in constructing a fail-proof PPC strategy.

1. Keyword Intent

For a successful PPC strategy, keyword research is of utmost importance. These are some things you can do:

  1. You need to check SEM tools and various browsers for keywords to bid on.
  2. Do research on the keywords you want your ad to show up for.
  3. Brainstorm your and your competition’s brand terms to get more specific ideas for ads.

You can also bid on keywords that have buying intent if you are on a tight budget. For a larger budget, you have options to bid on keywords targeting the early stages of the terms that are related to your products.

2. Keyword Volume and Competition

Keyword Volume and Competition

Your keywords should be able to get your ads clicked. Choosing both very high and very low volume keywords is detrimental to your business and ad strategy. This is because keywords with low volumes won’t get you customers. In contrast, keywords with high volume attract more competition and might lose relevance. A good rule of thumb is to aim for keywords that are moderately high-volume and low-competitive. This might be difficult to find out, but this will improve your ad results once you get them.

3. Keyword Cost

Ad placement is determined by the specific bidding for the keyword and the quality score you get from Google. Therefore, higher bids and score quality indicate better placements. But remember that high competition keywords end up being more expensive. Also, low bidding means an increased probability of your ads not showing in the search. Therefore, you should aim for higher bids, and low-competitive keywords should be your goal.

4. Account and Campaign Structure

Basically, putting down all the keywords in one ad can cost you a lot and isn’t much efficient compared to organizing ads for a cost-effective result. You need a step-by-step approach. Google Ads campaign organization works on levels; these levels help you determine what’s working for you and what’s not. The levels include Ad, Keywords, Ad Group, and Campaign.

5. Copy

Ad copy can get you clicks if they are done right! Based on the keywords chosen and the campaign structured, you need to write good ads to increase the impact. So, write an enticing Ads title, give a display URL and a suitable description that matches your business agenda.

The Best SEM Tools To Use 

Google Trends

Google Trends is an SEM tool that helps you search volume for a particular keyword. With Google Trends, you aren’t region or time-bound because it shows results all over the world. This will help you identify which search terms are trending and are good to use. The geographical area accessing is a powerful feature because you can target keywords of specific countries and locations.


SEMRush is a fantastic tool that allows comprehensive research on keywords, volume, competition, and ranks. Besides that, it helps you conduct rank tracking, auditing, traffic analysis, and many other reports that help build your strategy even better. SEMRush also enables you to discover the main paid search competitors and see which keywords they are bidding on. But this will be only available if you have a paid version of the tool. 

Google Ads Keyword Planner

With Google Ads Keyword Planner, you can keep track of how searches for specific keywords change over time. If you want Google to put your ads, you should consider adding this tool to plan your strategy. The planner will help you make a concise list of effective keywords that will help your business. Keyword Planner also will give you suggested bid estimates for each keyword so that you can find the relevant keywords that work with the advertising budget. 

HubSpot’s Ad Tracking Software

To generate leads and drive revenue for your business, you should seek help from the HubSpot Ads tool. The traffic and click metrics of HubSpot help you analyze how your ads are influencing your consumers. It also shows the buyer’s journey with your ads and keywords to understand which ads are helpful to your business. 

That’s pretty much how Search Engine Marketing works. However, the concept can be rather tedious and complex if you don’t know what to do. Hence it’s best to leave it in the hands of experts. And that’s why Freelancers HUB is your ultimate Search Engine Marketing Agency! We will run an extensive SEM report and create an effective PPC strategy without letting you invest a hefty sum of money!

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