A Beginner’s Guide to SEM, PPC, and Paid Advertising?



Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a form of internet marketing that allows the promotion of websites on the Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs. It is the type of marketing that helps websites gain traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.

With over billions of websites online, it is a cut-throat competition for your website to stand out in the result pages. SEM provides an effective way to promote your website online. Search Engine Marketing is a practice of using paid advertisements on SERPs to market their website. These paid advertisements are also known as pay-per-click and they are of different types. Some are text-based while others are product promotion.

In 2007, U.S. advertisers spent $24.6 billion on search engine marketing. And as of October 2016, Google leads the global search engine market with a market share of 89.3%. Bing comes second with a market share of 4.36%, Yahoo comes third with a market share of 3.3%, and Chinese search engine Baidu is fourth globally with a share of about 0.68%

The advantage of adopting SEM is that is displays ads in front of motivated buyers at the right time i.e. at the time they are making up their mind to purchase. This makes it an effective and powerful to grow and promote businesses.


Pay-per-click is a part of Search Engine Marketing that involves buying display ads wherein businesses can promote themselves. Advertisers only pay when someone clicks on the ad instead of the number of impressions that occurred.

Apart from Google and Microsoft Advertising, social media platforms have incorporated this method and support PPC which helps Businesses display images, audios, and videos to attract consumers.

The biggest advantage when it comes to PPC is its ability to track the progress and re-target the audience. It delivers much faster compared to other forms of marketing and provides real-time results for businesses to follow-up.

Advertisers can target their audience using keywords, demographics like location, age, and purchase-behavior, etc. This makes it an effective way of targeting a specific audience that is interested in the shown advertisements.

SEO and SEM?

SEM incorporates SEO into its strategy as it includes both paid search results as well as organic search results. Keyword Research forms the foundation for both SEO and SEM strategies. They must be updated frequently to keep up with the evolving trends.

There must be an alignment with both the SEO and SEM aspects of the strategies. Both the streams have the same goal end of that day i.e. to bring traffic and increase the visibility of the website. PPC incorporates SEO, and both the teams that are deal with SEO and SEM, need to co-ordinate and work alongside if this needs to be achieved.

In Conclusion

Search Engine Marketing is a tool to create and edit the website content to gain better visibility in the SERPs. There are various reasons why businesses invest in this marketing. First being, for its effectiveness in delivering results, allowing to track progress, and adjust This is a comparatively easy and reliable way of digital marketing that build credibility within budget. There is a process that goes into SEM and various steps involved which we will get in to with upcoming blogs.

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