How Does SEM Work?

One of the key areas of digital marketing, SEM is a key practice any digital marketer with an interest in the field should know about. While organic and earned traffic dominates much of the discourse in the field, strategic use of money in practices like SEM can play a key role in the success of a campaign.

Through search engine marketing, marketers can enhance the presence of their brand on search engines through financial means. Unlike SEO where search rankings have to be earned, SEM allows marketers to reach the top of SERPs by paying a certain amount of money.

While digital marketers value SEM, the same cannot be said about brands and companies in general. Given the organic reach of SEO and the relative risk involved in SEM, many companies do not delve into the risk of choosing the latter.

While SEO is valuable and remains essential for long-term search engine visibility, SEM is crucial for companies still working on their SEO-optimality and in need of crucial incoming traffic. Using paid search ads, companies can reach their audience through search engines effectively and gain much-needed traction.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of how SEM works in a few easy steps.

Choosing Keywords

The first part of running an SEM campaign is to choose a keyword that is likely to be searched by the target audience. For example, someone looking to advertise to people looking for cabs in Noida would most likely choose the keyword ‘book cab in Noida’.

Each company is likely to have its popular keyword. In SEM, advertisers should choose a keyword that is most likely to be searched by people highly motivated to spend money. The end goal of any given SEM campaign is to ultimately influence people enough to buy into whatever the advertiser is selling.

It is thus vital to choose keywords keeping in mind whether the people searching for the term are likely to be converted.

Setting the Right Budget

Every digital marketer has to learn to work within a budget. In the case of a small company, the ability to be smart enough to produce results with small resources is extremely valuable.

In most cases, broad keywords with high search volume tend to have a high CPC. The problem with such keywords is that they are too broad for niche businesses. Thus, bidding on broad keywords is largely futile for a small business looking to reach a niche audience.

Thus, while working a small budget, digital marketers should be able to identify which keywords have a better strike rate in terms of bringing people to the website and fulfilling certain marketing objectives.

Analyzing Performance of Campaign

After choosing a suitable bid for a keyword and deploying an SEM campaign, the next step is to analyze the performance. This is the part where most SEM campaigns tend to falter. The optimal way to run an SEM campaign can only be learned if marketers always analyze their performance and find faults that can be removed.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, this article three crucial steps involved in SEM every digital marketer should be aware of.

About the Author – Neha Aggarwal is a content marketer and brand marketing specialist with many years of experience in the field. She currently writes for, popular as a best digital marketing institute in Delhi.