What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? and How Does It Work?


Through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) you can rank your website, blog or landing page on the first page of the search engine in a paid manner. In search engine marketing, you can promote your website or business with paid advertising on the page of any search engine. “Search Engine is a directory where people search and they get results based on their search.” Search Engine Marketing is a paid advertising model. In Search Engine Marketing, we pay search engines (such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, DuckDuckGo etc.) to display our ads related to the kind of products, services or solutions.

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

“Marketing on search engines is called Search Engine Marketing (SEM).” Ads are displayed on various websites, called the publisher of the advertisement. Ads are displayed, users click on the ads and they come to our website, blog or on landing page and whenever users click on the ads we pay to the publisher. This is actually how the module of search engine marketing works and this is basically paid online advertising.

SEO and SEM both do the same thing, ranking your website, blog or landing page. But Search Engine Marketing is completely different from Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search Engine Marketing ranks your website in a paid way, whereas Search Engine Optimization ranks your website in an organic way.  

Search Engine Optimization is time consuming, which takes about 3 to 6 months to rank your website. This means that search engine optimization is free, in which you do not need to pay anything but it takes a lot of time, whereas in search engine marketing you pay to the search engine and get instant results.

How Does Search Engine Marketing Work?

You can use search engine marketing to grow your business in this competitive market. As you know there are many different search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, DuckDuckGo etc. And all have their own marketing tools. Google has Google ads (Google AdWords), Bing has Bing ads and Yahoo has Yahoo ads. Through which you can rank your website, blog or landing page on all these search engines and get more and more traffic, generate leads, increase your sales and grow your business.

Through search engine marketing, you can target a particular customer, hence it is also called target marketing. You can target the audience based on any specific keyword, location, gender and demographic. You must use keywords wisely for effective results as the entire game of search engine marketing runs on keywords. So it is necessary to do keyword research. “Keyword is basically the word that people are looking for.” When your keywords are right, you will get traffic, generate leads and your business will grow.

SEO is not easy but it is very important and SEM is easy but it is not possible to pay for long term. For which we need to pay attention to search engine optimization (organic seo) as well, check my previous post to learn more about Search Engine Optimization.

There are around 3 billion searches on Google every day.

Google has two networks, one is the search network and the other is the display network. Advertisement in search networks consists of words only. In this, the customer wants to fulfil their particular requirement, keeping in mind they search, the ads appear in front of them, customers click on the ads and go to your landing page.

While infographics (text ads, image ads, video ads) are used in display networks. In this you do not search for anything but ads appear according to your interest. In search engine marketing, you can run text ads, image ads and video ads.

To run SEM effectively, you need to know what the audience is looking for and accordingly you have to place the advertisement. For this, you have to understand the search intent of the audience. The search intent plays an important role in both SEO and SEM. For effective results in SEM, you need to understand the importance of search intent.

What is Search Intent?

Search intent means what people are looking for and what is the reason for their search? Keeping in mind the intent of the search, you have to choose the words that are beneficial to you and which can give you maximum business leads. There are three types of search intent -1) Informational, 2) Navigational and 3) Transactional.


Many times we go to Google and use some words to get information, which is called informational search intent.

For example, what is digital marketing?

When these words are searched, the user does not want to buy any product or services but wants information about that product or services.


In navigational, the user searches for a location and clicks on ads to see the address.

For example, Coffee shops near me.

In this, the search intent of the user is only to know the location.


In transactional search intent the users mindset is to buy a product or service.

For example, digital marketing course.

In transactional search intent the user is looking for a digital marketing course, they will click on your ad, come to your website and buy your product or service and you will get business.

So you have to choose the words (perfect search intent) which are beneficial for you and which can give you relevant traffic and you can generate maximum business.

If you search for anything in the search engine. Here we will take the example of Google search. When you do a search on Google, search engine results pages (SERP) show results related to that search, 3 ads appear at the beginning of the page and 2-3 ads at the end of the page, which is part of search engine marketing.

In search engine marketing we have to generate more traffic, more conversions and more sales in a lower budget. It is all about creativity and the experiments that you do on sem campaign. Whenever we build a website or business, we desire a good amount of traffic and revenue. Which we can achieve quickly through search engine marketing.

Before doing search engine marketing, we have to understand the concept Google Ads (Google AdWords) and ad ranking factors.

Google Ads is a paid advertising platform developed by Google, where you can promote your business based on keywords.” The entire system of Google ads works on keywords. If you use the best keywords in your ads, your ad will appear at the top of Google search and the user will be able to find it easily. Click here to learn more about Google Ads (Google AdWords).

Ad Ranking Factors

Only the money does not decide the position of the ads, it does not decide even with more biding amount. It is important to note that the Google auction revolve around four things – 1) keyword, 2) Quality Score, 3) Auction/Bidding & 4) Ad Rank. Based on these factors, each ad is ranked.


The entire system of Google ads works on keywords. Relevant keywords are an important factor in ad ranking.

Quality Score: 

Quality Score helps us in calculating an ad rank, due to which Google calculates the ad rank and then gives some position to our ads. “In simple language, you get a Quality Score based on the relevance of the keyword and the landing page.” By clicking on the keyword on which we advertise, when the user visits our website or landing page, the keyword on which our ad was ranked, is this the same on our landing page? Is the keyword the same meaning relevant? This determines your Quality Score. Quality Score can help bring down the cost of your advertising budget.


Google ads work on the concept of PPC (pay per click) or CPC (cost per click). The maximum amount you are willing to pay. This means that how much money you can pay per ppc/cpc or per thousand impressions? PPC (pay per click) means when someone clicks on your ads, only then you have to pay.

Ad Rank: 

Based on the keyword, quality score and auction, you get an Ad Rank. This means that these factors are decide where will your ad appear in the search engine results pages (SERP).

I hope you liked this post. If you have any questions, you can comment. I will always try my best to reply to you.

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