The How, What & Why of Search Engine Marketing

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Businesses with heavy competition have made advertising online more necessary than ever before. In an ever-growing competitive marketplace, search engine marketing (SEM) is very effective in growing a business. Search engine marketing helps advertise products and helps grow the business. With the correct advertising and SEM practice, your business can grab all the eyeballs you want.

Read on to learn all the nitty-gritty of SEM and how you can use it to scale your business.

What is search engine marketing?

Search engine marketing is an efficient method of digital marketing which boosts the visibility of the desired website in the search engine results pages (SERPs). It uses paid advertisements on search engine results pages to market a business. 

Search engine marketing includes paid search advertising exclusively. The advertisements pop up alongside the article when users search for the keywords that advertisers bid on. Other names for search engine marketing include paid search or pay per click (PPC).

Why is search engine marketing important for businesses?

Search engine marketing is important for businesses in the following ways:

  • It increases the company’s reach due to the increase in online customers shopping remotely.
  • Only impressions are paid by the advertisers which produce visitors. This provides companies with an effective way of spending their marketing dollars.
  • The website’s ranking is greatly benefited by the visitors in organic search results.
  • Search engine marketing is non-intrusive and does not intervene in the visitor's online activities.
  • SEM provides immediate results and drives traffic real fast to the website.

The working principle of search engine marketing

Search engines use several algorithms to produce the most desirable results upon each customer search. It also includes location and other relevant information tagged with it. 

The sponsored ads are usually placed at the top of the results produced by the search engine to ensure better visibility. It adds more prominence to the ads than the organic results.

Keywords for search engine marketing

Keywords form the foundation of search engine marketing. Comprehensive research is the prerequisite for choosing the right keywords. Notably, keywords need to show relevance to the business content. They should include words likely to be used by customers while searching for the products.

The advertiser needs to select an SEM network before he/she can set up a campaign within the network. Upon selecting an SEM network, the advertiser needs to do the following things:

  • Do thorough keyword research that is relevant to the business content 
  • Choose a geographic location where the ad will be displayed
  • Construct an ad that is text-based which will be displayed in the search results
  • Bid on a price for each click on the ad that they are willing to pay

Advertisers bid on the keywords to secure the top position in SERPs. An advertiser needs to win the ad auction to get the top spot.

Working principle of the ad auction

While entering an ad auction, the advertiser needs to keep in mind the following two things:

  • Which keywords do they want to bid on
  • The amount of money they are willing to spend per click 

The right price depends on the respective industries. The search engine network ensures that the keywords that the advertiser has bid on appear in the users' search queries. Upon ensuring, the ads are entered into the auction. 

Keywords having proper commercial intent incorporate ads into the page. Even if the keyword is highly relevant to the ad, it does not guarantee the advertiser will win the bidding. Some additional factors influence the chances of winning the ad auction. 

How does an advertiser win an ad auction?

One may consider the following important factors responsible for winning an ad auction:

  • Quality Score: It is an analysis of the ads and the keywords’ quality. The relevance of the ad and the user’s experience while surfing through the ad contribute significantly in determining the quality score. Notably, the quality score is usually reported on a scale of 1-10 in the case of Google Ads.
  • Maximum bid: It is the maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay for a click on his/her ad.
  • Ad rank: It is a combination of the advertiser’s bid, the quality of his/her ad, and the landing page. A minimum quality threshold must be surpassed for the ad to appear in a higher position.
  • Ad context: While judging the ad rank, the search engine also considers the ad's quality. 


Search engine marketing works by promoting websites through paid advertisements. It helps promote the services and products of companies by bringing them to customers' attention. 

If you want to give a jump-start to your online marketing business, then opt for a good digital marketing course

Check out Post Graduation Program in Digital Marketing offered by Imarticus and start your own online marketing business. Recent graduates having an experience of 0-2 years can apply for this course. 

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