SEM For Beginners – What? Why? How?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

By now, you should already know all about SEO marketing. That’s all about optimizing your website so that it can appear at the top of Google’s search results. However, there is another branch of digital marketing that you also need to be adept in if you want your business to go places. And that is SEM: search engine marketing. This can be slightly more complex for beginners to get their heads around, but it is really worth persevering until you get there. Are you completely new to SEM? Don’t panic: here are all the important answers to your big questions.


SEM is all about the adverts that you can see on search engine result pages. So, SEM usually works out slightly more expensive than SEO practices as you will need to pay for certain paid listings and advertisements. But it is certainly worth it! And, thankfully, there are now many tools and platforms, such as Google AdWords which can help you keep your SEM expenses relatively low.


There are a few SEM activities that you might want to use for your website. The following are some of the most common and effective:

  • Paid search advertising
  • Paid search ads
  • Pay per click (PPC)
  • Pay per call (also known as PPC – these are adverts that smartphone users will see on your sites. If they click on the advert, they will call your phone number directly)
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

If you aren’t exactly sure which of the above search engine marketing services are best for you and your company, you might want to contact a local marketing agency that specializes in SEM. They will be able to discuss your needs and requirements, and can advise you on the best methods to achieve your goals.

There are also a few tips that beginners should use to give their initial SEM methods a little boost. For example, writing competitive copy for your adverts can really help your adverts stand out from all the rest. It is also worth adding some negative keywords to the adverts – these are keywords for which the adverts won’t show up. That way, you can ensure your SEM attracts your target audience exclusively.


You might be thinking that it sounds easier to simply stick with SEO. However, SEM comes with its very own set of advantages and benefits, many of which you can not afford to be without. For instance, when you pay for listings, you are buying traffic to your website. So, you are guaranteed to get clicks onto your site – something which you cannot guarantee with SEO. Plus, you will notice the effects of SEM pretty much immediately. Whereas, when it comes to SEO, it can take up to six months for all your efforts to take effect.

Hopefully, this guide to SEM has given all you beginners out there a great base for you to build your skills and knowledge. And once you start to utilize all these skills, you will certainly notice results!

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