Search engine marketing or SEM refers to internet marketing activities that improve website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Unlike Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which earns traffic organically, SEM leverages paid search activities to generate traffic.
Businesses using SEM can make their ads appear on SERPs for specific keywords. SEM actually allows businesses to buy listings in search engines’ sponsored sections. And SEM is cost-effective, too: businesses using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, for instance, will only pay if a specific user actually clicks on their ad. With SEM, businesses can also track ads, keywords and advertising expense. They can schedule ads more effectively, manage where and when they are displayed, test campaigns more easily, and leverage search engines’ network sites, platforms and tools.
Here are some common SEM models and advertising services businesses can use to drive traffic to their website.
PPC ads, which appear on websites and search results according keyword searches, are charged based on click-throughs. This means businesses will only have to pay if people actually click on their ad. Before your ads can run, you need to bid for a minimum CPC, whose rate depends on factors such as campaign performance, market competition and keywords used.
Unlike PPC, CPI and CPM require businesses to pay for ads that have generated 1,000 views or impressions regardless if people actually clicked on their ads. While most search ads are PPC/CPC ads, there are some ads sold on a CPM basis.
PPCall or CPCall ads are paid based on the number of clicks that result in direct smartphone calls by ad viewers. PPCall providers can charge per call, per impression, or per conversion.
Businesses using Google AdWords can display their ads on either or even both of Google’s advertising networks: Google Display Network, which is comprised of Google partner websites and Google sites including Gmail and YouTube; and Google Search Network, which consists of Google Search, Google Maps, Google Shopping and other search partners.
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