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SEM vs PPC: How might these fit differently in your marketing strategy?

  • Aayush Gupta
  • May 3, 2021
  • PPC
SEM vs PPC: How might these fit differently in your marketing strategy?

In this highly competitive world, advertising and marketing play a crucial part in any business’s success. And ever since the dawn of the internet, online advertising has changed the way the marketing industry functions forever. With the potential to laser target individuals based on their preferences, the efficacy of online advertising strategies has significantly improved with the support from paid search advertising.

If you’re new to the field of internet marketing, you’ve almost certainly come across paid advertisements. As anticipated, not everything in life is free, and sometimes spending a little money to get good results is necessary. It can be difficult for new and small companies, particularly if they have no prior experience paying advertisements.

How does paid search advertising benefit your business?

1. It is cost-effective
Paid ads are usually less expensive than standard offline outlets for marketing your brand. You’ll have much more say of who views the ads, how much you pay for them, and how they’re formatted, among other things. It enables advertisers to reach a particular group of users while only paying when they click on their ad.

2. It generates fast results
Organic Google SEO efforts take time. You won’t get results right away, no matter how well-optimized the content is for search engines.

Suppose your website does not appear on the first page of Google results for a search query. In that case, paid search advertising allows you to place ads for specific keywords and drive high-quality traffic to your site without the effort and time required for search engine optimization.

3. It is measurable
You can see the exact keywords that consumers use to identify your company via Google AdWords. You will increase the use of a keyword in the marketing campaign if it produces significant revenue or conversions. KPIs such as click-through rate (CTR), ad views, and conversion rate are also available through AdWords.

It allows you to make better use of your advertising budget and monitor your progress over time.

Google Adwords Budget

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4. It increases brand recognition
Google Paid Ads will also help the company build brand recognition over time. When the ad appears on the search engine pages, not every search engine user will click on it. However, the more they look for relevant business keywords, the more Google would reveal your brand name and website connection to them. This aids in brand awareness and can lead to a future sale.

There are numerous products and promotions to choose from to meet your specific needs regarding paid ads. Let’s take a look at how SEM and PPC shall help increase ROI on your paid ads campaign.

SEM vs. PPC

What is SEM? 

SEM (search engine marketing) is a confusing word for many reasons. The most common cause is that it’s not used as frequently as SEO (search engine optimization), and there’s a misconception that the two terms are synonymous.

SEM is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is an umbrella term that refers to using paid search ads to increase the popularity of a website on search engine results pages. Google Ads is the most well-known and widely used paid search platform.

Brands pay for advertisements to feature search results on search engine results pages using SEM (SERPs). They aim at specific keywords so that users who look for certain phrases can see a brand commercial. And if a customer clicks on the ad, the brand gets paid.

SEM work is done mainly on the corporation’s website itself. Marketers must optimize the website via SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) to attract the attention of these search engines. It entails providing high-quality, meaningful material, eye-catching graphics, a sensitive interactive interface, and including the appropriate keywords in the content.

A website achieves legitimacy when all of these factors are in effect. Putting all of these pieces together for a successful SEM campaign is challenging and time-consuming. That is why most businesses that seriously consider succeeding online employ digital marketing firms specializing in this field.

Do keywords still matter for SEM?

The terms and phrases that you target in your search engine marketing efforts are known as SEM keywords. Users will see the advertisements as they look for such keywords. If your campaign focuses on the term “social media marketing services,” for example, your ad will appear when a user searches for that term.

When you set up an SEM campaign, you choose the keywords you want to target or avoid. There are four types of keywords you can use in your SEM campaigns. And the table below shall explain each one of them in brief. 

Type of Keywords

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To gain the trust and appear on the first page of a Google search is a time-consuming process. In SEM, on the other hand, you bid on the term “social media marketing services.”  If you win the bid, your ad will appear on the first page of Google right away. And you can also get to the top of the SERP if you pay high enough and follow Google’s criteria.

What is PPC?

PPC advertising gets its name for quite a simple reason. Unlike a banner or show ad, you don’t pay for the ad on the search results page directly with PPC. Instead, you’re charged each time anyone clicks on your ad and visits your website.

The price an advertiser spends for each reader engagement or click is determined by the frequency at which the keyword they’re targeting is checked. Pay-per-click prices for highly searched keywords will range from $10 to $20 or more. The cost of a click on less-searched terms or phrases may be as low as a few cents.

According to some SEOs, PPC is less effective and costs far more than SEO. However, due to bias, such statements could be incorrect. PPC, particularly if you’re an eCommerce store or selling a product, can be a fantastic way to promote your website. 

If you’re new to paid search advertising, you must learn the fundamentals of how PPC works.

Pay Per Click Process

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PPC advertising has a few tricks up its sleeve as well. It is suitable for:

  • Specifically targeting a distinct audience using various user data, such as location, device, and a host of demographics.
  • Driving fast traffic and leads
  • Analysis of the results of multiple ads provides a primary metric for future marketing.
  • Adding visibility to under-performing programs
  • Allows marketers to get exposure on competitive SERPs that would otherwise be difficult to target through organic content.
  • Keeping high visibility during peak application season
  • Having a more agile marketing campaign that’s easier to adjust to new demands

Due to the complex nature of paid search advertising, many small businesses choose to partner with a PPC ad agency to help them set up and maintain their paid search ad campaigns.

Even if you opt to hire an advertising firm to run your pay-per-click management services, it is necessary to understand the mechanics of how these advertisements would work for your business.

Search Engines

Analysis of paid search advertising resources

Small companies may benefit from paid search ads/search engine marketing as a digital marketing strategy. It helps to increase search engine visits to your blog while also ensuring that the traffic is essential. Though PPC advertisements can entail a financial commitment, these ad campaigns may provide a significant return on investment over time when done correctly.

PPC is a fast and straightforward way to get your company’s ad to the top of search engine rankings. However, once obtained, SEM effects are generally long-lasting.

Your online promotional strategy should ideally involve both SEM and PPC. PPC advertising will get you in front of your viewers quickly, while SEM will bring you stable, long-term traffic by following SEM values consistently. 

To combine the benefits of SEM and PPC, you must first consider how each strategy operates on its own and what data you can get from each. Then you can create a plan to use both to achieve your business’s short and long-term objectives. However, a good SEM campaign will usually include both PPC and SEO marketing elements, plus other strategies, to ensure the best balance of impact over time and cost-effectiveness.

Your next step should be to determine how much your online advertising budget would go to each form of ad and how to get the most out of your SEM marketing campaigns.

Aayush Gupta

Aayush Gupta

Sr. Manager, Brand & Marketing
Aayush brings an inquisitive, rational and dedicated approach to brand marketing.