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  • Samantha

SEM Basics



SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and is seen as the gateway to get more people to visit your website by increasing its visibility through purchasing ads for online. Common terms used when talking about purchasing online ads include: search, Digital, Keywords and PPC.

Historically speaking, marketing experts agreed that SEM is a highly intent-driven way to increase the visitors to your site and will typically produce your highest return (leads) for your advertising spend.

But what does that mean? Let’s break it down the terms and find out!

Search Ads only appear in search engine results and are words only - no pretty pictures. Google and Bing are the most common search engines (as of today). In fact, so many people use Google, it has its own verb now - ‘Googling’

Keywords are a form of search ads and are tied directly what your potential consumer is entering when they are “Googling” something. You are paying to have your advertisement appear in the results listing - google has the word ‘Ad’ in bold next to it.

PPC (Pay Per Click) is one of the most common forms of Keyword advertising focused on payment…. Basically you pay every time someone clicks your Ad.

Display Ads show up on sites across the internet and are commonly used for retargeting (serving you an ad you click) and larger campaigns. These are visually appealing whereas search ads tend to by words only. Common places to see this form of online ads is as banner ads on the top of website page you visit, or in your social media feed.


It is important to note that the consensus on the effectiveness of SEM is shifting with the evolution of online advertising both from enhanced targeting (we are now better able to target who sees your ads, which ad they see, and where they see it) and capabilities on Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and even Tik Tok to increase the quality and frequency of the leads you receive for your spend.

Want to learn more about what you can do with SEM and social media advertising? We would love to chat!



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