What is search engine marketing
SEM or search engine marketing, is the act of using paid strategies to increase search visibility. Brands pay for ads to appear as search results on search engine results pages.
An SEM platform is a search engine where a brand can place search ads that are displayed when users perform a search. The most common SEM platforms are Google and Bing.
Google Ads is the most widely used SEM platform. Billions of Google searches are performed a day, so it can help you get in front of the largest online audience. Bing Ads claims to connect with 3 million searchers that Google can’t reach. By serving ads on partner sites such as Yahoo and MSN, Bing Ads help you connect with searchers who aren’t exclusively using Google for search.
Targeting keywords tells a search platform when to show your ads. SEM targeting takes it one step further. Through targeting, you set additional parameters for when your ad should show and who it should show to.
- Location targeting sets ads to only show to people who are within a certain ZIP code or geographic area.
- Ad schedule targeting sets ads to only show at certain times of the day or during specific days of the week.
- Demographic targeting sets ads to only show to people who fit certain demographic categories based on age and gender.
- Device targeting sets ads to only show to users on specific devices such as mobile phones, desktops, or tablets.