A Guide to Search Engine Marketing


Search Engine Marketing in the most simplistic terms is showing advertisements (texts or images) on search engines like Google and Bing. This form of advertising offers a great way to reach your audience with the right message. Its cost isn’t prohibitive when compared to traditional forms of media and it allows you to target people in different buying phases.

What you need to Know about SEM

It’s always advised to outsource Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to an agency. This form of marketing has a steep learning curve (can be difficult) so it requires some level of expertise and understanding. The way SEM works is that (your) advertisements are placed when they match certain search terms(queries). This infographic explains the concept quite well

Advertising on Search Engines can be used as part of a greater marketing strategy. It can be used to increase traffic, improve brand awareness and much more. Google and Bing are two of the biggest search engines that offer SEM (Google being the biggest one).

Terms to Know

Google AdWords

A platform owned by Google and primarily used by marketers to manage their ads. You can use AdWords to create text and visual ads that will later show up on Google. There are different types of ad formats to choose from

  • Text Ads

Search engine marketing example

These adverts show up in the form of texts. They are more commonly used and offer an easy method to advertise to the public.

  • Display Ads

These ads are in the form of images that are placed on the Google Advertising Network. The network includes websites associated with Google and the Google Search Result Page.

These are the common types of ad formats used by businesses. It’s important to point out that there are other formats like video ads and shopping ads. These formats are not as popular as the two above.

Keywords Vs Query

A keyword can be one word or a group of words. It’s the basis of Search Engine Marketing. The more the keyword is used, the more the competition and the more likely it is for the ad to be expensive.

A keyword and a query are just slightly different. A keyword is part of a query.

A query is the string of words that the user inputs into the search engine. The search engine uses the query to provide relevant information to the user.


It’s short for Cost Per Mille/Thousand views. It measures cost per a thousand views and is one of the original methods for pricing ads online.


It stands for Cost Per Click and is mostly used by many search engines and advertising platforms. It measures the cost of an ad per the click it gets. This means you’re charged for every click.


This is known as Click Through Rate. It’s the rate at which users click an ad. It’s one of the many metrics used to measure the effectiveness of an ad. This rate can be obtained by dividing the number of times an ad is clicked by the number of times the ad appears on a web page.


Search Engine Marketing is complex and tricky. It relies on optimization, constant monitoring and measuring to ensure success. If you’re looking to get into SEM and don’t know how, then get in touch with us We are the right people for the job.