3 Minutes to Understand SEM

To use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your site’s rankings, it often takes a long time and a lot of resources to get to the ideal location for your search page. And Search Engine Marketing (SEM) will be one of them!

SEM refers to the way in which merchants present their websites on different search engines in the form of paid advertisements.


SEM is presented in two different ways:

1. Search Network 

Advertisements appear in the search results page in the form of a copy, which is the most commonly used SEM mode. The user copy will be presented at the top, right and bottom of the results page. The SEM platform will determine your ad position based on your keyword bids, page relevance and ad quality. The higher the score, the higher the ranking!

2. Display Network Multimedia Network

The advertisements will appear on the SEM platform partner’s website in the form of images or videos. There are also many well-known and high-profile websites among the members of the alliance, such as Youtube, Amazon, etc., which is a highly-advertising advertisement form. The most common is that merchants with Remarketing Ads present brand images or videos in front of users who have previously visited the site.

SEM platform

Many search engines will set their own advertising platforms for SEM. The most widely known and effective SEM platform is Google Ads . In addition, marketing staff can also choose Bing Ads and Yahoo Search Ads, which are SEM platforms that follow Google Ads.

SEM charging mode

The main charging mode of the SEM platform is Pay-per-click. The platform only charges the merchant when the ad is clicked, even if your ad is displayed on the user’s search page.

In addition, merchants can limit the maximum bid price (Max. Cost-per-click) and daily budget (Daily Budget) for each click, so merchants can accurately use each advertising budget at the most appropriate Locally.

Keywords are the core of SEM

The key word is everything in SEM, just like SEO. When running an SEM campaign, you can choose keywords to determine which ads appear on which searches.

Therefore, in-depth keyword research is the key to running search engine marketing campaigns. You’ll need to serve ads for keywords that potential users will enter… or you’ll miss your target audience.

Suppose you are the owner of a Hong Kong fruit shop. This month you want to promote a new arrival of pineapple and plan to use SEM for advertising campaigns. So you found in a keyword research report that “juicy pineapple” is The keyword that most people search for. But when you think about your target group of Hong Kong people, you find that Hong Kong people only use the keyword “pineapple” instead of “pineapple” so you need to optimize this keyword as “juicy pineapple”.

You may lose website traffic and potential customers because of differences in this area, so keyword research is very important!

How to choose keywords

A suitable keyword should have two qualities, high search volume and low competition. Bidding these keywords can increase your ad position and, on the other hand, lower your cost-per-click (CPC).

Fortunately, you don’t have to blindly choose keywords and wait for the results to enter before you can determine which keywords have enough quantity and acceptable CPC. You can use several keyword research tools to conduct SEM keyword research.

In addition to giving you insight into the search volume and level of competition for your keywords, most keyword research tools will provide you with detailed information about the average or current estimated CPC for a particular keyword. This is especially important for businesses with low advertising budgets, which allows you to predict whether certain keywords are really good for your campaign or if they cost too much.

Bidding keywords

All search engine marketing platforms have a bidding system where advertisers bid on certain keywords and audiences. Who has the highest bid and the highest ranking. Fortunately, you only need to pay a high enough price to exceed the next maximum bid, so even if you bid 500 yuan and the next lowest competitor bids 10.83 yuan, you only need to pay 10.84 yuan.

Although each keyword bids $500, making each related search ranked first is a good-sounding solution, most companies must make a trade-off between high rankings and excessive click costs. After all, if the cost of ranking first is 10.84 yuan, but you can only pay 5.00 yuan per click, then it is absolutely dangerous to bid 500 yuan on a keyword to ensure the ranking.

However, even if you can’t afford the #1 CPC, most SEM platforms will consider the quality of your ads, which can help you outperform your competitors – even if you can’t afford to exceed them.

For example, Google provides a Quality Score for each ad and takes Quality Score into account when calculating ad position:

In order to calculate your Quality Score, most SEM platforms will check the quality of your pages and the relevance of your ads to your keywords. A better Quality Score will result in a lower CPC, which means you can pay more for your ad placements over the long term, so optimizing your Quality Score is a way to increase your ad serving.

In conclusion

Because SEM will make your ads appear directly to users who are actively looking for the products you offer, SEM is a good investment for your business. Even if you have to pay for each click, the clicks of potential customers at the lower level of each funnel are a huge advantage.

If you have any questions about your online marketing strategy, we also welcome you to make an appointment with us for a free telephone consultation.