Search engine marketing (SEM) uses the power of paid advertising to rank websites higher in the search engine results pages (SERP).
SEM is a form of internet marketing and also sometimes integrates search engine optimization (SEO).
The origin of search engine marketing goes back to 1996 with Open Text. Goto was another one of the companies offering SEM starting from 1998. In 2001, after being purchased by Yahoo!, the company offered their SEM service through their parent company.
Google established their AdWords system in 2000 and started offering sear engine marketing services.
With the large market captured by Google AdWords, Microsoft formed a joint venture with Yahoo!; they enabled SEM services for the former’s Bing search engine.
Currently several types of search engine marketing models exist, although the w most popular ones are:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
The pay-per-click (PPC) method is the widely used system by advertisers whereby they pay the search engine every time a user clicks on their ad. Business bid on specific keywords that are relevant to their business; when someone searches with these keyboards, search engines will display the ads in their SERPs.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
The cost per acquisition (CPC) is an advertising system where businesses pay only when it qualifies a specific criterion like a click, sale, registration, or others.
Currently, Google AdWords takes the number 1 spot for business to use it as a search engine marketing tool. Through this tool, websites place their ads in Google about their new product, video, service, or others. Websites pay a fixed fee to Google every time a user clicks on their ad.
Google AdWords gives the option of both cookies and keywords to websites to determine what adds they want to show users.
Some facts about Google AdWords:
- A business generates about $2 in revenue for every $1 they spent on advertising.
- About 75% of all search engine marketing comes from Google.
- In 2017, Google earned around $95 billion from advertisements.
- 95% of Google’s revenue comes from advertisements.
- In 2016, Google eliminated around 2 billion spam ads.
Bing Ads is the 2nd in line after Google AdWords with a global market share of around 9%. Both Bing and Yahoo! search engines use this service to display ads.
Bing’s parent company Microsoft initially began their search engine marketing with MSN back in 2006. Back then the company’s search engine marketing program was named as MSN adCentre.
After the foundation of Bing in 2009, MSN adCentre changed its name to Bing ads in September 2012.
Advantages of Search Engine Marketing:
Through search engine marketing a business get to analyze and track its campaign and make update or modify it to target more audience and generate more revenue.
- Brand awareness
Search engine marketing takes one of the top positions to create brand awareness and generate traffic to the website.
- Target specific customers
Search engine marketing enable a business to target specific customers whether they are domestic or international. Moreover, it also lets them narrow the ads down based on location like state, district, or even zip code.
Search engine marketing puts a business directly in front of the users along with organic search results. In this way, it creates a strategic investment to boost a business and its revenue.