Search Engine Marketing for Beginners – What You Need to Know

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Have you ever wondered how Google decides to show the first queries when you search something? I’m pretty sure you have.

Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google because it’s the only way to attract organic traffic. So how can you make this happen? It’s all about search engine marketing, a topic we’re going to discuss in this article.

What Is Search Engine Marketing?

SEM became a popular term back in 2001. At the time, it was used to describe all the SEM efforts that were made to attract traffic, both organically and paid.


Paid search advertising (also known as PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) were the two main ways to do it.

Right now, the definition is debatable. Google defines SEM as a way of gaining traffic and visibility on search engines by using paid ads. This may be a little bit biased though, since it’s to their advantage for people to rely on ads.

Why Do You Need Search Engine Marketing?

There are over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google. Can you even imagine?

People search all kinds of things online, so you have to be there to meet their needs, solve their problem, answer their question and so on. At the same time, no one will look at the 20th page of results to find an answer. So, you have to be in the first few pages, if not on the first one.

How to Approach Search Engine Marketing

For this article, we’ll consider that paid and organic tactics are included in SEM.

To gain an organic presence in search engine results, you need to leverage SEO.

search engine marketing

This includes:

  • Write/rewrite content using long tail keywords that will fit your business profile;
  • Use meta tags to match the keywords;
  • Create only quality content which will help you build authority over time;
  • Get backlinks to your website that do not come from spammy sites;
  • Be active on social media in order to attract more external links.

Becoming visible on Google through SEO will take a long time. From several months to a couple of years, depending on your industry. On the plus side, it does bring amazing results and a constant stream of traffic.

So, if you’re looking for a strategy that will bring you long-term results, SEO is the way to go.

If you want quick, controlled results, then you should try PPC, which is the paid form of SEM. 

Even if you’ve just launched your website, you can attract plenty of traffic by using paid ads. These ads will appear to people on search engine results based on the keyword you’ve chosen for the ad.

For example, if I’m launching a content marketing course, I can use this keyword to create an ad. That way, when people search for this keyword, one of the first results will be my ad. This will vary on how many people are advertising at the same moment for the same keyword.

This infographic shows paid ads are clicked on more than organic listings. However, it does not apply to all keywords. But in some cases, it would make more sense to go for paid ads instead of SEO.

SEM Is a Must for Businesses Which Want to Increase Their Presence

Ads can prove to be quite expensive, especially if you want to rely only on them. My best advice would be to use both SEO and paid ads to achieve the best results.

Need more traffic & leads? Generate 500 leads or more in 60 days with my action guide for free.

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