2016 | What Is SEM?

What is SEM?  

SEM is an acronym for the phrase “Search Engine Marketing”. Also known as “paid search,” it’s the strategic process of purchasing ads on search engines like Google to drive highly targeted traffic to a specific website or online digital property.

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What does paid search look like in 2016?

As of 2014 almost half of all digital marketing spend was allocated to digital search with 31% being spent on paid search. In the same year it was projected that there would be a growth of 16% per year in total online advertising spend. What that means for small, medium or enterprise sized businesses is that paid search is becoming an essential marketing strategy as the digital landscape evolves. 85% of retailers understand that paid search and SEO strategies are the most effective ways to acquire customers. Furthermore SEM is now the most used marketing tactic with 66% of B2B marketers reporting that it’s part of their marketing strategies.

Here’s some food for thought, Google currently holds 63.8% of total search engine market share. What that means for businesses looking to stay competitive in 2016 is that implementing a paid search program into their online strategy can add a powerful traffic and revenue channel that can help a business grow.

SEM Glossary

CTR: Refers to the the term “click through rate.” Represented as a percentage, it’s the rate at which a target audience engages with an ad by clicking on it. This metric is important because it helps PPC campaign managers and businesses measure the success of an ad.

CPA: Is an acronym for the term “cost per action.” It means advertisers pay for a desired action from an online advertisement. Some examples of desired actions are:

  • Filling out a landing page or contact form
  • Newsletter registration
  • Website registration
  • A purchase
  • A Click

PPC: Means Pay Per Click (also known and CPC or Cost Per Click). This is the amount the advertiser pays whenever a consumer clicks on one of its ads.

CPM: Refers to Cost Per Thousand. This SEM billing model charges an advertiser every time one of its ads is displayed to a target audience regardless of whether or not the person click on it. The billing rate is usually billed for every 1000 times an ad is displayed.