An Introduction to Search Engine Marketing

By Doug Gunsolley


What Is Search Engine Marketing

A few years back, search engine marketing was a blanket term that enveloped both the world of paid online advertising as well as organic search engine optimization. Over time, the term “SEM” has been adopted to refer solely to paid search advertising. SEM tactics include:

  • ​Paid Search Ads (Also known as Pay-Per-Click or PPC advertising)
  • ​Remarketing (Also known as Retargeting)

SEM is hugely popular because it allows a company to present the right product or service at the right time to the right user.  It is considered the gateway digital marketing tactic because a campaign, when setup correctly, is the most efficient way to get in front of interested prospects and also offers measurable ROI.


Paid Search Platforms

Google AdWords is the dominant paid search platform most widely used by marketers with about 65% of market share. Bing Ads, which serves ads on Bing and Yahoo, covers about 34% market share in the US. Beyond that there are a few other PPC platforms as well as several social media platforms that offer a form of paid promotion. Search ads can not only boost your recognition among users but it can also help you find a targeted audience that is looking for your products or services.


How PPC Works

Pay Per Click ads are the sponsored text ads that appear on the top and bottom of the search engine results page.  PPC marketing allows you to be seen by customers at the very moment that they’re searching for the things you offer. A campaign is set up by choosing a geography, keywords you want to appear for, and text ads with a message you want your potential customers to see.  Your ads are free when they appear and you only pay when someone is interested enough to click on your ad.  You bid on the keywords along with other advertisers and the final cost of the click is determined by auction every time there is a search.  How often your ads appear is based on your budget, relevancy of your website, and other factors.



Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is a form of online advertising that enables sites to show targeted ads to users who have already visited their site. Past visitors will see these ads while they are browsing the web, watching YouTube videos or reading news sites, for example—keeping your brand top-of-mind and enticing visitors to come back for more. Remarketing can dramatically increase your conversion rates and ROI. This is because past site visitors who are already familiar with your brand are much more likely to become customers or complete other valuable actions on your site.


Measurable Results

You can measure your results for both PPC and Remarketing by looking at key performance indicators such as ad impressions, number of clicks, and valuable actions such as phone calls and form submits.  Businesses are then able to determine ROI and have the flexibility to optimize budgets and campaign settings based on results.


Whether you’re looking to bring in new website visitors, grow online sales, get the phones ringing or keep customers coming back for more, Search Engine Marketing can help.  Connoisseur Digital offers SEM management services. This means that rather than building a campaign from scratch by yourself our trained marketing managers will customize and run your search campaigns for you. This guarantees that your advertisements will have the best possible chance to appear right when a user is searching for your service or products.  Get started today by calling us at 203-571-6080 to schedule your free consultation!

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