Search Engine Marketing (SEM): What Is It & How To Create A Great Campaign

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): What Is It & How To Create A Great Campaign

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Social Media - (Paid)
Lead Generation
Cost Details
On average, SMBs spend $9K to $10K per month on SEM, which includes ad spend and management costs

What Is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) refers to an advertising strategy that generates ads in search engines to position brands among the top results.

Unlike SEO, SEM strategy works through paying for keywords so that your content appears in the top position in search.

SEM can be effective in driving traffic to your website and improving conversion rates.

Search Engine Marketing Key Takeaways

  • Search Engine Marketing, when used effectively can increase sales and promote brand awareness.
  • Target your ads carefully and be sure to budget for your campaign
  • Make sure your SEM message correlates with your landing page. Otherwise, you may confuse potential customers.

Understanding How SEM Campaigns Work

Search Engine Marketing uses paid advertisements that appear on the search engine results page. Advertisers bid on keywords that searchers use on search engines when looking for products, services, or general information about a topic of interest.

SEM, popularly known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, is different from Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEM campaign ads come in a variety of formats. The ads can be text-based, visual-based, or even product-based advertisements.

Search engine marketing offers the advertiser the opportunity to put their advertisements in front of motivated customers who search for products and ready to purchase.

The top benefits of running SEM campaigns are:

  • Increased search engine visibility which is ideal for lead generation
  • Higher chances to convert visitors to customers through better targeting techniques
  • Increased brand visibility leading to brand awareness and growth
  • Intent-based marketing creating the potential to attract prospects and drive them towards your sales funnel
  • SEM campaigns are measurable and easy to monitor

Real-world Examples of Awesome SEM Campaigns

1. Lords & Labradors

Lords & Labradors is UK's leading eCommerce site for luxury pet products. Founded in 2013, Lords & Labradors, the company today has branches in 17 countries including the USA and Australia.


Lords & Labradors noticed the demand for high-quality puppy products and kits and engaged Click Consuilt, in a bid to increase visibility and sales through their website.

Because of dedicating their efforts to SEM, Lords & Labradors has seen the following results:

  • Increased revenue by up to 36.2%
  • Increase subscribers by 37.1%
  • Organic sessions increased by 35%

2. Payoneer

Payoneer is one of the largest online payment service companies in the world. The company's objective was to introduce new services to users and increase registrations.

After a successful SEM campaign, Payoneer saw increased client growth, with the average monthly growth at a whopping 4751%.


How To Create Winning SEM Campaigns

  • Research your target market in-depth
  • Identify and use advanced targeting options
  • Create an ad campaign with related yet different ad groups
  • Experience with different ad versions to see how changes impact ads performance
  • Leverage ad extensions to improve the performance of your SEM campaigns
  • Create a stunning landing page for your users

You can create and manage SEM campaigns using different tools. Examples of tools for SEM campaigns include:

Google Adwords

Advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings, and video content within the Google ad network.

Businesses using Google Adwords:

440 successful businesses are using Google Adwords ➜

Get Google Adwords ➜

Entrepreneurs may lack enough time to learn and understand how these tools work. If that is your current position, the easiest approach for starting an SEM campaign is to hire experienced freelancers to run and manage your SEM Campaigns. You will find reliable freelancers on platforms like:


The largest freelancing website, where businesses connect with talented freelancers.

Businesses using Upwork:

303 successful businesses are using Upwork ➜

Get Upwork ➜


Makes it simpler to hire freelancers online from over 3 million professionals and get freelance jobs from thousands of projects posted on its freelancing.

Businesses using guru:

3 successful businesses are using guru ➜

Get guru ➜


Contributors to this article:

  • Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
  • Samantha Walls, Head Of Content @ Starter Story
  • David Gitonga, Writer @ Starter Story
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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