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what is SEM or Search Engine Marketing?

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If you like or move in the world of digital marketing, you have surely seen and heard this term a lot. And it is no wonder, SEM is a tool that will help you get visibility in search engines, which translates into more traffic to your website.

But what is SEM? SEM stands for search engine marketing, and it is the set of strategies and tools used to improve web positioning through paid advertisements. It refers to all the techniques that help you to optimise the visibility of your site through search engines.

how does SEM work?

An SEM campaign consists of creating a paid advertisement for specific keywords. This means that every time a user searches the internet with certain words, your ad will appear first in the SERP before those of your competitors. When the user makes the search, the sponsored results are differentiated as they appear first and are labelled at the beginning with the word "ad".

We usually speak directly of Google as a search engine, because in Spain it is the most popular and used, so many of the tools that are used are designed directly for this search engine. That is why the most relevant platform for ad campaigns is Google Ads.

The model by which search engine marketing works is the auction model. SEM uses a keyword bidding system. You as the advertiser indicate the maximum cost per click (CPC) that you want to pay the search engine for each click that users make on your ad. In other words, you only get paid if the user clicks on your ad.

Advantages of SEM positioning

After explaining what this search engine positioning strategy is and how it works, here are the advantages of applying it to your website:

  • as it works through CPC campaigns, you only pay if the user clicks on the ad and is directed to your page.
  • the budget is determined by you. In Google Ads you invest what you decide, and you can even increase the budget if you wish.
  • it allows you to advertise your website, or a specific product, quickly and on a large scale.
  • it generates results in the short term, as the website is positioned in the first results as soon as the campaign is activated.
  • you can segment the ads depending on your objective, for example by geographic area, to reach a specific audience and obtain greater effectiveness.
  • the return on investment (ROI) is fast, as long as the campaigns are optimised, as it directly impacts the audience interested in your brand.

However, keep in mind that everything has its disadvantages, and the biggest disadvantage of this type of campaign is that bidding on keywords is usually expensive, especially in highly competitive sectors, which means that the cost per click is high.


You've probably seen these two terms together in digital marketing, and it's no wonder, as together they make a perfect duo for your web positioning.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the set of techniques that are applied to a website with the aim of improving its positioning in a search engine. SEO refers to organic results, that is, you do not pay directly to have a better positioning and appear in the first results of the SERP. Search engine optimisation seeks to improve the visibility of a website in search results, and it is done through optimisation work and increasing the popularity of the website.

Although they are different strategies, since SEM looks for immediate results, and SEO does it in the long term, combining them is the smartest strategy. Taking advantage of the potential of both strategies you will get a better positioning. Because you can make a good paid advertising campaign, but if your website is not well optimised, it is not relevant and has no authority, your work will be in vain, because you will not retain those visitors to convert them into customers.

But if you want to know more about the difference between both strategies we leave you this link to an article that will make you curious.


As you have read throughout the post, SEM should be part of your digital marketing plan. You have to know how to take advantage of the benefits of using ad campaigns to increase traffic to your website. Making a difference and appearing in the first search engine results will also help you to increase sales and customers for your business.

We recommend that you know your ideal customer well, and create your buyer persona, because the more detailed you have this point the better you can focus your actions. Remember that SEM campaigns can be segmented to reach the audience you want, so it is important to know your potential customer.

now it's your turn! Use all this information to apply it to your website and see the results.

we hope you enjoyed reading this!

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