Winner of the European Digital Skills Award
Header Main Menu Home Topic Library Certification Events Partners More arrow_drop_down Tools Help & FAQs Feedback Blog launch
Start learning

Be noticed with search ads

READ MORE

Want to know how to advertise to the very people searching for what you offer? Learn the basics of search engine marketing (SEM).

Want to know how to advertise to the very people searching for what you offer? Learn the basics of search engine marketing (SEM).

Lesson 1 of 4

Introduction to search engine marketing (SEM)

Great, you're on your way.

Now why not continue learning with more free tutorials?

View transcript

Hey there! And welcome to our introduction to search engine marketing, or SEM. In this video we’re going to be talking about how SEM works, and more importantly, what makes it unique in marketing, and why it’s so effective.

You’re probably already familiar with search engine marketing, even if you don’t know how it works. Let’s say you do a search for something like wedding photos. You’ll get lots of options on the search engine results page. Now we’re going to take a closer look at those results.

The links you see in the main part of the page are called “organic” results. It costs nothing to appear here. This is where search engines show sites they think have the most relevant content.
Now look at the right column and across the top of the page. See those results? These listings are paid advertisements.

SEM lets you use this space to advertise to potential customers when they search for certain words and phrases relevant to your business. These are known as keywords.

Another really unique thing to know about SEM is the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad. So if your ad appears, but no one clicks on it, you won’t be charged.

Yes, you heard that right! That’s why it’s called “pay-per-click” advertising.


Let's say you’re a wedding photographer. You may want your ads to show when someone searches for wedding photographer Cardiff. But you’ll only pay if the searcher clicks on your advert.

That’s the big difference when comparing SEM to traditional forms of advertising, like ads in newspapers and magazines, or billboard posters. If you advertise wedding photography using those, the ad is shown to a bunch of people… whether or not they want wedding photos. And you pay no matter what.

With SEM, it’s very likely that people who clicked your ad are interested in what you have to offer, because they told you so. Or rather, they told the search engine when they searched for wedding photographer Cardiff, saw your ad and clicked on it.
Unlike traditional marketing, SEM targets people actively looking for products and services. This is different from broadcasting a message to people that they may—or may not—have any interest in.

Makes sense, right? Now you know why SEM works so well.


Let’s sum up. Search engine marketing is a uniquely powerful option for your business. It’s simple, but effective: People search for things they want. And advertisers target specific searches, but only pay if someone clicks to learn more. That’s search engine marketing.

If you stay tuned we’ll cover lots more about SEM. We’ll explain how it works, how to identify effective keywords, how to write ads people will click on, and much more.

Hide
Google + LinkedIn
Key learnings 3'

Traditional advertising broadcasts a message to the world at large. But search engine marketing targets a very specific group of people - those actively looking for your products and services. In this video, you’ll learn:

  • what SEM is
  • how it works
  • why it works so well.

Key learnings
Traditional advertising broadcasts a message to the world at large. But search engine marketing targets a very specific group of people - those actively looking for your products and services. In this video, you’ll learn:
  • what SEM is
  • how it works
  • why it works so well.
Google + LinkedIn