SEM Marketing- Effectively Growing Your Business in a Competitive Market

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With millions of businesses worldwide that are targeting the same segment of the market as you,  search engine visibility is an advantage. 

The marketplace is a competitive environment that is increasingly changing its landscape to challenge and bring out the best in every business, big or small. 

SEM marketing plays a crucial role in making these brands heard, seen, and understood in the global scheme. The success of every business online depends on how well its team market and position itself. 

It matters that you are visible and reachable to your prospective audience once you decide to transition from the traditional way of doing business to engaging virtually. This is where Search Engine Marketing SEM comes in. 

In this article, you will have an overview of the basics of search engine marketing. We will tackle some tips and strategies to help you fire up your brand’s website, and you will also get the clearer vision on how our SEM service can help you.

What is SEM Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing or SEM marketing is a practice that uses search engines to increase your brand’s website’s online visibility, clicks, and engagements.

The definition itself tells that SEM must consider all search engines, websites, online platforms, and advertising that your prospective audiences use where you best perform in keywords or search results. 

How Does SEM Work?

Search Engine Marketing, in its most simple context aims to reach users when they most need the information you have to offer. You only pay for a specific action of an advertisement -this is why it is pay per click. 


You may ask which is better and which strategy you must use, but we must tell you that SEM uses SEO. 

Keep in mind that Google’s search results have two categories –  paid and organic search results. 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is optimising a website to get favourable traffic from organic search results. While Search Engine Marketing’s (SEM) goal is to acquire traffic and visibility from both paid and organic search results

Difference Between SEO and SEM 

SEO is a practice that seeks to optimise a website to rank in the non-paid (organic) search engine results pages (SERPs). 

In one of our articles, we mentioned that Google uses 200+ ranking factors in their algorithm to gauge one’s website. Due to this update, SEO agencies and practitioners worked on improving the four main subcategories of SEO:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO and
  • User Interaction Signals. 

SEM is an umbrella that covers search engine optimisation (SEO) and pays per click (PPC). Yes. SEM is a broad term because it both tackles SEO and PPC. 

Under SEM, you must know the following terminologies:

  • Bidding – when you perfrom a bidding, you are clearly up to pay for a specific action of an advertisement. 

Different bids include Cost per click (CPC) or cost per 1000 impressions (CPM). Whether you are into Google Ads or Bing Ads, you are bidding for a specific keyword and when a user searches for that keyword, your ad shows up. 

Keep in mind that if you are the highest bidder, there is a big chance that your ads will appear above all other existing ads online that bids into the same keyword. Be strategic about this as you will have to spend hefty on this. 

  • Quality Score – This is a critical metric for Google Ads because quality score is one way of figuring if your ads are a good match to what the people are searching for online. 

How do you calculate for quality score? Google uses the click through rate, your landing page’s quality and the overall Google Ads quality score to find out this factor. 

Higher quality score means earning a discount on each click. Sounds interesting, right?

  • Ad Copy – Creating a compelling ad copy is one way to succeed in PPC. you know the impact of a well put out advertising campaign in today’s set up, right?

If your ad copy spark interest, there is a big chance that you will earn high CTR. CTR is synonymous to a favourable Quality Score. 

How SEO and SEM Can Complement Each Other 

SEO and SEM are complemetary. Yes. you read it right. 

They are not independent from each other. Learning both strategies is an advantage to all digital marketers out there because it will help you on many things, like having a solid online exposure, favourable engagement with your audiences, and a sought-after SERP results of your brand’s website. 

How do they relate to each other? 

  1. Both strategies use keywords
  2. SEM and SEO aims to drive significant levels of traffic to your website

Simple put it this way, if one fails you, you got the other one to save you. Integrating SEM and SEO to your business gives you a clear idea of which marketing strategy you must scrap, retain, or improve on. 

What Value Does SEM Add to Business?

Why you need to have a basic knowledge of SEM for your business? 

Search Engine Marketing is one of the most valuable tools for any business because:

  1. Increases Brand Awareness
  2. Reach prospect clients instantly
  3. Grows Traffic through Ad Visibility
  4. Appears on Competitor’s related Keywords
  5. Test and measures your performance

Important Tools for SEM 

Here are some tools to help you with your search engine marketing goals! 

Ad Tracking Software

You are paying for ads because you want to generate leads. This is one of the reasons why you invest in this type of marketing strategy. 

Having a reliable Ad Tracking Software helps you go beyond the traffic and click metrics that influences your contacts. This online tool will help you in understanding which ads works for you and which you should no loger adapt. 

Google Trends

Google trends is a household name to all digital marketers and SEM agencies

One incredibly essential tool is Google trends as it allows you to monitor search volume for a specific keyword across a particular location, language, and time frame. 

Having these features gives you an advantage to identify which search terms are trending. SEM is an investment and we are sure you dont want to spend on keywords that dont provide you with a favourable ROI. 

Google Ads Keyword Planner 

Aside from the ads tracking software, it is beneficial for you to use Google Ads Keyword Planner

Choosing the right keywords matters. The right one can boost your brand’s presence and gives you the revenue that you want to attain for your business. 

This online tool will help you narrow down a list of possible keywords to ensure you’re choosing the most effective ones for your business. 

You will have an idea as well of bid estimate for a particular keyword and you will get the keyword that will match your desired campaign. 

Google Analytics

We dont think you will ever forget this next tool. Google Analytics is a must have for both SEO and SEM campaigns. 

Google Analytics will give you unique insights and data to make the most out of your implemented strategies. All you have to do is set up an account and establish your goals. You may integrate other tracking tools to Google Analytics so you will never have to bounce from one tool to another.  

This is easy to navigate and the plugins are simple. You may customise it depending on your needs and liking. 

Final Thoughts

Isn’t it surprising to know that there are other search engine techniques that are out there waiting for you to be discovered?

Search engine optimisation has been a talk of the town for decades. Our team at roots Digital are privilege to perfrom SEO for our clients for years now and we are proud of the collaboration that we have built out from it. 

As they say, there is no such thing as a one-size fits all approach. Some of our respective clients are into SEO and others have found their success using SEM or both!

Search engine marketing is a different jungle. It carries different demands and requires a different level of patience for all digital marketers. But, just like SEO, when taken seriously and perform properly, it will provide you with various advantages online. 

Now, if you are still caught in the middle of whether to use SEO Service or SEM Marketing Service or Both. Let us help you decide on that by booking your appointment with us. 

We can’t wait to discuss with you and plan out stratgies for your brand’s website under these two powerful strategies! 


What is SEM vs SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is optimising a website to get favourable traffic from organic search results. While Search Engine Marketing’s (SEM) goal is to acquire traffic and visibility from both paid and organic search results. 

These two however can complement each other in many ways.

What is SEM and how it works?

In search engine marketing, you only pay for a specific action of an advertisement.

What is an SEM in business?

Why do you need SEM in your business?

Search Engine Marketing is one of the most valuable tools for any business because:

1. Increases Brand Awareness
2. Reach prospect clients instantly
3. Grows Traffic through Ad Visibility
4. Appears on Competitor’s related Keywords
5. Test and measures your performance

Looking for a trusted SEO agency in Singapore? Schedule a consultation with us today.

About Roots Digital

Roots Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency and SEO agency headquartered in Singapore, specialising in eCommerce Marketing and lead generation.

Some of our core digital marketing services include SEO servicesSEM services, Google Ads management servicesGoogle Analytics services and more.

Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in working with us. Connect with us via our service enquiry form. You may schedule a call for more information and to know more about our digital marketing services.

Looking for digital marketing grants for SMEs? Check out our pre-approved digital marketing solutions under the PSG digital marketing grant.

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Picture of Ian Ong
Ian Ong
Marketing Director @ Roots Digital, a digital marketing agency in Singapore. Aka the guy responsible for growing the digital marketing agency.
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