Search Engine Marketing (SEM)


This is a small story about a meeting between Mel Karmazin, a media executive, and the founders and CEO of Google in 2003. Karmazin was curious about how Google made money from selling online advertisements.

The Google guys explained that they used a measurable and effective system that matched advertisers with websites and users.

Karmazin was horrified by this approach because he was used to selling expensive and unpredictable ads on TV and radio. He told them that they were "fucking with the magic of advertising".

For more than a century, advertising was an art, not a science. Hard data didn’t exist. Today we look for certainty from data analysts who are supposed to just show us the numbers.

But, decisions have to be made, somebody has to lay out a strategy, and doubt must stop at some point. For that reason, companies hire overconfident people who act like they know what they cannot possibly know.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) X The Unseen Market

In the past, if you wanted access to the world’s top tech talent, you needed to move to Silicon Valley and compete against the Googles and Facebooks of the world.

Today, thanks to the full-scale adoption of remote work and the rise of the freelance economy, you can hire the world’s most talented tech talent from anywhere in the world. Silicon Valley is no longer just a destination on a map — it can be found on The Unseen Market.

- Grow Your Business Faster Than Anyone Else

If you’re trying to meet a deadline or beat the competition, that lag time can bring your momentum to a halt. That’s why, according to a recent study by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a full 40% of businesses said that hiring highly skilled freelancers helped improve speed to market, boost productivity and increase innovation for their company.

- Your Business Can Have A Greater Global Impact

The Unseen Market freelance economy is allowing your company to scale its businesses globally at a pace that has never been seen before. In the past, expansions were costly, decade-long endeavors.

Today, you can tap into global markets overnight by hiring local freelancers who are able to help you instantly increase your value and reach customers around the globe.

Need to set up an office in Dubai? Launch a new product in Peru? Explore business opportunities in Europe? Freelancers make all that possible, and they do it in a matter of days, not years.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) FAQs

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy that aims to increase the visibility and traffic of a website through paid advertising and optimization techniques. It mainly involves creating and managing paid search campaigns, ensuring that ads appear on top of search engine results pages (SERPs). While it is often referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) marketing because of its focus on paid search, it is much broader than this form of advertising. Covering paid and unpaid ad strategies, it encompasses PPC and SEO marketing and enables businesses to reach both short-term and long-term goals.

How does SEM differ from SEO?

While both SEM and SEO aim to increase website traffic through search engines, they differ in how they achieve this goal. Basically, SEO is a long-term strategy for organic (unpaid) traffic, while SEM is a quick-result paid search strategy. SEO focuses on optimizing the content and structure of a website to improve its organic ranking on SERPs. Over time, it helps drive evergreen traffic at the top of the funnel. On the other hand, SEM uses mostly paid advertising to appear at the top of search results. It helps drive conversions at the bottom of the funnel. Both strategies are vital to any online marketing strategy.

Why is SEM important for businesses?

With many consumers now researching and shopping for products online, businesses face an increasingly competitive digital landscape. To increase online presence, SEM should be a crucial part of any online marketing strategy. SEM is important for businesses because it allows them to reach a wider audience, increase their online visibility, promote products and services, and enhance brand awareness in a cost-effective way. By appearing at the top of search results, businesses can attract more potential customers and drive more website traffic. Moreover, SEM allows for more precise targeting and control over advertising budgets.

Can SEM help improve my website’s ranking on search engines?

Search engines use complex algorithms to provide the most relevant results to search queries, but SEM does not particularly delve into these algorithms. However, while SEM does not directly impact the ranking of websites on search engines, it can indirectly improve it by increasing website traffic and generating backlinks. By utilizing paid ads, SEM gets a website to show on top of search engine results pages whenever a user types in certain keywords. This helps attract more organic traffic that can contribute to higher overall rankings in the long term.

Can SEM be used for both B2B and B2C businesses?

Yes, SEM can be used for both B2B and B2C businesses. The targeting and messaging of the campaigns may differ depending on the target audience, but the basic principles of SEM remain the same. Similar to how it is done for the B2C space, SEM B2B marketers strive to increase online visibility and get prospective customers to click on the ads, go to the landing page, and complete their purchases. The difference mainly lies in the type of customers they are trying to reach.

How much should I budget for an SEM campaign?

The budget for an SEM campaign depends on various factors, including the target audience's size, the industry's competitiveness, and the advertising platform being used. Basic SEM services, including setup, content creation, and social media, can cost approximately $500 to $1,000 per month. High-level SEM services that cover complete SEO services, full digital marketing plans, and comprehensive social media and PPC campaigns can cost $10,000 to over $40,000 per month. When planning your SEM campaigns, it is important to set a realistic budget that aligns with your business goals and considers your resources.