There are two main ways to get a business found in search engine results pages (SERPs): search listings and paid ads. The paid portion of a placement on search results pages is called search engine marketing, or SEM. Search engine marketing is increasing a product or service's visibility on a search engine results page through paid advertising. As a digital marketer or e-commerce analyst, you may be tasked with setting up SEM-based ads. You may also need to review the performance of your ads to make improvements to existing ads. If you use SEM, when a potential customer searches for a product or a service you provide, they may see an ad for your business appear on the results page. Typically, you're not charged for your ad to show in search results but rather once the ad is clicked. In this course, we will primarily focus on how to do search engine marketing on Google. We can talk about the search engine and its marketing with confidence, but you can also do SEM on other search engines as well. Marketers can also use search engine marketing with specific online e-commerce platforms where people search for products on the e-commerce site itself. They're called product-based search engines. For the purposes of this video, we will discuss how SEM works with Internet search engines. This is the main type of online ad you will likely use as a digital marketer. Now that you have a basic understanding of how SEM works, let's talk about pay models. When doing SEM, you typically pay when someone clicks on your ad. This is called pay-per-click advertising, or PPC advertising. PPC is a type of advertising model that allows businesses to only pay when someone clicks on their ad. Besides pay-per-click, there are other types of advertising pay models. One example is to pay by how many times someone sees an ad, also called impressions. That's why PPC advertising is desirable for many marketers and businesses. They only pay when someone takes an action and clicks on the ad. Additionally, PPC ensures Google is aligned with the advertiser. Google is motivated to show the right ads to users— ones that will get clicked on in order to get paid. Compare that pay model to a non-digital channel such as a magazine. When you are advertising in a magazine, you have to pay a large upfront cost. Plus, you can't really track the actions the reader takes. An exciting part of digital marketing is being able to optimize an ad based on user actions. It opens up the possibility to better serve your potential customers. Once you decide to place an SEM-based ad, where does it appear? Typically, SEM ads appear at the top and bottom of Google SERPs. Where and when an ad appears depends on what type it is. For example, some SEM ads are shopping ads. They may display at the top of the search results page for a product-based Google search or across other Google online properties, such as the shopping tab. Local search ads may display when someone searches for a business, product, or a service locally. It's possible that no ads appear on a search results page. Now, imagine you are a marketer. Why would you choose to do SEM as part of a digital marketing strategy? What are its advantages? Well, here are a few. One advantage is that you can reach customers who are likely to buy from your company. SEM allows you to have a website, app, or product show in the SERPs when someone types in a certain searches. For example, if you have a plumbing business in Phoenix, Arizona, and a potential customer searches for "plumber in Phoenix, Arizona," it's likely they will be interested in your business. A second advantage of SEM is quickly appearing in the search results pages. If a website hasn't built up enough authority or reputation to receive traffic for certain search terms in the search listings, SEM may be beneficial to help with additional visibility. Difficulty in appearing in search results can be particularly true for a new website. While a new website can appear in search results fairly quickly, it can take time to build its authority and reputation for competitive search terms. Another advantage is that you'll learn which of your ads are driving sales. If you're launching a new business website, it's likely you aren't receiving many website visitors. That means you aren't recording much analytics data. That can make it difficult to determine if customers are connecting with certain webpages more than others or measuring whether certain pages are converting at a higher rate. Using SEM, you can drive traffic to specific webpages on your website to collect data that allows you to determine which content is performing well and which can be improved. A fourth advantage of SEM is control over where you send the searchers. Just because a webpage ranks high in the search listings for a given keyword, that doesn't mean it's the best page for conversion. SEM gives you the control over which page shows in the search engine for a given search. For example, in a plumbing business, potential customers are searching for "leaking water heater repair." Your homepage ranks in the search listings in Google for this search. However, you would like a page with a lead form or a number to call for leaking water heater repairs. With SEM, you can tailor your messaging and use this more direct landing page for searches containing keywords related to leaking water heaters or water heater repair. As a reminder, a landing page is any webpage where a visitor enters a website. Typically, the landing page should directly address the problem the potential customer is trying to solve. See, as a digital marketer or e-commerce analyst, you may be tasked with setting up SEM ads. You may also need to review the ad analytics to make improvements to existing ads. Similar to search engine optimization, search engine marketing can be one of the more complex skills you will learn as a beginning digital marketer. But don't worry, we're going to teach you some of the basics, and by the end of this course, you will have a great working knowledge of SEM and Google Ads.