What is SEM ranking?

Por Maria Cecilia/

14 March, 2023

To talk in depth about SEM ranking and how to master it, we must first understand what exactly it consists of.

SEM stands for search engine marketing and is strictly based on paid aids. Whereas, SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is more about acquiring organic and unpaid content. 

Mastering SEM ranking relies on ads being correctly created, applied and targeted.

This means that they will appear at the top of search engines progressively more frequently, leading to more clicks, conversions and valuable leads.

How does SEM ranking work?

It is common knowledge that, by investing money into campaigns, it is possible to place ads on search engines such as Google or Bing, but not many know how the process truly works

In fact, there are many more elements to consider for an ad to appear at the top and, more importantly, to reach the desired audience.

This is where the concept of SEM ranking takes effect. The more an ad appears compared to other ads in the same category, the higher it is ranked.

That means that it has been successful in its bidding and that it is a quality ad.

Next, we are going to dive deeper into these two essential concepts in making it to the top of the SEM ranking

What is SEM bidding?

The first time someone hears that, in order to get into the SEM ranking, you need to bid on your ads, all sorts of strange scenarios come to mind.

The reality, however, is much less outlandish, but nevertheless still interesting and, definitely, important.

Similar to a traditional auction, SEM bidding consists of declaring how much money you are willing to invest in the advertising platforms (in this case, search engines) for each individual auction instance.

All this will depend on the type of strategy being applied to enter the SEM ranking, since the costs for each type of bid and auction may vary.

You can choose to bid for individual clicks or for a certain number of clicks, and the same can be done for impressions. Bidding can also be done on an interaction or conversion basis.

The difference lies in the fact that, compared to a traditional auction, the SEM auction is carried out by the search engines’ own systems and algorithms.

Whenever advertising space is available, and based on each contender’s proposals, they will determine how high each ad will appear, to which users it will appear, and how much the space is worth.

Bidding to enter the SEM ranking can be done in pursuit of different objectives. It is important, before you start bidding, to identify what you hope to achieve.

Some of the most common targets are:

  • Achieve a higher number of clicks
  • Increase impressions
  • Generate more conversions
  • Get your target audience to interact more with you
  • Etc.

These objectives will also be weighed by the algorithms when positioning your ad, so it is very important to know where you are going to target.

How much money does it take to get into SEM ranking? 

It is important to clarify that participating in these bids does not cost money. In other words, technically, placing your ads in the SEM ranking is free.

However, what does cost money (and that is the price you will have bid for) are clicks, conversions, impressions or user interactions (depending on the type of bidding you are participating in).

If, for example, you bid for an ad for $4 a click, every time someone clicks on your ad you will have to pay that amount.

This is where the other key factor entering the SEM ranking comes into play: the quality of the ads and their content.

Without this feature, SEM would be based purely on who has the most money, which would be senseless.

What determines the quality of an ad for SEM ranking? 

There are a number of factors that affect what Google and other search engines consider a “quality ad”.

Below, we are going to review each of them, so you can put them into practice and start moving up in the SEM ranking:

Criteria for a quality advertisement 

  • Relevance: It may sound obvious, but knowing the tricks to raise the relevance of your ad is crucial to improve the quality of your ad. This is where practices such as SEO (search engine optimization) come into play, as the goal is to optimize ads and ad content so that they respond to user queries in the best possible way. 
  • Format: Search engines offer a wide range of rich formats to create a variety of quality and genuine ads. To enter the SEM ranking these formats are crucial, since they provide extra information for potential customers, thus enhancing the customer experience. Ensuring that the ads that appear higher up are not only relevant to users, but also useful. In addition, this prevents the top ranking positions from being occupied purely by those who pump the most money into their campaigns.
  • Landing Page Experience: By now it is clear that the quality of an ad is largely determined by the quality of the content that composes it. Following this line of thought, it is no surprise that, in order to climb in the SEM ranking, the web page to which your ad redirects users must also be optimized, guaranteeing a fluid, simple and intuitive use. Its content must equally be genuine, original and of value, reflecting the transparency and excellence of the business.

Would you like to position your ads at the top of the SEM ranking? 

At MKT Digital Marketing we work with the most effective and up to date techniques, complementing them with our long years of experience to give your business the best results and position them at the top of the SEM ranking.

We have a team dedicated exclusively to the creation and management of effective search engine ad campaigns, and hundreds of companies have already seen incredible results thanks to them.

To learn more, we invite you to contact us through our website.



Recommended reading: 5 benefits that a marketing agency abroad can bring to your company


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