SEM or search engine advertising: Google Ads

What is SEM? What is the difference between SEM and SEO? What about CPC, CPR or ROAS? What is Google Ads? What types of campaigns are there?

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing or according to its acronym, SEM, refers to search engine marketing. It is a form of advertising used on the Internet to promote the visibility of websites.

These are, for example, the featured ads that appear in the top positions of the search results, when searching for some related term and are clearly identified with the word Ad. Did you visit an online store or a product and now stalk you all over the network? That is also SEM, specifically retargeting.

What is the difference between SEM and SEO?

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, refers to the optimization of the website oriented to organic or natural positioning in search engines. Can be SEO onPage or SEO offPage.

SEO positioning is slower but allows for durable positioning, unlike SEM that has immediate effects but only as long as the campaign is active.

The best strategy is to combine both SEO systems for stable positioning and SEM for immediate visibility.

What are the most important search engines?

In Spain, Google remains the king. A 95 user uses it. It is followed by Bing, with just over a 2.5 and Yahoo! with just over a 1.

Globally, 3 out of 4 searches are performed with Google. There are others like Bing, Baidu, Yahoo!, Yandex, Ask, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Naver, Seznam… The list is endless. We should index our website as much as possible but we may not be interested.

Baidu for example is the most popular search engine in China, but since you don’t know the language it’s going to be hard to register and if your potential customers aren’t there, it’s a waste of time.

Google Ads

Google Ads,formerly known as Google Adwords, is a free tool to advertise in Google’s search engine and appear in the top positions.

With free I mean you don’t need to pay to use it, you’ll need to pay to position your ads, and in case you have the help of an SEO professional, you’ll be charged for creating and managing the campaign.

You pay for every time they enter your ad, that is, click on your link. It’s that simple.

Campaign objective and key terms.

It is important to specify exit points and objectives before any type of campaign. Here are the goals that Google Ads offers us:

  • Sales.
  • Sales opportunities.
  • Traffic to the website.
  • Consideration of the brand and the product.
  • Brand coverage and notoriety.
  • Application promotion.

It is also important to be clear about the following terms before you begin:


The total number of times your ad has been shown.


The times they clicked on your ad.


It is the user who, after interacting, has performed the action defined as a goal. It is calculated by dividing Cost/Cost by average acquisition.


Click Through Ratio. It is calculated by dividing clicks between impressions. For example, a 5 equals that one in twenty people clicks on the ad. It depends on the sector, the competition, the quality of the advertisement… It is impossible to establish a medium CTR.

How much does each click cost? What about every campaign?

There is no fixed cost. It’s impossible to give a figure because it depends on the competition that exists for that keyword and the quality of your ad.

The price can range from a few cents to several euros, and will vary according to the outcome of an auction among the advertisers competing for it.

The good news is that the budget is decided by you, and you don’t need a big investment, you can also modify it whenever you want depending on the results you get with your campaign.

To control these costs we will have to look at:


Cost per click.


Cost per thousand impressions (CPC* CTR * 100) .


Cost per acquisition. It is calculated by dividing Cost / Conversions.


Return on Advertising Spend . It’s one of the basic indicators to know if our marketing strategy is working. It is calculated as well ((Revenue-Expenses including campaign cost) / Cost) * 100.

What types of campaigns exist in Google Ads?

Source: Google Academy


It is used to reach customers interested in a product or service through text ads. Search ads appear next to Google search results and other Google partner websites, such as YouTube.


Source: Google Academy


These are featured ads, where you can see the image and price of the product, which appear in search results and on the Shopping platform. They include comprehensive product information so users know everything they need to do, even before they click on the ad. It is the ideal type of campaign to promote online stores and find much more qualified leads.


Source: Google Academy


These responsive ads are displayed on a network of more than two million websites and apps. With them, you can reach 90 Internet users. These ads are associated with content related to your business or your customers’ interests. They are ideal for retargeting.

Source: Google Academy


With video ads, you can reach YouTube viewers and capture their interest through an audio-visual ad. You can display them independently, within other video streaming content on YouTube and on apps and websites on the Google Display Network. You only pay when users see your ad.

Source: Google Academy


This type of campaign is used to increase interactions, downloads, and actions in the apps themselves. Ads will appear on both the Search network, Google Play and YouTube, as well as on thousands of mobile apps and websites. Ads and bids are automatically adjusted for the most downloads.

BONUS: Google Trends

To find out which keywords are most appropriate we can help us from Google Trends. Google Trends is a free and free access tool, provided by Google, that will allow us to compare the search popularity of various words or phrases.

You can find related queries regarding a keyword, related topics, and its evolution over time. This will let us know the search level of a particular keyword or keyword in a given period, identify patterns over time or how it varies by geographical area. The only drawback is that it only offers data from searches that have a lot of traffic.


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¡Hola! Soy Cristina, ¿en qué puedo ayudarte?