SEM in Ecommerce: Everything You Need to Know

What Is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing is “a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.”

Outsourcing SEM — A Good Idea?

When you sign-up for a Google Ads account, the onboarding process makes it seem like it’s extremely easy to run successful ads. While using the software itself doesn’t have a steep learning curve, running successful ads is difficult. There are a ton of variables you need to take into account. Moreover, if you’re in a competitive niche, you’ll be up against stores with professional teams of PPC (Pay per Click) specialists that take care of SEM.

The Initial Set-up For SEM

Before you create ads and optimize your campaign for conversions, you must set everything up in Google Ads, Google Analytics, and your own backend.

Create Your Ads and Ad Groups

After you set-up your accounts, create ad groups for your different products, or product categories. It’s important to keep ad groups diverse, so you can analyze and optimize the ones that work best.

Formulate Your Targeting

Once the ads and ad groups are created, you’ll need to hone down who you’re targeting with your campaign. Google Ads has a lot of criteria by which you can target individuals, including:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Income
  • Behaviours
  • Interests
  • Online purchasing record
  • Life events

Set Your Bids

When you first create a campaign, you’ll be asked to set a daily budget for it. We recommend a budget of at least a few hundreds of dollars a month, as anything less is not likely to help you reach the top spot. Moreover, anything less doesn’t give the Google Ads algorithm enough user interaction to adapt who it shows your ads to.

And To Wrap It Up

Remember that Google Ads, and SEM in general, are all about adapting to the market and what customers need. You can find the right targeting, message, and bids, and you can set them and forget about the campaign for a while. But at some point, your competitors will try to surpass you on the SERP, which is why any SEM campaign needs to be constantly analyzed and optimized.



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Philip Keezer

Philip Keezer


I’m Philip J. Keezer, president and founder of management consulting firm Grindstone Capital. Dedicated to hard work, learning, positivity and accountability.