What is Sem Positioning? Definition of Sem Positioning, Sem Positioning Meaning and Concept

SEM positioning (Search Engine Marketing) is the method of digital positioning through payment in online search engines. It translates as “search engine marketing”.

We cannot define SEM positioning without previously understanding what SEO (Search Engine Optimization), translated as “search engine optimization”. This consists of optimizing the position of a website in Internet search engines. In other words, it is designing a website with the aim of appearing in the top positions of the ranking when searching for certain words on the Internet.

The main difference in SEO positioning and SEM is that in SEM positioning it is possible to optimize that position through the payment of ads or sponsored links.

Why is SEM and SEO positioning so important?

When we need to search for any type of information, we immediately go to the Internet and type it into a search engine, be it Google, Yahoo or another. The results returned by this search is the information we need and ordered by relevance. That is, the first links that appear are supposed to be the most interesting for our search and they are the ones we will click on.

Normally we only access those websites that stand out, so if our page does not appear highlighted it will not be visible.

“Appearing from the 6th position in a search engine result is being invisible”.

A good positioning of our website will allow us to differentiate ourselves from the competition, increase visibility, web traffic and, ultimately, increase income.

"The objective of SEM positioning is to increase and highlight the visibility of our company by increasing our presence in web search engines."

Although our website does not appear in the first positions naturally, we can use advertising to appear in the first positions and achieve our goal. This is what SEM positioning consists of.

How can we achieve a good SEM positioning?

When we perform a search on Google, for example, it is easy to distinguish which are the sponsored links and which ones are returned according to the analysis of its algorithm, as we can see in the following image.

If we talk about sponsored links, we refer to pay-per-click (PPC) ads. SEM positioning is an advertising model in which search engines advertise our website, but we will only pay if someone clicks on our sponsored link.

To get search engines to put our sponsored link among the first places, we must buy the keywords (Keywords) for which we want them to find us. In other words, when a user types these keywords in the search engine, our website appears as a sponsored link.

To buy these keywords, we will use a bidding system available to search engines. That is, each company decides what it is willing to pay each time a user clicks on its link (PPC) and the companies that pay the most will be the ones that appear advertised. After this auction, for each search, it will be the search engine that decides which sponsored links will appear according to the relevance for the user and the payment made by the advertising company. For example, within Google, there is the Google Adwords system where companies can carry out their SEM positioning campaigns and it is one of the most useful and well-known.

When designing SEM campaigns and making our sponsored link appear to the public that interests us, we must clearly define who our target audience is. In addition to keywords, we can narrow down by factors such as geographic location. Thus, the ad will appear to users who access from an IP from a specific region (province or country).

PPC services are not only used by search engines, but have also begun to be used on web pages and in APP (mobile applications) through advertising banners. That is, when accessing certain web pages with content related to ours, the ad may appear there in the event that the web has a banner enabled with the option to display advertising.

SEM positioning example

If our website belongs to a company dedicated to renting bicycles in Valencia, the logical thing is for users to search Google for “”. When designing our SEM positioning campaign in Google Adwords, we will pay for the words “” and every time a user searches for this in Google, the sponsored link of our website will appear in the first positions. If the user clicks on our link and accesses our website, we will pay a cost for that click to Google Adwords.

How to plan a SEM positioning campaign?

When we are going to plan a campaign in Google Adwords, we must take into account the following steps:

  • Determine what value each visitor to the web has for us: That is, what monetary value we estimate that each visitor leaves us on the web. Example: If we are investing €10 for each click and we have an average estimate that each visitor has a value of €5, we are losing money and the campaign is not profitable.
  • Determine which are the keywords that define us and for which we are going to bid: This list of keywords will be the same or very similar to those that we have determined in the general strategy of the business and in SEO.
  • Determine what our cost per click (CPC) will be and the budget that we will allocate to the campaign: That is, we establish the price for which we are going to bid in the keyword auction, for how long and how much we are going to invest. The high competition for certain keywords often means that SEM positioning campaigns are excessively expensive and not profitable for us.
  • Carry out continuous monitoring of each campaign that we carry out: That is, update keywords, increase the bid on those that work better, change factors from time to time and see how the public reacts, etc. Thus, until adjusting the audience and the investment to achieve a profitable and successful campaign. There is no formula to do it, but each business is different, it depends on many external and internal factors, so everything is based on trial and error.
  • A/B Test: Many times we do not know what factors are the determining factors for the campaign and, as we have said, everything is based on trial and error. We can design two identical ads by changing a single variable, and see which one works better. Thus, we are adjusting our strategy.
  • Create an eye-catching ad that captures the user's attention: It is not only worth sponsoring a link, but also the content of the title and the meta description of that link (text that appears below the link). These will be decisive for the user to access the web or not. These ads must be very simple, precise and have a clear call to action that pushes us to go to that website. In short, stand out from the rest.
  • Adapt content to mobile versions: Web traffic from mobile phones or the use of APPs represents a very important volume for most websites, so designing ads adapted to these devices will be essential to increase traffic through these channels. This means creating shorter messages and landing pages with a design adapted to these screens.
  • It is advisable to design and carry out SEM and SEO positioning campaigns simultaneously: Both have the same objective and the criteria are similar. The main difference is that SEM provides short-term results, that is, while the pay-per-click (CPC) campaign is active, and SEO is long-term.

In this link, you can start creating the first Adwords campaign and get more information on how to do it.