Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Marketing – Forbes Advisor

  • Semrush: Semrush is an online tool used by marketers for SEM, ranging from keyword research to traffic analysis and ad analysis. You will be able to search for the best keywords and see which are ranking the best and which are the hardest to rank for.
  • Google Ads Keyword Planner: Since most advertisers probably aim to have their ads appear on Google, Google Ads Keyword Planner is a useful tool for keyword research. The tool will also suggest bid amounts for specific keywords to help you budget. Moreover, you will be able to create an advertising plan and launch your campaign all through this tool.
  • google trends: Google Trends is a free and useful tool to use at the start of your research. You’ll be able to see the popularity of a specific term on Google over time (since 2004), limit your search to a particular country, and find related queries based on the words you search for, which will help you come up with ideas for your ad.

How much does SEM cost?

There is no single answer when it comes to the cost of SEM. According to Irwin, a rough estimate can range from $500 to $10,000 per month. “Of course, that number could go up or down significantly depending on your needs and budget,” he said.

You can also adjust your budget as you get more insight into which keywords work best. “The good news is that the tactic is so measurable that you can see what works and what doesn’t and adjust the budget accordingly. The bad news is that the honest answer to that question is: it depends,” Dappert said.

“When setting up your campaign, you should look for historical industry cost-per-click (CPC) rates in keyword planners and search forecasting tools to get an estimate of how much your competitors are spending,” suggested Dappert. She adds that CPC ranges from $2 to over $55 depending on the industry and that reasonable conversion rates are usually between 5% and 10% and there is a basic floor of 15 clicks (per day , per ad group) needed for the engine to optimize .

“The best strategy when evaluating costs is to look at what competitors are spending, keeping your target value in mind and recognizing that you may need to spend a little more than them to find yourself on the front page,” Dappert added.


SEM is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website to sell a specific product or service. SEM allows you to create targeted advertisements that appear on search engines and reach potential customers who are actively interested in the product or service you offer. Any business, big or small, can use SEM strategies. While there’s a lot to learn about what makes a search ad effective, the good news is that there are plenty of tutorials online to learn more.

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