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Boatline Dealer’s Blog

SEM 101

Search Engine Marketing – or SEM – has become an increasingly popular way to target consumers in your local market. Often referred to as paid search – these campaigns run across all of the major search engines, are incredibly customizable, and should be considered as part of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.


While Pay-Per-Click campaigns are likely the most well-known type of paid search – there are other varieties that could peak your interest and be a good fit for your dealership. Since this is our 101 guide – we’re going to start by giving you an overview of each type of SEM campaign to help you get a firm understanding of how they work individually and together.


Pay Per Click


The most recognizable type of SEM campaign is a Pay-Per-Click or PPC campaign – you’ve likely seen one of these ads today. When you search for a product or service in Google, for example, PPC ads display at the top and bottom of the search results. They are distinguished from other search results by a small “Ad” icon. 


What differentiates Paid Search ads from the other organic search results is that advertisers pay for each click on one of these ads – where you don’t have to pay for a click on an organic search result.


PPC campaigns are built on keywords, ads, and landing pages. Once you’ve identified keywords your customers might use to search for your products – you can bid on these keywords and have your ad displayed when a potential customer searches for one of these terms. You will be able to write custom ads that are relevant to these keywords and choose the webpage that these searchers will land on if they click on the ad.


Display Ads


Display ads are another option when it comes to paid search campaigns. These ads are more traditional banner ads – rather than a designation on a search result – and allow you to target ads to an audience that has been identified as in-market or that show an affinity for certain products or services that you offer. To give you a real life example – since I spend a lot of time on marine related sites – I’ve been identified as someone who is interested in possibly selling my boat – and ads for Boatline- are now displaying as I’m checking the weather on 




Remarketing is also powered by banner ads and allows you to target past visitors to your website. Once a potential buyer has left your site – these ads follow them as they browse other sites or do subsequent searches related to your products. I’ve been searching on Amazon – and left that site to check the news on – and right there on, I see an ad encouraging me to return to Amazon to check out additional products.


And because we always want you to fully understand the value of your partnership with Boatline- we want to reassure you that we have active campaigns in each of these SEM categories – all with the goal of driving potential buyers to your listings. Our parent company, Trader Interactive has a strong reputation with search engines and a dedicated team – all with the various certifications to qualify their expertise – focused on constantly improving these results. As we grow and hone our efforts – as a customer, your dealership will also benefit with the major search engines. Rest assured that we are always looking for the latest and most innovative ways to drive connections to you- and that’s just an added perk of being online with us.

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