10 Pros and cons of search engine marketing

Hi, I am Praneeth.

In this blog, you will learn 10 Pros and cons of search engine marketing.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

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What is Search engine marketing and how is it different from SEO?

pros and cons of search engine marketing

Search Engine Marketing[SEM] is a type of digital marketing strategy where advertisers place advertisements of their products on the search engine results page in front of highly targeted traffic.

Here are images of what I mean.



Advertisers bid on keywords that people use to search on these search engines like google and bing and the highest bidding ad will appear in search results and.

Whenever a user clicks on the ad appearing in search results, they have to pay that respective search engine money for each click of users.

The biggest advantage of SEM is that you as the advertiser can bid and place your advertisement of the product in front of the user who is exactly looking and wanting to buy some product at that precise moment.

Where as search engine optimization is about optimizing a web page or a website for search engines like google and bing and being able to rank in search engines through content, backlinks, and effort.

Learn more about SEO, here.

With that said let’s see 10 pros and cons of search engine marketing.

10 Pros and cons of search engine marketing.

Here are 10 pros and cons of search engine marketing you should know in 2020 if you are thinking of starting your own PPC campaign.

6 Pros.

Here is a quick overview of the pros or advantages of search engine marketing.

  1. You get instant targeted traffic.
  2. Highly scalable.
  3. Higher brand awareness.
  4. You have high control.
  5. Good ROI you can generate.
  6. Easily trackable than other ads.

Let’s learn each advantage in detail.

#You get instant targeted traffic to your website.

The first and biggest advantage of Search Engine Marketing is that you get that instant traffic to your website or your targeted page.

It is totally opposite to SEO, SEO takes a hell of a lot of time and effort.

You need to invest a lot of money and time in both creating contents and promoting it.

It is a lot of effort but the biggest advantage people have with SEM is that you don’t have to worry that long.

You get that instant boost of traffic to your website like a snap of a finger.

It happens because your website will rank higher in SERP for your target keyword in search engines.

#It is highly scalable.


The math is very easy here,

The more money you put, the more traffic you generate to your website.

It is not that cold and dull traffic, rather you can drive awesome traffic highly valuable and converting traffic to your website.

Based on the keywords you select and target in your ad campaigns, you will drive the traffic accordingly to your website.

#It increases brand awareness.

With SEM another big advantage of it is that you get a lot of impressions because the moment a person is searching for something in google like mostly keywords of commercial intent.

Your website or your targeted landing page will appear in first place on the top of search results even above the SEO results which gives you more impressions and more views to your website.

Obviously, if you continue running those ad campaigns for a couple of time in a row consistently,

People will start assuming your website to be worth a try and genuine and you might get that golden conversion to your website.

But ultimately when after searching for keywords in google when people see the first results as your ad campaign or your target page or service.

You know it is going to instantly increase your brand awareness.

If the product you are selling or generating is incredible then it is going to do the free marketing for you.

People will share the product and information about your website genuinely with others,

Ultimately you know your brand awareness will be skyrocketed.

#You have high control.

Because these search engines and famous social networking sites are large advertising companies so they hugely rely on advertisers like you and me who want to promote their product in the billions of audience that these companies have.

So these search engines mainly Google have provided many options for their advertisers while running the ad campaigns for their website.

Here are some interesting things you can do with running an ad campaign on Google,

  1. You can target whichever keyword you want.
  2. You can control, modify, and customize your ad like title, metadata, description and you actually own the space on google.
  3. You control the type of ad you want to show.
  4. You control which time your ad should appear.
  5. You control what location of people you want to target through ads like country-specific or area-specific.
  6. You control your budget in SEM.
  7. You control what action you want your users to take and where you want your visitors to land and what they see aka landing page?

You once compare this thing with the normal advertising you would do on Televisions and other offline marketing, you know it is way better and worth full.

#You have a good ROI.

pros and cons of search engine marketing

The reason you see ad campaigns of many large companies appearing top of search engines for most commercial intent keywords is that customer value is way higher than what the company would spend on running the ad campaign.

For example,

You are running an ad campaign where on the landing page of your website, you either giving a free trial of your product or link to an affiliate product which costs around 1000 dollars and

You know if you continue running the ad campaigns for that keyword in search engines which might cost around a few dollars.

Just look at the ROI.

It is massive.

If you as the advertiser are getting 1000 dollars as revenue by spending a few dollars on ad campaigns, who would not want to do that.

This is the beauty of SEM, you have highly targeted traffic which you can drive to your website or your landing page which can drive your money and revenue crazily than what you spend.

#Growth is easily trackable and measurable.

Unlike traditional advertisements, you run on TV or in print advertisements like magazines or newspapers where it is next to impossible to track the growth or measure the impact of running that ad.


The Beauty of digital marketing and SEM in precise is that you track every dollar of money you spend on your advertisement campaign.

You have these search engines who rely on you and your money so they give you access to all the analytics data and resources at their store to give you the best data possible so that you can genuinely invest more money in SEM.

And the more money you invest in SEM helps google increases their revenue.

SEM works on the PPC model and you get what you pay for and not that you spend money and forget about it.


You get traffic and data to analyze growth and your analytics.

4 Cons.

Here are 4 cons of search engine marketing.

  1. It is not passive.
  2. You get fewer clicks.
  3. It is highly Competitive.
  4. It is time-consuming.

Let’s learn each reason in detail,

#It is not passive.

The biggest advantage of SEM is the biggest disadvantage.

The whole game and business model is on Pay Per Click.

As long as you pay google or search engines in general you can drive traffic to your website or your targeted landing page.

As you stop paying google money, your ad campaign is stopped and your traffic is gone.

This is where SEO comes into play,

Seo results drive you, your website, and your landing page, long-lasting, free and targeted traffic to your website or your place without investing a penny to google for it.

For example, you run an ad campaign on keyword buy web hosting.

You are investing money in that ad campaign.

But your ad campaign will run as long as you keep paying google money for each click on the ad.

When you stop paying google let’s say your budget is tight or you are done with it.

Your targeted traffic with your rankings and your ad campaign is gone.

But you see those nonad results,

Here is the screenshot.


These are called SEO results.

Google ranks these websites based on 200 different factors,

The process of ranking in Google is called SEO.

  • The biggest advantage of SEO is it can drive the same level of targeted traffic to your website or our page like sem does but without investing a penny for Google.

Read my blog on the pros and cons of SEO.

#It gets fewer clicks and sometimes no impressions.

Another big disadvantage of SEM is that basically, it is an AD.

Irrespective of whether it is just looking like a normal result not that distracting or like video kind of stuff on tv and on websites.

It is an AD overall.

As per a recent study, 65% of total clicks go to SEO results and 35% of clicks go to paid results [sem].

70-80% of people ignore paid results and want to click on organic results in search engines.

Learn more about the study here.

Because it is an AD campaign or AD in general.

When the frequency and number of people using these ad blockers is increasing you know that your ad campaign is not going to be seen.

So, another big disadvantage is that people mostly ignore Ad results in google and just want to click on SEO results which are organic and trustworthy because people also know with the paid results it is just an ad and it is biased.

This will by no means affect your marketing budget because it all works on PPC means you only have to put money in google’s pocket as long as people are clicking on your ad.

But you know, it is getting fewer clicks and not that effective.

#There is a lot of competition.


Look SEM is not new.

It has been there since 1994 mainly google one.

So you cannot imagine that it is a brand new concept with doors wide open for you to enjoy the benefit of no competition or less competition.

If there is no competition in SEM, google would not be a Multibillion-dollar company.

Let’s come to the point,

Because there is quite good competition in SEM you know based on the keywords and customer value in general.

If there is more competition means for valuable keywords more people would be bidding for their campaign to appear.

With more competition, more people will bid for more prices which will increase bidding price, and sometimes it might exceed your maximum budget as a small businessman.

Google obviously wants the price of the bidding to be higher as it will get more money with each click on the ad.

So with more competition leads to more bidding prices for the keyword campaign and more prices might exceed your budget and you might end up investing more money than what you actually generate through the conversion you get in the campaign.

Talking about conversions, you should know that people will rarely convert at once on an ad like though the conversion be it for you like,

  1. Filling a form for email marketing through a lead market.
  2. Accepting a free trial of your product or downloading a Free trial of your product or registering the webinar of your online course.
  3. Buying your affiliate product or becoming a lead for your product.

People rarely convert first time on an AD.

As you continue running the campaign you might see some conversions happening that too very minute than you could think of,

It is like,

As per Wordstream, The average conversion rate you can expect is around 2.35%.

Let’s compare that with SEO results and efforts,

Asper smart bug media, SEO leads have 14.5% conversion rates.

This is why SEO is the best strategy you should follow for your business in the longterm.

#It is a time-consuming process.

Another disadvantage of SEM is that it is a time-consuming process.

It though has some good noticeable benefits and advantages.

The main aim of this marketing is for that targeted traffic you get to your website.

You as the advertiser should be looking for traffic to convert into sales and leads and give you profit like an affiliate deal or a free trial.

You as the advertiser don’t want your traffic to just read your 2000 words blog post and leave.

There is no use of that traffic and your money goes in vain.

You can do that with SEO.

So when I am talking about the time-consuming aspect of SEM I am referring to things like,

  1. Keyword research for SEM.
  2. Creating, testing, and designing the landing pages.
  3. Testing different ad formats and design and layout.
  4. Improving UI & UX of your landing page.
  5. Acting on the data, analyzing the data quickly from the traffic you get through SEM.
  6. Bidding for ads and maintaining the maximum budget.
  7. Running and maintaining the other ad campaigns.

It is just a lot of work to do but the most important work of all is to find keywords that have a better margin with the right intent and competition in your niche.

Finding the right keywords for your SEM campaign is the most time-consuming task.

With that said, let’s conclude the blog.

Ending remarks.

With that said I have answered all the pros and cons of search engine marketing in this blog.

Do comment on what you think of the blog below and whether you are going to start your own ad campaign or not.

Share the blog with your family and friends if you found this helpful,

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Read my other blogs,

I will catch you next time,

Till then keep learning and keep growing.