Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target market, and it is used by businesses of all sizes. Traditional marketing methods such as trade magazines, catalog mail, direct mail, TV, and radio all contain passive participation by the audience and targeting any specific market can highly vary from one medium to another.
According to market research, about 90 percent of online searches are being conducted by people who have reached the end of the buying journey.
When done properly, search engine marketing will enable your ads to get in front of your target market, which would also include highly relevant content as they click on your ad.
When using SEM, your ad is made visible in the sponsored area of the search engine’s result page. The ranking of your ad will depend on how much you have paid for the keywords, and a keyword will be more popular the more you have to pay for it. Your ad will also be given a quality score that shows how relevant your ad is in comparison to others.
On the other hand, SEM also helps your website’s ranking so that it also comes up higher with the organic or non-paid search results. For the best results, strategically using both SEM and SEO will help you increase the visibility of your ad, and also increase your website traffic. This way you can also increase your number of prospects into leads conversion, particularly when both your website and paid ads to come up on the top of the search engine page.
However, while SEO takes some time to organically grow, SEM brings quicker results and can offer great benefits to your business.
More about Search Engine Marketing
SEM is a type of internet marketing and it involves buying traffic using paid search activities. SEM is distinctly different from SEO, Search Engine Optimization, which is the way of driving organic traffic to a website. Take a minute and search the word “bike” on Google. All the advertisements you see above the Google search results are the ads paid by businesses to generate traffic.
Search engines can be very effective in delivering an active, targeted message to your online audiences. People who see your paid SEM ads are actively looking for the products or services you offer by searching for the keywords you have indicated in the ad. For example, if you are an attorney practicing in New York, you would most likely be using the following keywords: Attorneys in New York, New York Law Firm, Lawyers in New York, etc.
Most of the keywords are over three words. Make sure to use long-tailed keywords to more effectively utilize the keyword-driven traffic. Now, when anyone searches any of the given keywords and you have paid enough per click, your ad will appear in the search. However, if you use the pay-per-click method you pay according to the users’ clicks on the ad.
Benefits of using Search Engine Marketing
- SEM helps grab the attention of your target audience at the right time.
According to research, 90 percent of individuals who research online know exactly what they are looking for. Otherwise, they might not have used the keywords you were targeting. This means that your content and ads are being visible to the highly interested target audience, who are actively looking for products or services that you are offering. All this without trying to impose anything on them.
- SEM is easy and quick to implement
Planning and executing an SEM campaign can be done quickly and easily. However, it might take some time before you can see the full impact your campaign has had. It is very flexible and configurable and you can set it up within a few hours.
You can also make the changes on an ad-hoc basis, which allows you to tailor your website content, keywords, and campaign spending according to your audience’s behavior.
- It is measurable
SEM allows you to precisely track the success of your campaign and gives you access to in-depth campaign analysis so that you can continually optimize your keyword selection, the money you spend and the content you use.
Whatever your goal might be, your SEM tells you exactly how much value you are generating through your marketing and advertisement efforts. It helps you make more informed, educated decisions for future campaigns and budgets.
- It helps increase brand awareness
You can use SEM and SEO not just to generate qualified traffic to your website, but also to increase your brand awareness.
The higher your ads or website rank in the search engines, the more likely people will visit your website and if they like what they see, they may buy from you and recommend to others as well. With the right marketing and customer service strategies, you can use these customers to build a brand loyal clientele.