to help improve your website traffic
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is one of the most effective ways to grow your business and reach new customers in short period of time. While it is critical to develop and implement organic strategies for the long-term game, short-term strategies will usually include SEM to help build a quick response.
SEM leverages the power of search engines like Google to reach potential customers at the perfect time and place.
With 35% of service/product searches starting on Google and the average Google search lasting only a minute, it is critical that your business appears at the top of the search results. When your business requires instant gratification, SEM is one of the ways to do it.
It’s also known by many other names. To answer the question, what is SEM?, it’s important to make note of them. People may use them interchangeably. And you may find you know more about SEM than you think you do.
It’s also called:
- Paid search ads
- Paid Advertising (which just assumes you know it’s on searches)
- PPC (Pay-per-click)
You’ll also want to learn terms that are used often when discussing SEM. Through them, you’ll better understand how SEM works. Some of the most important ones include:
- Impressions — How many times your ad was visible on a screen. It doesn’t actually mean the person saw it.
- CPC (cost-per-click) — how much you pay when someone clicks your ad
- CPM (Cost per million impressions) — This is another way to pay for a search ad. Depending on your goals and how the ad tool is set up, you may want to pay just to be seen.
- CTR (click through rate) — the number of clicks you got to your website from people that saw the ad, even if they didn’t click on the actual ad itself.
How does Search Engine Marketing benefit a business:
- It’s Instant Brand Awareness in Search Engines – SEM positions you at the top or bottom of page one. A business that has no current visibility or brand recognition can instantly get some attention. If you have the right systems in place to turn this visibility into paying customers, that’s a huge impact on your revenues.
- It Can Generate Revenues Quickly – With the right ad copy and strategies in place, see sales coming in the same day. It doesn’t need time to rev up. It’s really easy to get started with something like Ads.
- It Grows with Your Business – It’s incredibly scalable. It’s easy to start small. Test things out. See what works. Keep costs low if you have a very limited budget. Then as revenues go up thanks to SEM, increase the number of ads. Remove ads that aren’t working. Refine your campaigns. And increase your daily ad spend.
- It Reaches People in the Right Place & Time – People use search engines because they’re looking for something. Being the one to deliver it, helps you build a trust bank account with that person. Even if that click doesn’t result in an immediate sale, it’s a touch point that furthers the person’s journey toward becoming a paying customer.
- It Reinforces Name Recognition – Recognition becomes familiarity. People notice brands they’re familiar with over brands they aren’t. Most people would rather spend a little more with a brand they know than a no-name brand.
- It Reaches Your Prime Target – Search engine marketing allows you to get really focused in on your target customers in a way you never could with traditional marketing. Why? Because it would be insanely expensive the traditional route.
- It Can Give You a Competitive Advantage – Through exceptional SEO, does your competitor already have a coveted top spot in the organic search results? You can appear above them with paid ads. Swipe a click that would have been theirs.
- It’s Less Expensive than Traditional Advertising – You’re not paying $1M to reach 10,000 people who watch a specific program but may or may not be your target customers. Instead of very broadly targeting a demographic as you might in a TV ad, you can place a narrow focus to increase the conversion rate.