When you get into the wide world of online marketing, the importance of SEO is constantly pressed upon you. Without a good grip on what search engine optimization is and how it works, you’re bound to fall down the rankings and lose valuable face time with customers as competitors continually rank over you. But, just as important as SEO is a less talked about acronym: SEM or search engine marketing.
Any good SEO effort is bolstered with a strategic SEM campaign and if you’re not privy to what SEM is and how it works, you might be losing valuable traction to those who understand that online marketing is a two-headed beast.
Whereas SEO is the on-page optimization of your website to help it list better for relevant searches, SEM is what you’re doing off-page to enhance your presence through Google and other search engines. In a more watered down sense, SEM is paid search advertising—usually pay per click (PPC)—that shows up in search engine page results (SERPs).
SEM is a modern, digital form of soliciting people at the point of inquiry. Think of it like a salesperson at your local hardware store: if you ask them a question, they’ll give you a response that directly addresses that question. Google and other search engines are your hardware store where you can ask questions and PPC ads are your way of giving customers the response they’re looking for.
Why is SEM important?
There are a number of reasons why SEM is an integral part of any good online marketing campaign and a complement to SEO practices. Take a look at just a few reasons:
– SEM can be tailored to fit your needs, whether you’re trying to funnel leads to your website or get the word out about a new product or service. Like any form of advertisement, you’re in control of the message.
– You can gauge the intent of your prospective customers and target demographic with SEM ads, based on what people are searching for and what SERPs your ads are displayed on.
– SEM ads float straight to the top of the pile on SERPs, which means even if you’re ranking poorly for some SEO keywords, you’ll still make the front page. This can also boost your SEO efforts in helping your target demographic to relate certain keywords with your business.
– There are millions of searches each day, most of which don’t apply to you or your website. Having SEM that’s targeted and tailored means a better chance of reaching that small group of searchers who are actually trying to find you.
– You can measure SEM efforts with tangible data! Any good marketer knows that results come from refined data and tailored approaches—having SEM data to give you these hard facts means a more measured approach to marketing yourself online.
Kick your SEM efforts into gear
If you’re not engaged in SEM practices or you’re still throwing ideas at the proverbial wall to see what sticks, perhaps it’s time to take a new approach to understanding and implementing SEM. Take a step back, consult with a marketing professional and make sure your approach and goals are defined. And, if you really want to make a splash on SERPs, let AlphaGraphics help you create a campaign that’s targeted at success.