The Benefits of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for Your Business and Why You Need It
Some of the most valuable real estate in the world doesn’t have an ocean view or even a single acre of land but instead occupies a few thousand pixels on a screen. The area we’re referring to is the top of the Google results page, and it belongs to the companies that make SEM a business priority.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of paying for advertising space on a per click basis for selected keywords on major search engines. SEM is a convenient supplement to organic SEO that will quickly bring in revenue while organic SEO strategies are being developed and refined. SEM is the fastest way to improve your company’s conversions.
If you’re thinking about utilizing SEM to generate leads for your business, it’s important to have a fundamental understanding of paid search campaigns. Read on to learn more about the benefits of SEM services for your business and how expert SEM strategy is a critical asset to the digital marketing landscape.
The Difference Between SEO and SEM
Many people confuse SEO and SEM, which is understandable, as they serve similar purposes. If you look at a Google search results page, you can see that the SEM (paid ad) results are at the top, while the leading SEO results are immediately below this group.
The small green “ad” boxes convey to the user that this is a SEM paid ad search result versus an organic SEO result. These Pay-Per-Click (PPC) rankings automatically get the first few spots, while organic rankings duke it out below.
This type of PPC ad is known as a Google text ad, but there are many other PPC ad formats available on the Google AdWords platform. Businesses use a variety of routes to reach their target audiences — from image ads to video ads to product-specific shopping ads. However, when we speak about SEM, this typically only refers to the simple text ads that display in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). While SEO results focus on building steadier, more consistent traffic, PPC ads are ideal for companies that need to get to the top of the rankings immediately. These businesses may be new startups or old establishments that are looking for a sudden jump in traffic.
Key Benefits of SEM Services for Your Business
When business owners first start thinking about implementing SEM campaigns, lead generation is usually the largest motivator. In conjunction with strategic SEO practices, SEM puts more eyes on a company’s website.
Not only are the people who visit your site after clicking a PPC ad more likely to be interested in your products, they are more likely to convert into a sale.
Nearly everything that exists in the physical world has a digital counterpart. Think about it: storefronts, mail, maps, menus and anything else that once required physical space now lives on a screen. If your brand isn’t around to capture attention in places like the Google SERP, it can fade into obscurity. SEM raises brand awareness and tells people exactly what you can provide.
Right Place, Right Time
The AdWords platform is designed to help companies reach the most relevant audience, as efficiently as possible. What makes this platform truly special is its ability to skip past the “What are you looking for?” phase of the buying process because a search query tells you what they’re looking for. Whether you’re targeting mothers planning a child’s birthday party or athletes coming off an injury, AdWords ensures your messaging makes its way to their screens.
Total Control Over Campaign Budgets
One of the nice things about an SEM ad is that you always know where your money is going. Every dollar is accounted for — due to the initial bidding process that allows advertisers to set a maximum price that they’re willing to pay for the ad campaign.
People will either click or they won’t. They will either convert into a sale or they won’t. Using these metrics, PPC experts can determine what aspects of the ad are influencing conversions and which are not. When you have total control over your content and your budget, it adds some level of predictability to digital marketing.
Getting Started With SEM
Google AdWords marketing is a big undertaking that has the potential for big returns, but you can’t go into it blindly. Working with experts who understand the nuances of SEM and how to get the most out of digital advertising campaigns gives you a secret weapon against the competition. Professionals who devote their careers to SEM stay on top of the latest changes and trends so you don’t have to.
To learn more about some of the technical capabilities of the AdWords platform, check out our article, “Automated Rules Within AdWords – The Basics.” If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of paid advertising services for your Minnesota-based business, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’d love to start a conversation!