Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of gaining online visibility and web traffic from Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. Sometimes referred to as “search marketing,” it is a general term that focuses on acquiring web traffic through organic (free) SEO tactics and paid search advertising.
Unlike traditional marketing methods, including television, radio and print, which blanket large groups of potential customers (most of whom are not interested) with general information about a product or service, search engine marketing offers you the ability to target a specific audience based on the information they are already searching for. If you own an online business or utilize your website to promote your brand, SEM is critical for your success.
It allows you to target interested potential customers. Search engine marketing targets a specific audience based the keyword s they type into their search bar. Unlike many broad-based marketing methods, you have the benefit of knowing that your viewers are actively seeking out valuable information relevant to their queries.
It gives you the ability to focus on quality, detailed information. Once your target audience has landed on your site, you have a valuable opportunity to provide detailed information focused on your products or services. Because these potential patrons have already landed on your site with a purpose, this is your chance to present everything they need to know in order to encourage conversion to loyal patrons.
It offers unlimited engagement for your visitor. Many traditional marketing methods fall short in providing potential customers with the details they need to move forward. Search marketing offers a distinctive advantage in that hot leads (those who have entered specific keywords and are very interested in your products or services) can take as long as they need to peruse your site for relevant information before making a purchasing decision.
It provides tailored marketing based on the information you already have about potential customers. Traditional marketing generally lacks a personal touch. While it works well for products or services with broad appeal (like Coca-Cola or Apple), results for more specific items often fall flat. By building keyword lists and creating landing pages and web content customized for those keywords, you will be able to more accurately convey valuable content to your audience.
It delivers a clear call to action. By developing effective landing pages and offering clear conversion points above the fold and periodically throughout your web content, you make it easy for your visitors to perform the intended activities, including signing up for emails/coupons, subscribing to newsletters, filling out forms or making purchases.
It provides immediate, measurable results. Unlike most traditional marketing methods, search engine marketing provides measurable results that you can track in real time. By using a program like Google Analytics to monitor site statistics, you can easily access important information such as tracking how often visitors come to your website, the visitor conversion for various pages, the type of visitor (new, returning, referred from another site), and other relevant data. This information can give you valuable insight as to what is working and what should be eliminated from your SEM strategy.
It enables you to test the effectiveness of your keywords using pay-per-click (PPC). Because not all of the keyword terms you choose will be equally effective, SEM gives you the opportunity to test out different combinations of keywords through PPC to measure their effectiveness. This allows you to easily modify your SEO campaign to maximize results.
Search engine marketing is a powerful and cost effective way to attract qualified visitors and increase sales. When used in tandem with local internet marketing as a part of your overall search engine optimization strategy, you can gain a distinct advantage over your competition. By tailoring your website, landing pages, and web content to the needs you specific target audience based on the keywords they are searching for, you can greatly increase your visibility and web traffic.