Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the most cost efficient ways to reach your target audience when they are ready to buy. Research shows that 90 percent of online searches are conducted by people who are at the end of the buying cycle. Done properly, SEM will get your ads in front of your target audience with content that is highly relevant to them, all for free until they click on your ad. With SEM, your ad is placed on the sponsored section of a search engine’s result page. It is ranked based on how much you pay for keywords (the more popular a keyword, the more expensive it is) and a ‘quality score’ of how relevant your ad is in relation to others.
Meanwhile, search engine optimisation (SEO) helps your site’s ranking so that it will naturally come up higher in organic, non-paid search results.
Using both SEM and SEO will not only increase the visibility of your ads but increase website traffic too. This also increases your chance to convert prospects into leads, especially when both your paid ads and site come up on top of any search engine results.
While SEO takes time to grow, SEM can be done quickly enough and offers many benefits for your business.
1. SEM grabs the attention of your audience at the right time
Research shows that 90 percent of people who research online know exactly what they’re looking for. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have used the keywords you are targeting.
This means that you’re getting your content and ads in front of a highly engaged target audience, who are actively looking for offers like yours – all for a low cost and without having to impose on them.
2. It’s easy and quick to implement
Setting up a SEM campaign is quick and easy. While it might take a little while until you can see the full impact of a campaign, it is highly flexible and configurable and can be set up in a few hours.
Changes can be done on an ad-hoc basis, so you can tailor your website content, keywords and spending around the behavior of your audience.
3. It’s measurable
SEM allows for precise success tracking and in-depth campaign analysis so you can continually optimise your keyword mix, the amount of dollars you spend and the content you use.
Whatever your goal is, you can tell exactly how much value you are generating from this marketing and advertising channel, and can therefore make more educated decisions when it comes to budgeting.
4. It helps raise brand awareness
SEM (and SEO) not only helps to generate qualified traffic to your websites but can increase brand awareness too.
The higher your product or service ranks in search engines, the more likely consumers will visit your website and prefer you or even recommend your offerings.
Over time you’ll notice that the search terms of your prospects are becoming more and more related to your brand as they become familiar with you and see you as a trusted advisor or provider.