Search Engine Marketing is an effective way of growing your business. It’s an important topic in the internet marketing world. With proper search engine marking strategy, you will be able to accelerate the growth and reach of your business, no matter what kind of products or services you offer.
Search Engine Marketing, or SEM for short, is the process of buying advertisement space on search engine providers. To put it simply, if you pay Google or Bing or Yahoo to display an advertising banner on their search results page, that is search engine marketing. Other words for SEM are paid search and pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
The difference between SEO and SEM
You might be familiar with SEO, but not with SEM or you might be hearing a lot of things about SEO and SEM but you don’t really know much about them. You’re probably thinking that they are related or even the same thing. The other is correct and the other is not. SEO and SEM are related but they are not the same thing.
SEO or search engine optimization is a way of getting more traffic to your website via organic search results. Businesses or websites earn a free spot in the search results page if their website contains relevant information on the searcher’s keyword.
While in SEM, businesses or websites pay search engines for their ads to have a chance to be displayed on top of search results based on specific keywords.
While they are related, they are different. SEM is about paid search or paid traffic, while SEO is about organic search or organic traffic. Both of them should be part of your internet marketing strategy.
Keyword Research is a Must
Both SEO and SEM highly benefit from targeting the right keywords. In fact, internet marketing heavily relies on using the correct keywords to attract customers.
It’s important to continually refine and monitor your keywords. Adapt to the trends and make it an ongoing process that is integrated into your internet marketing plan.
Choosing which keywords to target requires a comprehensive research. There are many tools that you can use to see which keywords are the most competitive, which ones are the most searched, which one is the most lucrative, etc. Basically, you’ll conduct keyword research to determine which keywords are relevant to your business and which keywords your prospects are using when searching for your products and services.
Another thing you need to consider is the search intent. What is search intent? Imagine you are a computer parts seller. You’ll see keywords like “assemble computers” having so many searches. Would you purchase an ad for it? You shouldn’t. Even if it gets hundreds of thousands of searches. This is because customers searching for this keyword probably already have all the parts they need, so you wouldn’t be able to sell them computer parts. The search intent of this keyword is not to purchase something, but to learn something.
And that’s just the surface of search engine marketing. Understanding SEM requires effort and some training, in fact, it’s a trial and error process. Mastering SEM is one of the key secrets of internet marketing success. The only way to get started in SEM is to start setting up a campaign but don’t spend too much on it. Always check your analytics, CTR, conversions, etc. See which keywords perform the best and check if you can leverage potential keywords.