Search Engine Marketing: The Good and The Bad
SEM stands for “search engine marketing.” SEM is one of two vital areas you should consider when marketing your web domain; the other being SEO, or search engine optimization. While SEO focuses on being at the top of search results, and “Optimizing the Search Engine,” SEM focuses on promoting a web domain by making them more visible in the same search results.
SEM includes the utilization of paid searching, such as listings and ads that are PPC (or pay per click). For the most part, SEM mainly involves PPC tactics. With SEO, you are creatively looking for ways to get attention on the internet, and with SEM, you are buying that attention.
With that said, SEM is great for startup companies. It is a quick and effective way to flesh out your marketing presence online and will make sure that you are visible to people that are looking for exactly what you have to offer.
But what are some other great benefits of search engine marketing?
Firstly, it exposes your business to a broad audience.
There are over 400 million searches into Google every day. While not all people who use Google will be exposed to your business, you still have the opportunity to market your brand, products, and services in front of an audience large enough to generate substantial business. The more people that see your links on Google, the more chances you have to turn those can-be customers into actual customers.
You can limit your demographic if you want to.
Google Adwords is one of many tools to allow you to become seen based on not only the keywords that you bid on but based on specific locations, types of devices, languages and times of the day. If you are a local business, the odds are that you don’t need people from thousands of miles away to find your website online. Your SEM can be as specific as you need it to be so that you don’t need to spend big and receive excess in return to get more clicks.
It is cost-efficient.
SEM can be inexpensive. Paying for advertising on the web is much cheaper than paying for ad time on the TV or radio. And along with being able to market to a limited audience, you can spend your marketing money more wisely.
It offers wide flexibility.
Google Adwords and other marketing tools have “extensions” or “add-ons” that are extra features that will reveal your contact information to possible customers and clients. This tools will be able to give them more ways to contact your representatives, buy your products, or visit your location. As long as you provide the address of where your business operates, you are likely to get more customers with SEM than without.
Pay per click arguably works better than other methods, including SEO. SEM can give your business a jump start towards making profits, without crafting unique and creative keywords that may take more time than it should.
SEM, however, required lots of time and effort.
As you choose SEM, you are tasked to monitor your marketing campaign and see how successful or unsuccessful it is becoming. Bidding on the right phrases, targeting the right demographics and figuring out the most effective keywords requires more time than you would come to expect. For your campaigns to turn out successful and lucrative for you, you need to test to see what copy and words attract more visitors and what keywords don’t impact your campaign. If you aren’t continually supervising your results, you deny yourself the opportunity to find more ways to be successful on the internet.
SEM applications are tricky to learn.
Because SEM tools come with numerous capabilities and features, it can take a while before fully understanding the platform inside and out. With numerous different options for bidding and adjusting your demographics, it can get very convoluted and hard to understand. Before launching a new marketing campaign, it is important to know the basics of PPC advertising, in addition to using your application’s features to your benefit.
Bidding can be limited and competitive.
While we have stated that SEM is cost efficient, it can also be limited according to the industry that you are working in. The more common or popular keywords are high in demand and are very expensive to claim, even costing as much as 30 dollars a click. Because PPC advertising is simply a virtual auction, it can be challenging to outbid companies that have what may seem like bottomless bank accounts.
Regardless of all the downsides, SEM is a great way to grow a business on the internet. You can always test SEM out with a limited budget to see if there is any potential for your business to grow with it. As they say in business, you need to spend money to make money.