Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has the power, combined with SEO, to reach targeted consumers online currently searching for what your business has to offer. SEM is a way to improve your website’s visibility in the search engine results, like on Google and Bing, through both paid and unpaid efforts. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) utilizes various techniques to ‘earn’ search engine results. Some leading techniques to organically optimize a website in the search engine results (SERPs) include conducting a full technical audit, developing an information architecture that’s properly structured by taxonomy, having a content marketing strategy to develop relevant content, optimizing content with keywords and through link-building efforts. It’s important to engage early in an organic campaign if you’re planning to launch a new website, as some design elements and architecture can be difficult to change later on. Search engine optimization is normally a long-term commitment, as it can take up to six months to see organic results. However, the benefits of a well-optimized website should last for the life of your website.
An important part of SEM includes purchasing paid traffic through Pay Per Click ads (PPC). This form of paid advertising shows up at the top of the search engine results, above the organic search results. Usually PPC ads are serviced through Google’s AdWords platform, driving paid traffic to your website. Every time your ad is clicked on in the search engine results page, you pay a small fee. The definition for SEM can be confusing, as sometimes it refers to both PPC and SEO, but it’s typically used to refer to paid traffic. If you’re looking for an express lane to get more traffic to your website right away, you want paid traffic. Many agencies offer services for both paid and unpaid search engine marketing, normally on a monthly retainer basis plus the cost of the ad spend for paid campaigns.
Rather than handling SEM in-house, most businesses hire a digital agency that specializes in Search Engine Marketing. Search engine marketing requires an in-depth understanding of how the internet and search engines work, technical web development and website traffic, statistics and analytics. It’s an ever-changing industry that requires constant attention to research and articles to stay on top of the latest trends. Internal marketing teams may be guided to learn the basics, which may encompass how to properly optimize content, write meta descriptions, and create internal links. They may need further assistance in deriving insights from the results, and determining a high-level strategy that a professional search marketer can provide.
At each step in a digital marketing process, understanding data analytics and tracking is crucial to the success of an online marketing campaign. To remain competitive a company’s internal marketing team must be in tune with these latest tools and technologies, and, absent this, your company can quickly fall behind and lose customers to the Inbound methodologies.
Ready or not, 2016 is here. Our in-house marketing experts have put together a list of the top five online marketing recommendations for high impact results in the New Year.
Managed SEM services combined with content marketing works to grow a business by building relationships with customers and creating value in products or services.