SEM is a holistic term that mostly refers to search engine advertising. A Google search results page can be split into two broad categories; organic and paid search results which display listings relevant to a user’s search input. Here we are talking about the paid search results. It’s essentially about increasing a website’s search engine visibility through advertising optimisation. If SEM is something you’re still on the fence about, here are a few good reasons why you should invest in it. (side note: In Australia, 93% of searches are made with Google so by advertising, we mean Google AdWords).
About 75 per cent of internet users never go past the first page of search results. This means if your website shows up in the subsequent pages of search results, it’s likely not getting much organic traffic. This can be a real problem if your business has a lot of competition from local and industry-wide competitors who are on their game with organic search optimisation. If your business website is relatively new – competing with established competitors makes it even harder to get to that first page quickly. Fortunately, this can be remedied by SEM. SEM delivers targeted traffic (i.e. visitors who have used relevant key words) that align to your business’ ad and landing page.
Practically every marketing effort involves spending (even if you do it yourself – your time is money), but SEM is more targeted and hence cost-effective when compared with other marketing channels such as print and TV advertising, sponsorships, and product placement. Search engine optimisation, by itself, can bring about good ROI. As numerous studies have shown (like this one), pay-per-click marketing is capable of significantly boosting revenue as well.
Unlike some marketing channels, SEM can be quantified. In fact, SEM is arguably the most measurable marketing medium since it lets you see how many conversions your funds and efforts produced. In contrast, billboards are great with brand visibility but they don’t tell you exactly how many people were convinced at any point in time to purchase the product or service being advertised. SEM tools, on the other hand, provides various information that would help your campaign. For example, (and sorry for the plug, but) Fairfax Marketing Services’ SEM reporting tool shows your website’s landing page activity, PPC cost tally, traffic sources, and many other details that would help you make better decisions.
Numbers show that search engines are the most popular way to look for information online. That’s not all–a staggering number of consumers (some findings say 72 per cent; others 90 per cent) actually look at online reviews before making their purchasing decisions. With so many people depending on search engines for their research and decision-making, you simply can’t miss out on what SEM can do for your business.
As SEM makes your website more ubiquitous to people interested in your subject, you are implicitly demonstrating that you are an authority in your niche. So in a way, SEM also develops your brand.
SEM is now an industry because more and more companies are taking advantage of it–including your competitors. Ultimately, if your business is not yet using this channel to build a client base, you’re falling behind.
Digital Marketing Services, Search Engine Advertising
Tags: search engine marketing, sem