Search engine marketing, or SEM, is essential for all businesses, but what exactly is it, and how can you best use it for your marketing strategy? We will explain the advantages of search engine marketing, particularly SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click).
Search engine marketing (SEM) is popular in online digital marketing. To understand why SEM is important, it’s crucial to understand the benefits it offers for businesses online.
Let’s start by defining SEM
Search Engine Marketing refers to various techniques and strategies a business can use to create more visitor traffic from search engine results pages (SERPS) to a website. SEM promotes a website’s visibility using pay-per-click search (PPC), contextual advertising, and organic search rankings. SEM is a more general concept that includes both SEO and PPC together. It’s a marketing strategy that involves managing a brand or website’s total presence across the web.
Typically SEO only involves organic optimization strategies created to improve a site’s performance based on Google’s content ranking algorithms. If a site is technically set up properly and optimized correctly, it can increase traffic through search results. But SEM means taking advantage of all the marketing tools available in search engines.
We’ll also go over why SEM is a vital tool to drive revenue and sales through SEO and PPC – Separately, these two strategies can offer excellent results. Still, together they become one of the most powerful sources of sustainable success.
Search Engine Marketing Benefits
There are many benefits of using SEM for your business. For example, by increasing your online appearance, you will also improve your brand awareness and visibility. And brand awareness, in turn, leads to online leads and sales. Similarly, you can provide informative content for your users, which they may not be able to find anywhere else.
Business owners often wonder which is a better form of marketing to invest in, SEO or PPC. However, SEM isn’t a matter of which technique is better but which is more applicable to your circumstances and budget. You’ll likely discover that both organic and paid marketing is worth investing in, as using them simultaneously will help your business thrive more than if you only relied on one technique and ignored your other options.
Organic SEO is great for long-term growth, and PPC is ideal for a business that wants results fast. Many websites and business owners choose to begin SEO since it is often a more cost-effective marketing tactic. Statistically speaking, 42% of worldwide marketers say they get the highest ROI from SEO. By 2019, organic search engine results produced 65% of all website traffic. Plus, approximately 66% of marketers are now investing efforts into SEO, meaning that most of your competitors are taking advantage of one of the most successful business growth methods. Additionally, traffic driven directly from organic search doesn’t cost anything, while PPC traffic has a cost for each click.
By working with a professional on high-quality SEO, you can create credibility, trust, and authority by branding your business as a reliable place for users to find the products and information you provide. As you prove to Google that your site should rank for relevant keywords, you should naturally obtain a higher rank in SERPs. Organic optimization isn’t an immediate endeavor, but as you build positive website authority and keyword growth, organic traffic should naturally and consistently increase.
Why SEM is Important with PPC Ads
PPC will only provide your website with sustainable traffic if you continue paying for it. So it’s essential to hire an experienced pay-per-click marketer to handle your paid campaigns. It’s also worth mentioning that, in most cases, users tend to click on highly ranked organic listings over ads. So why do PPC? Because you’d be missing out if you didn’t.
PPC has a multitude of benefits, as well. Paid search results dominate above-the-fold content; users will always see paid ads before organic search results. One of the advantages of SEM with PPC is that it can provide near-immediate leads with accelerated ROI for businesses that want to expand their traffic quickly and capitalize on a short-term window.
Along with improved visibility, paid search ads allow businesses greater control over presenting their marketing messages and products. While search engines will often determine how organic search results display, you are more in control over pricing, calls-to-action, bullet points, and all other aspects of your PPC ads. Google also allows the option of Product Listing Ads (PLAs), a visual shopping ad that shows users an image of what they will be clicking – dramatically improving click-through rate.
PPC ads help bring in an average of $2 for every $1 spent. Small businesses that use SEM marketing agencies experienced revenue growth the previous year, up to 4X higher than less digitally savvy companies.
Because PPC is more easily customized, it allows you to target specific keywords narrowing in on your business’s target audience. You can also customize your ads based on time of day, day of the week, location, language, devices, and audiences based on their prior visits. The ability to customize PPC ads hones specific products and services towards the ideal audience. Though ROI for PPC changes depending on your business, campaign, and budget, the central return on investment can be as much as 23%, putting it far above traditional display ads. Regarding lead generation for online businesses, PPC delivers excellent results compared to other advertising types.
Using SEO and PPC Together, a Winning Combo
Ideally, a business should use SEO and PPC as they work best. Using them simultaneously allows them to play off their strengths to give your website further greater visibility across SERPs.
Using PPC and SEO, you increase the overall click-through rate by targeting more keywords to reach a broader audience. High-cost / high-volume keywords can be moved from PPC to organic search. Though it may take longer for your site to rank for highly competitive keywords, your budget won’t suffer trying to bid for them.
Also, an experienced marketer can do A/B testing of PPC ad copy, and that information can be used for organic listings and landing pages. You’ll have a more significant idea of which types of ads, copy, and keywords get the greatest click-through rate, data that can be used for SEO.
By testing in PPC, you can experiment with keyword strategies before committing to long-term SEO strategies (that will require more time and patience).
Overall, there are many advantages of search engine marketing for businesses. Using the strategies we’ve laid out, you can increase brand awareness, click-through rate, and ROI across more channels by investing in organic and paid searches.
Ready to grow your business with Search Engine Marketing?