SEM and SEO are similar concepts that are sometimes confused with one another, but have significant differences. Most marketers understand the importance of SEO for improving organic search results. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) relies on paid ads and includes other search engine-related features.
What is SEM Advertising?
SEM ads typically appear above search results. For example, if a consumer is searching for a tree service and types those keywords into Google, the first 3 or 4 listings are likely to be paid ads for tree care and lawn care businesses. SEM ads are available in a variety of formats to fit various budget sizes, making them available to even the smallest companies.
6 Reasons SEM is a Smart Marketing Investment
1. It’s Very Predictable
The primary function of SEO is to increase your website’s ranking in organic search results. That means it’s unpredictable. You can’t be sure of where your website will show up. With SEM, however, you control the keywords and pay for the ads, so you know exactly where your listing will appear within search results.
2. It Offers Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning
SEM allows for specific and accurate STP (segmentation, targeting, and positioning) at a low cost compared to traditional media advertising.
3. It Enables Concrete Measurability
SEM allows for concrete measurability with Google Analytics and Google Adwords.
4. It Provides Budget Flexibility
SEM ad formats provide the flexibility to fit into almost any budget size.
5. It’s Easy to Modify
SEM provides the ability to modify your ads in a way that is much easier than traditional media. You can change your ad copy, keywords, or bid amount on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to suit both your company’s needs and the needs of your target audience.
6. It Provokes Engagement
It’s hard to ignore the statistics. On Google alone, there are on average 40,000 search queries per second, which adds up to 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. That’s a massive pool of prospective customers who may be searching for what you’re selling and are ready to buy.
With features that allow you to have control over placement in search listings, the ability to measure results, and the flexibility to fit your budget, SEM is a good investment for your small business advertising.
Start Benefiting from Search Engine Marketing Today!
- Make a keyword list. You probably already have a list of keywords, but it’s a good idea to review it and take a look at whether you’re getting the results you want from your current list.
- Decide on the geographic target for your ad campaigns. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to start out local and expand your reach as your budget permits.
- Do a competitive analysis. Search for some of the keywords on your list and find out who your competition is for those keywords and how you can use SEM to position your business in a way that helps you stand out from the crowd.
- Write your ad copy. Character limits will restrict how much you can say, so take some time to determine how to get your message across within a limited amount of space, typically 25 characters for the title, 35 for ad copy, and 35 for your call to action.
- Use a killer CTA (call to action) to get consumers to click on your ad. Download this free guide from Valpak for CTA tips!
- Set a budget. Do some research on the average bid for your keywords and determine your maximum bid. Once your ads start running, monitor their success to ensure you’re not paying for keywords that don’t perform well.
Need a little more help setting up an effective SEM campaign for your business today? Contact your local Valpak consultant for expert advice and campaign setup!