Search Engine Marketing | Explained

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of obtaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Businesses bid on specific keywords relevant to their product or service.  Then, if the words people type into the search engine match the keywords you’re bidding on, your ad has an opportunity to appear at the top of the search results page.

You will only pay when people click on your ad.  Once someone clicks on your ad, you can either direct them to your website, a specifically designed landing page, or into a phone call (which is great for mobile devices).  Also, you can be very targeted in your advertising by focusing on key demographics and/or specific locations (cities, zip codes, counties, states, etc) where you want to display your ads.

The thought behind utilizing SEM is that you are reaching the right people at the right time.  In other words, these are potential customers, already searching for your product, and possibly at a moment of decision or purchase.

That’s not a bad group of people to be advertising to!

An example of SEM in action

Let’s take a look at one Pay Per Click advertiser in action.

1800 Flowers is an online store that specializes in delivering flowers and gifts nationwide.  They have launched a Pay Per Click campaign in order to reach people who may be looking for an online service that sends flowers.

Therefore, they are bidding on words such as:

  • Online flower delivery
  • Buy flowers online
  • Send flowers online
  • Flower delivery
  • How to send my wife flowers
  • Anniversary gifts

Once a potential customer goes onto Google and searches “send flowers online” they see the following results.

1800 Flowers shows up in the 3rd ad position and is advertising their primary service “Shop elegant flowers and gifts”.  If a user finds that to be relevant to what they are searching for, they will click the ad.  When they click the ad they are brought to a well designed landing page that will encourage users to move down the purchase funnel.

Does SEM actually work?

A lot actually goes into running a successful PPC campaign.  Depending on the competitiveness of the keywords you’re bidding on and the return on investment you will receive from conversions, PPC may or may not work for your business.

In most of my experiences, however, I have found that PPC Campaigns are extremely effective for many kinds of businesses, as long as they are not wasting their money on the wrong keywords or using poorly worded/structured ads that result in a low click through rate.

How much will SEM cost?

There are many factors that affect the cost of SEM, including (but not limited to): your business type, the level of online competition, the keywords you’re bidding on, and your location.  But in the end, you ultimately decide how much you want to spend. Just map out what you’re realistically able to spend on each campaign and set your daily budget accordingly.

Below is a informative video that was put out by Google ago that does a nice job explaining how spending works for Google advertising.

We can help you

We can take the weight off your shoulders and manage your account for you.  We are Google Adwords certified and have years of experience managing accounts both big and small.  We will focus on optimizing your account so you can focus on your business.

Contact us today and ask about our digital marketing services!