SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, works in tandem with SEO and other digital marketing channels – content marketing, influencer marketing, etc. – to catapult your reach. It works closely with SEO, in particular, to push your online presence to the top of search engine result pages or SERPs – Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
SEM can be a game changer for your online presence. When was the last time you Googled something and looked at the second page of results? When SEM in digital marketing is done right, it ensures you are brightly visible on the first page of search engines. If you choose to ignore it, you do so at your own peril. Better visibility on SERPs means more views, more clicks, and, consequently, more conversions.
Want to understand the importance of SEM in digital marketing? Keep reading to learn more about why you should be investing your time and resources into the SEM side of digital marketing.
What’s SEM Exactly?
Before we jump into the tremendous advantages of SEM in digital marketing, let’s get a few things straight. SEM used to be an umbrella term for all search engine marketing and included search engine optimization. Today, however, SEO and SEM are two different things: SEM refers specifically to paid marketing in search engines.
How exactly does that work, you ask?
When you Google something, you might notice one or two especially highlighted search results at the top of the page. They work a bit like billboards: you make an agreement with Google that it displays your product or website on its billboard, and when people click, you pay your search engine a small fee.
Why should you get your hands dirty with this? There are some very good reasons!
Mo’ Visibility, Mo’ Money
It’s true! The more visibility you have, the more clicks you can get and the more conversions you will ultimately make. This is, after all, the ultimate goal of your marketing strategies, likely one of the reasons you’re in business – that sweet, sweet cash. Google says businesses can double their investment through their AdWords.
If you’ve ever taken a peek behind the curtain and run a campaign on Google AdWords,’ you may well know this is true – albeit with a caveat. The caveat is that you have to know what you’re doing to double that investment. When you do, however, SEM can truly become the gift that keeps on giving.
It Works for Your Budget
Digital marketing scares a lot of people away from it: brands and business owners often believe it costs the big bucks to execute SEM in digital marketing, with the cost outweighing its benefits. This is, however, simply not true. You don’t need to empty your coffers to budget for SEM in digital marketing, and if you take the time out to carefully strategize and figure out what you’re doing, you’ll be able to double your SEM investments.
If you’re on a shoestring budget, SEM may still be a good idea for you. Even the lowest SEM budgets have shown positive results – you can start small to get a feel of things before you take the plunge!
We Know Who You Are
SEM in digital marketing can be a powerful tool for brand awareness. How, might you ask? Think of billboards again. Whether or not the ads receive clicks or not, the brand and website names are clearly visible and highlighted at the top of search engine results pages. Consequently, users, even if they don’t end up interacting with the ad itself, will likely end up reading and recognizing your brand name. Users will also notice competitor brands even if they are already loyal to a brand in a niche: the human brain has a tendency to compare things listed side by side.
Stand Out Locally
If you’re a local business looking to increase your reach in your area, SEM might be just the thing for you. SEM in digital marketing is very effective when it comes to connecting local businesses with users looking for products and services in their locality. Try it yourself! Look for “bakery near me” or “shoe store near me” and see the results.
Search engines understand and aim to fulfil these local queries – it can be a very useful way, thus, to connect with the people near you and let them know about your services. If you’re a physical business, SEM can also boost actual physical traffic to your premises! So many benefits – all in a budget of your choice.
Quick and Easy: See Results Now
While digital marketing strategies like SEO and influencer marketing are geared toward the long term, designed to generate traffic and visibility over a sustained period of time, SEM in digital marketing can give you immediate results once you put your ads in place. Furthermore, the ads themselves only take a few minutes to create.
Once approved by the search engine – usually only one day! – all you have to do is sit back with your favourite beverage of choice and watch the clicks and users stream in. As long as your account maintenance and optimization are in ship shape, you’re pretty much set!
So – should you use SEM in digital marketing? As with all digital marketing strategies, there is no one size fits all solution that will work for you. The best way to figure out which strategies are a good fit for your brand is to consult a digital marketing company like AdLift – they can help you determine what would work for you and create tailored digital marketing strategies that can work hard and fast for you.
The thing about SEM, specifically, is that it works! It can be a powerful tool and, when used right, can get you almost guaranteed returns in terms of conversions and clicks. After all, billboards work so well to boost brand visibility – and what is SEM in digital marketing but an offer of your very own billboard on the highway of the internet?