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Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM?)

With the understanding that SEO (search engine optimization) drives free placement within SERPs (search engine results pages), you must then be wondering, why do I need SEM? Well, from the onset, both SEO and SEM ought to be fundamental components of your online marketing strategy. If you remember when we discussed SEO, assuming you visited our page on SEO, the two major components of search engine ranking are traffic volume and traffic quality.

SEM fits in by allowing you to drive large volumes of high-quality traffic to your site by placing paid ads directly within the SERP. It also allows you to precisely target prime prospective users through choosing keyword search terms, specific online browsing behaviors, demographics, geography, and any combination thereof that guarantees that your traffic will be more engaged with your website. Google refers to this high volume, highly engaged traffic as high-quality traffic. This not only means more sales for you but also higher SEO rankings in the near future.

While acute technical knowledge and in-depth keyword research in SEO may eventually raise your SERP ranking, it will take time.

Let's now focus on SEM and how it can boost your marketing efforts.

What is SEM?

Whereas SEO focuses on improving your site to increase organic search engine rankings, with SEM, you pay to be on the SERP. SEO involves strategic placement of keywords throughout the site, building site authority through Metadata and link building, and even though it works, it will not guarantee immediate top ranking on SERPs. With SEM, site authority is not a prerequisite. Additionally, you have the assurance of appearing on the SERPs of the users you target using a variety of traits. Unlike in SEO where we mainly focus on keywords and UX (User Experience), SEM allows us to also target behaviors, geographical location, lists, individual households or businesses through roof-top or IP targeting, look-alike audiences or a combination thereof. SEM also offers a prime avenue to re-market and ease prospects further down the funnel. How much does SEM Cost?

Just like with SEO, keywords are critical to the success of SEM. When running an SEM effort, you have to choose keywords that determine which ads show on which searches. Bearing that, these keywords come at a cost, as targeting the right keywords is extremely critical in order to maximize your ROI. As a rule of thumb, you want to go with keywords with high search volume and low competition. This raises your ad ranking while also lowering your cost per click (CPC).

Choosing which keywords to buy will, therefore, call on you to perform intensive keyword research on their respective volume and competition level. Alternatively, you can employ professionals to help you deliver maximum impact at the lowest cost. At BrandingTouch Marketing, our experienced team of experts uses the latest and most effective custom and proprietary keyword research tools to guarantee you maximum return on your investment.

Search engine marketing platforms operate on a bidding system with advertisers placing bids on specific keywords and audiences. Naturally, the highest bidder wins better positioning on the SERP. However, the trick is that you only need to pay enough to outbid the highest bidder for the position you are bidding for--even  just one cent more. Additionally, even if you cannot afford the leading CPC position, we can help you outbid your competition by raising the quality score of your bid. You see, search engines, Google as the perfect example, awards a quality score on each ad and then uses that score to calculate where your ad ranks. At BrandingTouch, our experts will help you to strengthen the SEO of your landing pages, compete for placement on SERPs, and maximize the efficiency of your marketing budget to generate sales for you and your business.

ROI... The Most Important Thing About SEM

Well maybe the most important thing is actually the sale or the amount of revenue generated for your business, but ROI (return on investment) is a close second.

Unlike traditional marketing where advertising is purchased based on potential exposure or CPM (cost per thousand impressions), with SEM, a client should only pay for client engagement or clicks thereby the connotation CPC. With a proper marketing strategy and plan in place, every marketing campaign will implement tracking URLs (uniform resource locators aka website addresses) and tracking pixels. Using these impact parameters, the path that each online customer takes, from the first click to checkout, becomes "forensic." In other words, SEM will allow you to see how each dollar spent translated or at least contributed to a successful conversion on a CTA (call to action).