Many small business owners think that search engine marketing or SEM is not a worthwhile option. Most think that because they are just operating on a smaller scale, they cannot afford it. Other service or local-based small businesses also think that their online presence is not that important.

In reality, search engines have definitely become a part of consumers’ lifestyle. Search engines present various ways where businesses of any size could leverage from. Other businesses have invested much time and money by building their brands through search engine optimization. However, many owners claim that despite their efforts in SEO, their website and even their brands are not ranking on the first page of the search engines yet.

SEO or search engine optimization will eventually build your brand and your website. However, for your business to climb through the search engine results pages, it requires more time, in-depth technical knowledge, and great skill in keyword research. While this could be frustrating, the good news is, search engine marketing can help you save a lot of time and help you find customers and clients faster than traditional means.

What is Search Engine Marketing

SEM or search engine marketing covers several tasks. These aim to increase substantial traffic to your website through higher search engine rankings. It is an internet-based marketing that includes researching, analyzing, and positioning a particular website within search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, to achieve visibility. This will also raise your website’s share of paid or organic traffic leads from search engines.

Traditionally, search engine marketing is consists of two processes namely organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Pay-Per-Click Advertising or Cost-Per-Click (CPC). It also includes several activities such as paid listings, keyword search, link building, competitive analysis, and other services by offered by search engines to increase traffic to your website.

Why Is Search Engine Marketing or SEM Important?

Consumers opt to use the Internet for researching the products they like. It is also a convenient way to shop and compare products. Search engine marketing has become a vital marketing strategy for increasing the reach of any business. Online visibility is important for every business to be it small or big.

Most of the new visitors these days are finding their way to a particular website because they made a query on a search engine. Shoppers also opt to search online rather than physically going to a store to buy a product these days. It lessens time and effort on their part and allows them to see different options with just a click of a mouse.

In search engine marketing, business owners or advertisers only pay for the impressions that convert into visitors, which is an efficient way to spend on marketing the business. In addition, every visitor contributes to the ranking of the website in terms of organic search results.

Aside from that, consumers make search queries with the intention of knowing more about the product. This means that they are in a position to be receptive of the marketing messages your website is selling to them. Eventually, these visitors become potential customers and even turn into repeat customers.

In addition, search engine marketing is a marketing strategy placed at the right time. This means that it reaches the target consumers as soon as they are receptive to new information. This happens when they click a link to your product or to your website. Search engine marketing is also not intrusive, unlike most digital advertising. It is also the quickest way to drive traffic to your website and business owners can instantly see its results.

How Search Engine Marketing or SEM Works

Search engines use complex algorithms to make sure that the most relevant results are achieved in every search or query made. This includes location and other available information. If you are advertising on a paid search, your ads, also known as sponsored ads appear at the top of the search engine results pages. This is for your ads to achieve more importance than organic search results as well as to give you more visibility.

For instance, a customer is searching for a service or a product online. That customer will open a search engine and key in the search terms more popularly known as keywords. The search engine will return with a search results page with different company ads whose keywords match the keywords in the search query. These ads are found on the noticeable places on the page. These paid listings are very relevant to the specific terms that the customer typed in the search box. This means that your ads will most likely get clicked.

How to Design Your Search Engine Marketing

The first step in designing your search engine marketing or SEM is to allocate a monthly budget for your campaign. It should be based on your business’ industry, your geography, and the number of services or products that you would like to advertise. It is important to note that your budget will affect the amount of money you are willing to spend for the entire month on Pay-Per-Click ads.

Search engine networks are self-serve processes. When the marketer chooses a particular network, the marketer can get the campaign up in a short time. When setting SEM campaign, the marketer should choose a set of keywords related to the business’ product or website.

In addition, the marketer should also choose a geographic location to place the ad. It is also important that the campaign should include a text-based ad to be displayed in the search engine results page. Most importantly, the marketer is in-charge in bidding on a price that the business is willing to shell off for every click on the ad.

Two Major Search Networks for Search Engine Marketing

Most search engine marketing professionals target Bing Ads and Google Adwords. The Bing Ads enables customers to purchase ads on both Bing’s and Yahoo’s network of websites. Google Adwords, on the other hand, is made up of two networks, the Google Display Network and the Google Search Network. The former is consists of properties like Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube. The latter is exclusively made up of search-related websites owned by Google.

Google Adwords is a very large network compared to Bing Ads, which charges ads more pricey than that offered by Bing Ads. There are some reports claiming that the click-through rates in Bing Ads are higher than Google Ads. SEM professionals may be able to achieve better ranking for a competitive keyword phrase for less than they get on Google.

Search engine marketing paid search, or Pay-Per-Click advertising whatever you want to call it, is one of the most efficient and effective ways to boost your business’ online presence. SEM also drives and increases traffic to your site and converts visitors to customers. Consider your marketing budget as well as the keywords that are related to your products or services. Start your search engine marketing campaign now!