What Exactly Is SEM – Search Engine Marketing?

To completely understand SEM, we first need to know there are really only two options when it comes to advertising online:

1. Organic strategies such as SEO, social media marketing, article marketing, and blogging, which although do cost you time, effort, and money, often you don’t pay specifically for ad space, or media time

2. Paid strategies, which we refer to as SEM (Search Engine Marketing). This includes methods such as Pay Per Click — the Ads on Google, as well as advertising on YouTube, Facebook and banner ads etc.

Organic methods of driving traffic are great for building brand awareness, driving a steady flow of traffic and creating your online presence. Search Engine Marketing can also help with all of the above, but it’s also perfectly suited for advertising special offers, testing out new ideas or products, broadcasting special events, and of course driving more targeted traffic to your site.

To look at an example, if you are having a massive stock clearance and want to get the word out to your market, rolling out an SEO campaign would not work, as organic campaigns take more time to come to fruition.

However, by using SEM, you can have a live campaign, with your message in front of an audience of as many people as you choose, within a relatively short amount of time. You can probably see the power of this now for different products, events and test marketing.

Why should I add SEM to my marketing strategy?

As a business owner, you want instant feedback on whether your marketing strategy is working or not, and you want to see an ROI. Here are just a few reasons why SEM is such a powerful tool in your arsenal:

Instantaneous results

You can launch an idea, spend a small sum of money, and have instant feedback straight from the market about whether it is likely to succeed on a larger scale — no more guess work.

Daily limits and budgets

You can spend as much or as little as you want. When you first start, just a small budget will let you know which ideas and strategies of yours are working best, which will be the most profitable ones

Accurate ROI

With SEM, it is very black and white if you are turning a profit or not. You can see exactly how much you spend, exactly how many visitors you get, and can easily calculate your ROI.

Extreme targeting metrics

With PPC you can be very selective about whom you market to. For example, if you run a law partnership, you might target Brisbane residents who search for the terms “Brisbane lawyers”, as well as “best lawyer in Brisbane”. Once you have run a test campaign, you can easily see which segment gives you the best performance versus cost.

Instant scalability

With SEM, when your campaign does well, it is simply a matter of increasing your daily spend, which should result in an accompanying increase in revenue.

SEM can be a very efficient, effective and powerful way to build your business, drive traffic and increase your revenues, all very quickly. To chat with us about getting an SEM or SEO campaign set up for your Brisbane-based or interstate business, get in touch with us via the contact form, call us on (07) 3216 1151, or drop in and see us at our office in the Brisbane CBD.

Photo Credit (Flickr)