For some of you this short term may be unknown, or you are researching what it might be, either way you have come to the right place. In the next few minutes of your precious time i will give you a bit of insight what SEM exactly is and how you can leverage it to benefit your business if you own one, if not, keep on reading you never know when you might want to use it…
SEM is an abbreviation from the extended term „Search Engine Marketing“. This exhaustive field of work is a new one and as such has come into existence with the ability of the search engines to try to cover their working costs by any means necessary. In those times they did not know what to sell and how to sell it to cover their expenses, so they invented paid advertising on their search engine homepage or their results page later on.
Though the starts were very slow and had nothing to do with the search queries we have today, like in any business with enough time to adapt today we have a branch of work which only gets bigger by the month and employs hundreds of thousands of experts who do this for a living like the guy writing this awesome article!
As paid advertising online (SEM) has crossed into the strongest branch of advertising somewhere in 2009 where the almost 50% of combined revenue of all advertising sectors was trough online marketing, so is the field of work also bigger and one cannot work online today, or run a business without having some aspect of SEM working for them somewhere from the background.
SEM is a general term and it encompasses many PPC (pay-per-click) programs which are used to supplement your SEO efforts or are in complete control over the traffic you wish to receive.
These programs are Adwords, Bing Ads and so on, but the mentioned two are the biggest and most powerful ones you would want to use. Basic way of working with them is you find keywords related to your business, enter them into your campaign make some ads, and then fire up your campaign. The oversimplified explanation i provided is obvious as there are a lot of things one has to know, and do to actually make a proper campaign. Further down the line is the process of setting up your ads somewhere in regards to the search term (keyword) you are competing for.
You may be wondering: “but mister mister, how does it work?!“. Well it all comes down to kittens and flowers, well no, not really.. internet is already full of them..
Basically they have an inside auction system, this system ranked your keyword, ad and landing page and then gives you a quality score for your ad, it is scaled on a 1-10 scale, with best being number 10. Once you start your campaign you can expect to see your ad somewhere, there is even a tool which can show you where your ad might be implemented once the campaign is started. When all is set you can activate your campaign and start receiving „targeted traffic“ which will be interested in your products.
Why use Search Engine Marketing?
Weather you wish to use SEM or not, it is a matter of personal choice, but in today’s world it can make it or break it. In most cases when handled properly by the right person it can boost your business and improve your sales substantially or get your site in front of the „right kind of people“. If not used or setup correctly it will bleed money for its owner and in the end be more trouble then its worth. Hiring someone competent is rather easy, though its best to talk to the person, let him provide history of previous work and explain in detail what he can do for your business before you lock a contract with him.
SEM is great for startup businesses who can’t wait for the organic traffic and Google’s sandbox period to be over (Google puts all the new websites in a so called „sandbox“ for the first 6+ months before he includes them into his organic searches and starts sending them traffic).
As new websites who are business oriented cannot or will not wait for the sandbox period they will mostly opt for using Search engine marketing (PPC) programs like Adwords or Bing Ads to start receiving customers who are interested in buying their products and in this way kick-start their business.
You can read next part here.