googlesearchMany businesses these days understand the need for a mixed marketing approach. But there are so many ways you can spend you advertising and marketing budget, it can be quite difficult to really know which strategy will be the most effective.

What is Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one specific method of eMarketing. It may be summarised best as the promotion of a website (i.e. your products / services) through paid for advertising on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and on websites where Search Engine advertisements appear (usually Google Ads).

There are many facets available to a business considering SEM. For example, on the Google Search Engine page, you can see such advertisements on the right hand side column, and at the top of the SERPs.

This kind of ‘display advertising’ or ‘paid inclusion’, is often paid for either with a Cost Per Click (you pay each time someone clicks the link) or Cost Per Impression (you pay each time the ad is displayed – usually measured in blocks of 1,000 impressions). Generally speaking, you have the ability to control your expenditure by setting a daily budget (ceiling) and by choosing how much you are willing to pay for your targeted search terms (keyword bids).

NOTE: anyone who tells you that they can guarantee a specific placement on SERPs for money should be treated with extreme caution! Search engines tend to list advertisers randomly, based upon keyword bids.

Is SEM a viable option for my business?

There are many different ways to set up and run SEM campaigns, usually it depends upon your budget and your specific objectives.

Regardless of these two facts, however, there are a number of ‘rules’ that must be observed in order to achieve positive results. It’s all too easy to set up an ad and pay for it, without really knowing what you’re doing.

To answer this question, we must first understand what your business (and website) objective is, review your current marketing strategies and assess what kind of results you can typically expect from the various methods of SEM or paid for advertising in search engines.

SEM is very powerful and it can be effectively tailored to target quite specific demographics. There are a number of techniques that can be used to ensure that your campaign is seen by the most relevant people.

How do I know SEM is working?

Detailed reports provide clear, in-depth analysis of the successes, and the areas for improvement for your campaign. These reports show the number of people who have “clicked through” the ad, and can provide exact measurements for time on site, actions undertaken, location, and even gender and age range. Of course, all of this can be tied to your Google Analytics feed too, so that you can really see that search terms are working, when and from where.

As mentioned above, budgets can be set to limit the amount of your exposure and therefore provide a fixed commitment level. It’s up to you how much you spend, but our advice is to consider the target / results you seek, then work backwards from there, placing a value on each interaction point.

We regularly undertake Search Engine Marketing projects on our clients’ behalf and have a good understanding of how to achieve real results. To find out more about SEM, and how Purple Dog can assist you with your campaigns, please contact us.