SEM is about helping you get links to your site from all over the web using both Google organic search and Google’s search ads. Google Adwords are a great way to get into top search results positions straight away. SEO is the most cost effective way of reaching your audience long term, but page 1 organic ranking is not always possible, so augmenting that with paid positions is the smart strategy.
- Advertise Throughout the Google Search Network
- Promote Your Site with Paid Ranking
- Reach Your Market Through Organic Ranking
Promote your website in Google
Search Engine Marketing is often referred to as the alternative name for Search Engine Optimisation. They are different in that SEO concentrates on getting organic traffic to your website. SEO is usually a medium-sized investment with a long term effect, and as such I think it represents the best value for money in getting visitors to your website. SEM includes use of paid advertising campaigns to pull traffic from many different sources, and stops working as soon as your budget is spent. Sometimes, there’s simply no option but to use SEM in the form of paid advertising to get the web traffic you want.
Search Engine Marketing How-To
Depending on your budget, and urgency, I’d recommend the best place to start for any Search Engine Marketing is to firstly get your on-page optimisation sorted and performing well to obtain the best organic search engine ranking possible. There are many things you can do to getting better organic ranking, and most of the main SEO points are noted on this website in the 10 Step Guide. There’s plenty you could do in there that’s DIY, or talk to us about SEO services.
The other option for SEM is paid advertising via the likes of Google Adwords, and their Ad Network. The benefit with paid ads is that you can start getting traffic to your website right away. Google Adwords starts working the minute you hit the start button. It’s budget dependant of course, and you’ll pay for every single click that goes through to your website, but the results can be instant. There’s no waiting for your site to appear organically in Google, and no relying on organic ranking to gain attention.
Don’t forget, there are other places that people often search for material in. Second place to Search Engines is Youtube. While it isn’t technically a search engine, it’s worth mentioning here. Video content, help guides, promotional vids etc can get you ranking well in that medium.
Things to note about SEM
Sometimes, it’s just impossible to get onto Google’s first page of results for your genre. Imagine if you were a small scale travel agency and had to compete against some very large, big-budget nationwide companies to get ranking in Google. Chances are, the big boys also have big budgets and have invested well in their SEO, making it very difficult to get onto page 1, let alone reach the top. This is indeed the case in many highly competitive and large budget industries.
Trouble is though, for many large budget industries it’s also expensive to get paid ranking positions too. Keywords and keyword phrases relating to home mortgages for example, can cost around $10-15 per click in an Adwords campaign. Some words and phrases in other markets can cost as much as $30 or more per click, and with a 1~3% conversion rate, you’d have to have a very large budget to accomodate that cost. You’d be getting 1~3 new customers per $3,000 spent. making sure you get a Return On Investment (ROI) becomes quite challenging.
The secret to being successful through SEM is finding keywords that are overlooked, or poorly used by others, but that can provide some reasonable traffic numbers that are still core to your offering. The traffic numbers may be low, but once you’ve added 20~30 ‘opportunity’ keywords to your site and your ad campaigns, you could be gaining some valuable missed traffic.