Blog, Marketing

How do you get found by new consumers? Do you get found?Are you worried about your website traffic– or the quality thereof? If so, you need to start thinking about search engine marketing (SEM). It’s time to think about how SEM drives the traffic that leads to sales.

But what is search marketing?

Search engine marketing boosts your position in search results so that you are easy to find. Don’t underestimate how important this is: Google processes over 3.5 billion search queries every day. This is how businesses are found in the digital age. You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who swears by the superiority of phone books….

Being the only person in the state offering your service still doesn’t mean you’ll be on top. Increasingly search rankings must be earned, through targeted marketing.

Search engine marketing champions the two ways to get on top of search results. The first way is via paid ads. Most people refer to this as “paid search”.  And the second is via strategic techniques called “search optimisation”. Search optimisation primes web content to be found through search with no ads necessary. This involves both on- and off-page content.

Neither method is better than the other, and neither is easier. Their differences lay in their timeline and not the effort required. Paid ads can take you right to the top right away… Right after you’ve done serious research. Researching search terms is a prerequisite of paid ads, as is detailed competitor analysis. To succeed, it’s also necessary to monitor the campaign extensively. This involves culling unsuccessful ad copy to curb high click costs.

For organic search, you might be waiting for results for a while– a period of months rather than minutes. You still need that research, too. But don’t throw it in the too-hard basket just yet: it’s worth the investment. Organic search is a pretty broad school of practices. But, its essence, it optimises the architecture of your website. This optimisation makes it easier for search engines to “read” or “crawl” your content. Then it makes your content match the terms customers use when searching for your product. Basically, it takes the way search engines choose which sites to display first and implements them for your website.

Being an SEM expert is as much research and learning as it is execution. Google releases and alters algorithms all the time, which means this discipline is in a constant state of flux. Your audience, too, is always changing. What they’re searching for today might change tomorrow. Keeping up with the latest is more than important, it’s essential.