Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of generating web traffic through paid search listings. Once an umbrella term used to encompass both SEO and paid search activities, it has evolved over time to refer solely to paid search.
A business is marketed using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). You as an advertiser bid on keywords that a Google or Bing user might enter when looking for a particular good or service. The goal is to have your ad appearing alongside the results, so that your product or service is the first thing they see. Essentially, you are buying advertising space in the search engine results. Instead of trying to rank higher and get free traffic, which is the purpose of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you simply pay to appear at the front of the line so to speak.
These ads, most commonly referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, can come in various formats. Small, text-based ads, which are the most common form of PPC advertising as it is very effective. Say a person is in need of a plumber and searches Google for a plumber in their area. Your PPC ad could be one of the first to pop up when the searcher enters the keywords you’ve bid on, and since they probably need plumbing services rather urgently, they are more likely to click on your ad to purchase your service right away.
PPC ads can also come in the form of product listing ads (PLAs or Shopping ads) which are more visual, product-based advertisements. A great example of this type of ad is when someone searches Google for a home good (washer, dryer, etc.) and your ad pops up complete with a picture.
Google Adwords is the most successful and popular system for pay-per-click ads, and our preferred method of SEM.
Search engine marketing is an important source of internet traffic because it is targeted. People use search engines like Google and Bing to find a solution to a problem or answer to a question and you get to position your product as that answer. The more relevant your ad is the searcher the more likely you will generate conversions. We apply our knowledge and expertise to make sure our clients are utilizing ads that benefit their business the most. We research extensively, using a variety of marketing techniques, to get the most visibility for our clients.