Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages through Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns. Pay-Per-Click advertising is a system used by Google and other search engines where they show listings for your website at the top or sides of results pages based on specific search terms that you specify. When a user clicks on one of your paid listings and is directed to your website, you are charged a fee. If they don’t click on your listing, the impression costs nothing.
Pay-Per-Click campaigns are easily one of the best forms of Internet Marketing and marketing in general. They have an astounding Return On Investment (ROI) mainly due to the ability to control the specific keywords and search terms that will lead to your listing being shown. Combining keyword control with specific, chosen locations guarantees that the users clicking on your listing/ad will be of the upmost relevance.
Google’s search engine controls the lion’s share of the search engine market so their Pay-Per-Click product, Google Adwords, is often the SEM platform of choice. Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines can be utilized as well, but they offer successively decreasing market shares of search traffic. Here is a great example of how effective Google Adwords can be:
Let’s say there is a roofing company located in St. Louis, Missouri. One of their Google Adwords listings is targeting the keyword ‘New Roof Installation’ with a location radius of 25 miles around St. Louis. Although the Cost-Per-Click varies greatly among different keywords, let’s assume it is $3 per click for this example. If 100 people search for that term and click on their Adwords listing, the total cost will be $300. Each of these people were searching from within 25 miles of St. Louis for the specific topic of ‘New Roof Installation’, so the chances of them requesting a bid from this roofing company is fairly high. If only one of the 100 potential customers end up getting a new roof installed through this company, chances are they will easily make back the $300 marketing cost plus much more. This is assuming a 1% lead-to-sale conversion so imagine the Return on Investment (ROI) if the conversion rate is 5-10% or higher!
Overall, Search Engine Marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing available. It is especially useful for websites that do not have a good organic ranking (free results / SEO) on the search engines. At Beanstalk Web Solutions, we can help setup and manage your SEM Pay-Per-Click campaign. Even if you manage it yourself, we can still help audit your efforts and make sure you are acheiving the maximum effectiveness for every dollar spent.