Search Engine Marketing: Why Its Needed
The success of any business depends on its ability attract and keep customers. With the growing number of internet users, it is not a surprise that many entrepreneurs are embracing online marketing to the boost sale of their products and services. Since most internet users depend on search engines to locate products and services, business owners strive to ensure that their websites or sales pages get a high ranking in order to drive traffic.
There are basically two strategies employed by entrepreneurs to drive online traffic to their website:
- Using a well articulated Site Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy to increase your page rank for free organic traffic
- Using Site Engine Marketing (SEM) to get paid traffic and generate targeted leads.
Due to the high level of competition and the sheer number of websites available, achieving a high ranking on a Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP) is not an easy feat. Even with a good SEO strategy, there is little guarantee that your website will get the needed exposure and traffic.
While it is important to pay attention to SEO, relying on it alone wouldn’t get the job done. In order to increase your website traffic, Your SEO strategy must be combined with a well-implemented SEM plan.
As earlier mentioned, SEM involves paying for traffic and there are different strategies used in achieving this. Foremost among these are:
- PPC (Pay per Click) advertising on platforms like Google: AdWords, Bing Ads, and Yahoo: Search Ads where you bid for keywords relevant to your niche.
Paid search advertising
- CPC (Cost per Click) advertising
- CPA (Cost per Action) advertising
Benefits of Search Engine Marketing
The goal of SEM is to direct traffic to the relevant section of your website that demands action or decision making from your visitors –a contact form, a sales page or video with a Call-to-Action etc. You are not only increasing traffic to your website, you are also eliciting action. The potential for conversion is therefore higher.
SEM strategies are easier to implement and do not require as much technical know-how as SEO.
SEM gives you better visibility on search engine results because you are given preferential listing on SERPs.
Organic traffic does not necessarily imply relevant or targeted traffic but with SEM, you have some level of control over the kind of leads you get because searches are more related to your line of business. The use of negative keywords in a PPC campaign, for example, increases your chances of getting targeted leads.
With SEM, it is easier to monitor the success of your campaign and review when necessary. Metrics used in measuring performance include click through rate (CTR) site engagement (newsletter subscriptions, downloads, completed contact forms etc) and conversions.