How to Get Started With Search Engine Marketing
If you have a business website, you may already know and be using SEO to improve your ranking in Google and the major search engines. Search marketing is related to, but different from SEO, and this article will answer the question ‘What is search engine marketing?’ and explain why it’s so important to business growth.
What is Search Marketing?
It’s an amalgamation of two key digital marketing strategies:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Organic search engine optimisation, using technical and on-page techniques to improve your search engine ranking.
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Paid online advertising such as Pay-Per-Click, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads etc.
Over half of shoppers in the UK do some research online before committing to a major purchase. And the lion’s share of clicks whilst doing that research will go to sites that appear at the top of Google’s Search Results. Search marketing is a strategy designed to strengthen your web presence, improve your ranking, and increase online traffic to your site.
Is Search Marketing the Same as Search Engine Marketing?
We’re moving into acronym hell here, so I’ll keep it short! Search marketing utilises both SEO (free/organic) and SEM (paid online advertising). SEM only deals with paid forms of advertising. So, in seeking the answer to the question ‘What is search marketing?’, we can respond: Search marketing is a form of digital marketing that blends organic SEO which is free, and non-organic SEM which is paid advertising.
A Closer Look at SEO and SEM
For many years now, SEO has been treated as a ‘nice to have’ to websites whereas it’s actually the beating heart of your online marketing strategy. Without SEO Google won’t know about your website, as a result it won’t return your site in any online searches. Which means searchers won’t be able to find you.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is about optimising your website to make it ‘Google Friendly’. The optimisation process helps Google to understand what you do, where your expertise lies, and how relevant your business is. Once Google has this information it can begin to rank you in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
What is SEM?
As an organic process, SEO cannot be rushed. Ongoing work and research can and will bring success, but you may have to wait for months to achieve it. Search Engine Marketing pays for immediate ranking success by using PPC, Google Ads etc. You choose where you want to position your ad, and you select the keywords, or search terms, that have a high volume and will, therefore attract most clicks.
What is the Advantage of Using SEO and SEM Together?
There are 3 clear advantages:
- Quicker Results. If you’re waiting for SEO on a new website to kick in, SEM will speed up the process by driving more traffic to your site. SEO is a ‘long game’ but it’s also foundational for your site authority on Google, so once you start to see results, it will be long-lasting.
- Improves Your Keyword Strategy. Once you know which keywords attract clicks (and SEM helps you to identify this with granular data) you can apply your findings across both approaches. This will impact your visibility on Google and build momentum for your brand.
- Hone Your Content Strategy. Having identified your most effective keywords, you can then prune less effective search terms from your content and focus your efforts across all your marketing resources. You’ll no longer need a ‘scattergun’ approach to win new customers. Instead, you’ll be moving towards a situation where you can control the flow of customers heading for your website.
Need Some Help With SEM?
At Outsource Your Marketing we have a team of digital marketers who live and breathe SEO and SEM campaigns. We can show you numerous clients who started out with a new website and are now reaping the benefits of successful SEM campaigns. It doesn’t happen overnight, but when it does, the benefits are significant, and long-lasting.