Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click Advertising
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing, (not to be confused with Search Engine Optimization), is a way of paying for a website to appear in search results.
SEM has become incredibly popular in recent years, this is because it is a great marketing opportunity and can apply to almost any business.
This has been primarily through the Google Advertising tools, AdWords. SEM is different to SEO, in that SEM is a service you explicitly pay for.
The obvious drawback to Search Engine Marketing is the upfront financial cost, but this is not as bad as it may seem on the surface.
Search Engine Marketing Benefits
- Precise – Being able to target specific keywords means you can attract customers who are already in the ‘buying’ stage. You can also choose the geographic location to target, meaning you don’t waste money if you’re a local business.
- Cost-effective – As it’s pay per click, you only pay when people click on the ads. This means that your advertising budget is less likely to be wasted on irrelevant users.
- Customizable – There are various types of ads you can run with AdWords, including the ‘normal’ search ad, shopping ads or even video ads.
- Quantifiable – AdWords comes with a lot of analytics, meaning you can directly see the impact of your adverts. You can even define a lead based on user actions, allowing you to calculate the exact ROI of the campaign (based on the value of a lead)
What is Pay Per Click Advertising?
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) is similar to search engine marketing but is a wider term that can refer to any online advertising service that charges per click. This includes Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads and Twitter Ads.
The benefit of this is you can hone your demographic to users of specific social networks. For example, you make use Twitter if you want to target B2C and LinkedIn for B2B.
Pay per Click Benefits
- Wide Choice of Audience – The social media platform you choose should reflect your demographic. Pinterest and Instagram for more aesthetic or fashion projects, Twitter and Facebook for more general audiences, for example. This allows you to only market to your demographic.
- Cost-Effective – Similarly to AdWords, you can set the adverts to only cost when people actually click on your advert.
- Mobile vs Desktop – You can choose whether your advert focuses on mobile users or desktop users. This may seem unimportant, but 44% of Facebook Users under 35 use Facebook on their phones exclusively.