SEM - Search Engine Marketing
What is SEM (Search Engine Marketing)?
In its strictest definition SEM refers to paid advertising on search engines.
When you do a search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you will see sponsored links to the right of the organic search results. Sometimes you will see sponsored links on a coloured background above the organic results, or even below them. These are paid adverts. SEM is the act of advertising on search engines.
How do I advertise on search engines like Google?
Google let you advertise both on their search results and also in the content of other peoples websites. You pay per click, therefore the type of advertising is known as PPC advertising. The Google PPC method is called Adwords. At Webshed we manage your Adwords campaign from start to finish.
How much do PPC ( pay per click ) campaigns cost?
You set the budget. Google adwords runs on a bidding basis. In fact it is a very versatile form of Search Engine Marketing. You can set your daily budget, the times of display and choose the keywords your advertisements are shown for. The more people bidding for a search term, the higher the bid per click needs to be in order to be effective.
How can Webshed help my SEM campaign?
Advertising on Google is easy. Managing the budget to get the most out of it is not so straight forward. There are several factors that come into play for a cost effective SEM campaign:-
- Setting a daily budget
- Choosing cost effective keywords
- Optimising the landing page (where the advert takes a user)
- Optimising the ad itself. Google gives ads quality scores. If the quality is low they make your minimum bid higher. You pay more for a badly optimised ad.
- Setting maximum bids. Sometimes a lower bid can give a higher return.
By optimising your advertising you save money on your PPC ( pay per click ) SEM campaigns.
When to use Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing has a time and a place in our book. If you happen to have a large advertising budget, then a significant ongoing campaign will not hurt, but if asked to choose between SEO and SEM we would go for SEO nearly every time.
The reason for this is that in the long term SEO is less expensive. You do not pay for clicks in the normal (organic) search results. However, if you are not on the first page of Google for relevant search phrases, then you will not be getting many visitors. In this case a SEM campaign should be seriously considered.
We often encourage clients to run SEM campaigns while we work on the SEO of their site. This is because it takes time to get results with Search Engine Optimisation, while SEM results are instant.
SEM is perfect for events and promotions
Getting a website to rank well takes time. Even a page of an already established website can be a litlte slow to climb the ranks. If you have a one off event or promotion then SEM is your online solution.
There is no faster way to get visitors to your site than Search Engine Marketing. You can be on the front page for every search query you want within minutes. It will cost you per visitor, but if you need to reach people in a hurry, then there is no better way.
It's not all about Google when it comes to SEM
In Ireland, when it comes to Search engines, there really is only one. Yahoo and bing have some users, but if you want to reach the largest proportion of Irish people then Google are the place of choice for a SEM campaign.
But what about Facebook? It depends on what market you want to penetrate, but the largest social media site in Ireland has to be a good place to advertise. On Facebook you are just advertising your companies Facebook page. There is a major advantage over Googles adwords though. You can choose your demographics! If you have a product marketed for 18-25 year old females in Ireland, then you can target just that set of Facebook users. We love it.