Search Engine Marketing 101

Search engine marketing or SEM as it is widely known is a form of online marketing that involves promoting your website by making sure that your websites are visible in search results. When I say visible, I mean on the first or seconde page, not 10th page visible. With literally millions of businesses and users available through the internet today, SEM has become a gold standard to advertise your business through search engines.

The Need for SEM

Think of SEM as an upgraded version of SEO. When doing SEO, you are aiming for is online visibility but with SEM, you are targeting to be at the top of the heap. If you want to be at the top search result for a specific keyword, the only way is through advertising, on Google, for example.

If you are an e-commerce site, chances are, you will have rival sites that more or less sell the same products as you. If you are ranked as the top result for specific products, what you are effectively doing is beating out your competition for share of the consumer market. That is because people will almost always visit the website first listed in the search results. This is another reason why you need SEM.

Key Factors Related to SEM

Keyword Research

The purpose of keyword research is to find the most relevant and popular keywords for your site. You can’t just pick a keyword and start marketing. You have to find the right one for your website/business. It requires analysis to figure out which keywords you need to focus on. You can use the keyword tool in Google Adwords to get a feel for this right away.

Saturation and Popularity

This can be attributed to the presence of a website on search engine results. To increase your site’s popularity, your pages must contain keywords that people are searching for so that it will rank high in search results.

Metrics of SEM

Click-Through Rate is another huge metric for SEM. CTR is used to measure the effectiveness of a keyword. SEM metrics are usually tracked daily when you are running PPC or pay per click campaign which is a common strategy for SEM.

If you are wondering if SEM is worth the time and money, then the answer is a resounding yes. It is a very important part of online marketing that allows you to get ahead of your competitors.


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