While Search Marketing is a broad term that covers any and all methods of increasing the online visibility of a brand or its performance in search rankings, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a distinct discipline which fits under this banner but remains entirely distinct from the similar-sounding SEO. By now everyone is familiar with SEO (search engine optimisation) and its principles, if not its most up-to-date practices. SEM is less well-known and understood although it is an invaluable companion to SEO and an ingenious application of paid-for advertising to the search model. Where SEO employs tactics for organic improvement of search visibility, SEM involves paying for prominent placement on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Whenever you conduct a search, you’ll have noticed that the first few entries identify themselves as ads. In Google, they are flagged very clearly but in other engines such as Bing and Yahoo, this paid-for status is more discreetly acknowledged. The point is that all major search engines have developed to accommodate paid-for entries in their SERPs. SEM is therefore often a more precise, controllable way to guarantee visibility – it is much faster than waiting for SEO strategies to mature but it does require investment and it is not as straightforward as simply paying for results. Where the challenge comes is in the bidding process, which involves advertisers bidding on certain keywords specified by the search engines. Winning bids will benefit from those top spots in the rankings.
Techniques and benefits of SEM
Why you should use a SEM marketing agency
The advertisement arms of search engines are referred to as SEM platforms, of which Google Ads is the market leader with billions of searches on Google every day. Bing Ads claims it has access to 3 million searchers that are not generally reachable through Google, making this a very important adjunct. Maximising your business profile in these and other environments is fundamental to successful SEM marketing. Like all forms of online marketing, SEM is a highly specialised skill. Competition is intense and because there is much more involved than simply paying for your ranking, a successful SEM strategy requires a detailed knowledge as to how to conduct keyword research and deploy the results.
At Gradeon, we can bring you the benefit of our years of experience gained at the coalface of SEM. We will evaluate the efficacy of different types of keyword – broad matches which target variations including misspellings and synonyms; phrase matches which focus on phrase as well as common accompanying qualifiers; exact matches for the most specific terminology and negatives to eliminate the inclusion of terms that may seem related but are irrelevant to the intention behind the searches you wish to capture. We can also target by location, time, demographics and device. Our SEM planning team takes account of all your business aims and will deliver a comprehensive, coherent, proactive and flexible strategy. Our reputation is based on our results. Come and find out what we can do for you.