As the web continues to evolve, search engine marketing (SEM) is becoming more important than ever before.

Not too long ago, this term was a catch-all phrase used to describe everything from search engine optimisation to paid advertising (pay per click marketing). Over time however, this term began to focus purely on search advertising. Today, this term is still associated with search marketing, which relates to organic search strategies rather than paid search campaigns.

What exactly does SEM mean then? The digital website Search Engine Land describes SEM as “the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.”

In this short guide, we will be taking a deeper look at what search engine marketing entails, to show you just how much of an investment it is for your business growth.

Why do you need search engine marketing?

SEM includes paid listings, sponsored links, sponsored listings, or featured listings that appear on search engines such as Google. AdWords is the largest platform, with many PPC (Pay per Click), CRM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) and CPC (Cost Per Click) ads falling under the greater AdWords offering.

The benefits of paid search ads are multifold. Often, SEM works hand in hand with organic strategies such as SEO and social media marketing. Some of the primary reasons that you would consider a search engine marketing strategy include the following:

Relatively quick and easy: Easy to set up and run, ads are also seen quickly. This means that you can jump start your marketing strategies in little to no time at all. For events and launches, this is especially useful.

Highly targeted messaging: As ads are keyword based, audiences who are actively seeking your offering will be shown your ads. This level of visibility ensures a far higher return on your investment, as it is tailored to people who are primed to buy.

Low investment cost: You don’t need a massive ad spend to benefit from paid search ads. Depending on your keywords, you could easily gain visibility without breaking the band. You can also control how long your ads run, and how widely they are seen.

Measurable tracking: Another benefit of paid search platforms such as AdWords is that you can easily track and measure your success using Google’s powerful reporting tools. If you’re looking to do testing, this is even more useful.

Brand awareness: Last, but not least, search ads can also help to increase brand awareness. Because ads appear in the search results page at the top, above the fold, they are instantly visible. As such, they help to keep your brand top of mind.

Looking for expert help with your SEM campaigns? Open Circle Solutions specialises in a wide range of digital marketing solutions. Contact us today to find out more about our results driven search engine marketing services.

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