Most businesses require search engine marketing strategies quite often, to direct traffic to their websites. Search marketing comes in two ways. But for most web users it might not be clear from the beginning which type of search marketing they are looking for.
In this post I will go a bit deeper explaining all search marketing strategies that you can use for your website. All search marketing strategies are designed to send traffic to your website but they differ slightly.
There are two types of search engine marketing that you can use. There’s search engine optimization and search engine marketing also known as Pay Per Click. But on this post I will be focusing more on the Pay Per Click type of search marketing.
What’s the difference between search engine optimization and search engine marketing?
What is search engine marketing?
Search engine marketing or Pay per click (PPC), is a type of paid search advertising that sends visitors to a website through a search engine results page by using relevant keywords.
With PPC you only pay when users click on your ad. You don’t have to pay if no one clicks on your ppc ad. PPC is an internet marketing strategy that relies heavily on your budget for it to work.
It is very important that you choose your keywords wisely, long tail keywords are easiest to target. Good keyword research is very important when it comes to PPC. SEM marketing is the best marketing when it comes to getting targeted traffic, it beats both email marketing and social media advertising.
But the most important thing is that you can use it to build leads by sending traffic to your landing pages.
What is search engine optimization?
Search engine Optimization or SEO is a type of search marketing used by search engines to direct traffic to your website. It focuses on using techniques such as on page seo optimization which is the optimization of the web page internally and off page seo optimization which is the optimization of the website externally.
SEO brings free or organic traffic to your website through the search engine results page. You can also call seo organic search engine marketing.
Another major difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is for the long term. If you want fast results then you should not go for SEO because it takes time to get results with it. Depending on the search engine marketing company you chose it might take longer to rank high or never.
If you are looking for fast results then you might want to go for Pay Per Click.
The best way to make a good decision is to understand how search engines work. This will enable you to make wiser decisions based on which search engine marketing strategy to choose.
The Pay-Per-Click results appear at the top and on the right-hand side of the screen on SERPs with the caption “Sponsored Results” or “Ads” above them. The SEO results appear on the left of the screen just below the PPC Ads.
Amongst the content that can be ranked on search engines are videos and images. Just like local seo marketing, with sem marketing you can target local customers in specified areas.
There are two major players in pay per click which are Google Adwords and Bing search engine marketing.
Bing search engine marketing is the second largest pay per click marketing that you can use. Another big player after google adwords and bing sem is Yahoo search engine marketing. Bing has merged with yahoo to form one big paid search advertising.
Even though those two search engines have merged together they are yet to outperform Google AdWords. You can still get great results with Google AdWords alone. But using both google and bing paid search advertising is advantageous since you could get traffic from both of them.
There are some advantages with pay-per-click advertising:
- There are no changes required to the design layout of the web page. You don’t need to change the web page code. All you have to do is bid on the keyword you want to rank for on SERPs.
- PPC ads are simple and fast to implement. It can take a few moments to rank high for a keyword when using PPC.
- You don’t need special skills to implement your PPC campaigns. All you need is computer knowledge and understanding of how to set up the ad campaigns.
- You have control which time you want your ads to display on search engines results page. You can decide to show your ads only when you want them to.
- You can get targeted traffic to your website by using the right keywords and getting users who can click on your ads.
- You can bid on single keywords and keywords combinations of your choice. You need to be aware though with single keywords they might be hard to get rank for rather use keyword combinations.
- The are two factors that determine position which are keyword popularity and bid price.
- Pay-Per-Click can bring a high return on investment (ROI) if done the right way.
Search engine marketing (SEM) has a few disadvantages that you should look at:
- Pay Per Click campaigns are expensive and are not done well.
- Click fraud can be a big issue, this is unethical clicks that can be brought by spam softwares.
- You can get a low return on your investment if you don’t do it well
Search engine marketing also gives you control on the number of clicks you want. You can also decide how much you want to pay per click. Another great advantage is that you can decide which user you want to target based on their locations and which keywords to use.
With search engine marketing, specifically PPC, you can do A/B Testing. A/B Testing is when you use two landing pages and send traffic to them, the one that gets more clicks wins.
The advantages that come with search engine marketing ppc is that it costs money to do it. But the cost per click can be from as little as $0.30 per click. You as the ad creator can decide whether you want to start with a low amount or not.
When using PPC your ads should be relevant to what you are promoting. Since ppc is more like a business, relevant ads are rewarded while poor ads will cost you money.
When using Google AdWords you don’t get much space so you need to use it wisely.
Here’s how the characters are line-up in Google AdWords:
- You get 25 characters for the headlines
- You get 70 characters for the ad text
- And then you get 35 characters for the display url
Why should you use both search engine marketing and search engine optimization?
There’s no doubt that both SEO and SEM can bring traffic to a website and they are both unique. So choosing one over another is not ideal for any business. If you want to get traffic to your website you should use both of them.
A research showed that only 25% of the search engine users click on the PPC ads on search engines. That does not mean you should neglect PPC ads and go for the SEO techniques.
Besides SEO takes time to build, it can take three to six months to build a solid web page that brings quality traffic. During that time you can utilize PPC ads to get targeted traffic to your website.
One other thing that might happen is that search engines might alter their search algorithm. That might cause your site to drop on the search engine results page.
This is very common especially on Google, even other search engines can implement such changes. But Google search engine marketing is the very common one which is used by many people.
It always depends on whether the algorithm has found something unethical on your site that does not comply with it. That’s another time where you should use search engine marketing on your website.
Hiring professional search engine marketing services:
There are many ways to do your ad campaigns on search engines that can give you the results you want. Is either you DO-IT-YOURSELF, request the service of a search engine marketing specialist or hire a company. Each one of them comes with its pros and cons.
DO-IT-YOURSELF or DIY
You can learn to set up your own PPC ads on all major search engines. It might not take you long to learn all the basics of setting up the ads if you are computer literate. But if you are not then it will take much longer.
The learning period can take you longer than expected but once you get the idea it can be worth it. This will depend on the amount of time you have on your plate and the amount you are willing to lose while learning. There’s a high chance of trial and error because of lack of experience.
In case you decide to do everything for yourself you will have to understand search engine marketing analysis. For you to be able to get a good return on investment (ROI) you will have to understand PPC basics. It can also help you to know online marketing strategies so that you don’t waste a lot of money.
Using a service of a specialist
You can find someone who has experience in setting up ad campaigns on different search engines. A specialist can save you time and money if they really know what they are doing.
A specialist can change anywhere between $100 to $5000 depending on their skills. In some cases they can charge a recurring amount, so be sure you understand how they charge.
You can find both SEO specialists and SEM specialists on dedicated seo websites such as seoconsultants.com or seopros.org. Or you can use freelance websites such as www.guru.com, www.freelancer.com or www.upwork.com.
Some people might know both SEO and SEM, but some might only focus on SEM. Usually those are the people you should go for since they only work on SEM. This makes them experts in the field. The most important thing is to go for the best search engine marketing services and get good results.
Using the services of a search engine marketing company
A SEM company can have a better advantage compared to hiring a specialist. A company is not acting as a one man show which can be a great advantage. This is good since you can be working with a team of experts who are dedicating their time on one project after another.
Companies that seem to do great jobs are small business search engine marketing companies. Those companies are far better than larger companies because they have a manageable team and they might not be assertive.
Depending on your needs you might need a company that is doing all ad campaigns. From google ad words, bing search engine marketing and yahoo! Search engine marketing.