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Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the best methods businesses to create awareness, generate traffic, and make sales. Many established businesses have been taking advantage of SEM, but many small businesses have still not grasped this digital marketing idea.
This article explains the meaning of SEM for easy understanding by small business owners. Consequently, business owners will be able to know the benefits and potentials that SEM holds for the growth of their businesses. In Nigeria, there is still less awareness in the area of SEM. Most people assume that digital marketing is all about social media marketing.
Search Engine Marketing refers to marketing where you pay for listing on the search engine. In other words, SEM is the paid advertising that we see as ‘sponsored’ or ‘ad’ on the top of search results. Digital experts use different terms to refer to SEM. These are the industry terminology and include pay-per-click (PPC), Cost-per-click (CPC), paid ad, and Cost-per-thousand impression (CPM).
Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization
At this point, it is imperative to explain another term that is related to SEM. In the past, SEM was used broadly to include SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the aspect of the search engine that involves how you optimize the content of your website to rank on the search engine. In other words, SEO is about organic content marketing. SEO does not involve paying the advertising platform. However, the process of SEO may include some cost. For example, the digital marketer will charge for SEO services and pay for platforms for keywords.
The simple difference between SEM and SEO is that you paid the advertiser for the former while the latter is free. According to Lyfe Marketing, both SEM and SEO work as a team to give your website and brand visibility on the search engine.
Benefits of Search Engine Marketing
People are using search engines for various reasons. Lyfe Marketing mentions three top reasons: research, entertainment, and intention to buy something. Therefore, business owners can use Search Engine Marketing to harness these to their advantage.
1. Quick brand awareness in the Search Engines
According to Chandal Nolasco Da Silva, “SEM is one of the fastest-to-launch traffic strategies.” Experts have explained that it will take six to twelve months for your website to rank organically on the search engine. Imagine what happens if your website is not a quality one. With Search Engine Marketing, your website can start appearing on the search engine immediately after the paid ad is approved. This will create quick brand awareness, and you can convert the clicks to business.
2. SEM allows you to focus a target audience
The main aim of website traffic is to convert prospects to buying customers. Therefore, SEM will allow you to direct your search ad toward the right audience. Audience can see your website on a search result with organic ranking, but they may not click through to your website. With SEM, you can choose who sees your search ad and therefore get traction.
3. Small businesses can afford Search Engine Marketing.
Many small businesses are not running search ads because they believe it is expensive. On the contrary, SEM fits into any budget. With a minimum $10 per day budget, you can control your ad spending. In other words, it is possible to start from a small budget and scale up when the business grows.
In traditional marketing like TV ads, you may be paying so much for ads. Lyfe Marketing explains that,
Instead of very broadly targeting a demographic as you might in a TV ad, you can place a narrow focus to increase the conversion rate.
4. SEM can place your business ahead of competitors
Sometimes, it may be difficult to displace competitors in the search engine ranking. This may be because these competitors are already established and have a solid organic ranking in the search engine. Your website may also be new and will take a longer time to rank. But with Search Engine Marketing, your website can appear on top of competitors.
Your digital marketer or agency will only need to evolve compelling ad content and develop a better strategy.
5. SEM will improve brand recognition
You can make your brand prominent on the search engine through Search Engine Marketing. Therefore, it registers in the mind of people. SEM is a viable strategy to promote your brand for recognition. The consequence of such fame is that people prefer to do business with the brand they know. People make a buying-decision mainly after a brand becomes recognizable.
6. It is quicker for business growth
Sometimes business owners are reluctant to put money into search ads. Search ads can double your investment when you have the right ad content and strategy. The moment your ad comes online, you can begin to sales and gain more revenue. It is better to invest money to make more money than to wait for growth over time.
Time to move up to Search Engine Marketing
The benefits enumerated above are the simple ones that every small business owners need to know. It would help if you considered growing your business with search engine marketing. SEM involves having the right ad content and knowledge of using keywords for ads. You may need a digital agency to structure your Search Engine Marketing. Get in touch with us here