Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines, sometimes called:
- Paid search ads
- Paid search advertising
- PPC (pay-per-click)
- CPC (cost-per-click)
- CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)
In search engine marketing, companies focus on driving traffic to targeted areas of their website to:
- Generate leads
- Sell products
- Build their brand
- Pull traffic from their competitors
Most business people research potential purchases and vendors with online search engines. The higher the price of the product/service, the earlier they search. For many businesses, generating a handful of additional serious prospects can make a big difference in sales revenue. Search engine marketing can produce these additional prospects.
First thing is your site
Depending on your search strategy, you may need to make major or minor improvements to your website.
Create your search strategy
Look at your short- and long-term goals to choose whether to focus on organic or paid search (or both). It takes time to improve your organic search rankings, but you can launch a paid search campaign tomorrow. However, there are other considerations: the amount of traffic you need, your budget, and your marketing objectives. Once you’ve reviewed the pros and cons, you can select the search strategy that’s right for you.
Generate a list of keywords
Before you can optimize your site or launch a paid campaign, generate a list of keywords, terms your prospects use when looking for your products or services. You can brainstorm, copy keywords from competitors, or use online tools to generate a list and traffic estimates.
Optimize your website
- Rewrite your content so it’s rich with the keywords you’ve chosen.
- Make sure the content is organized in the best possible manner.
- Eliminate any technologies that prevent search engines from reading your content (for example, search engines can’t read graphics or Flash content).
- Register your site in important directories that play a vital role in search engine results.
These programs can improve your search results
- Utilizing social media by posting regularly with relevant content that relates to your business.
- Creating RSS feeds to distribute updated content from your site to other websites.
- A blog on your site is a great way to have fresh and new content on your site.
- Distributing search-optimized press releases on the web.
To begin using paid search, you’ll
- Develop targeted landing pages for each campaign.
- Write your ad(s).
- Create an account with a search network that’s important to business users (i.e. Google).
- Set up your campaign with the network.
- Start tracking your results.