What Is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is typically a component of the SEO Process but can be performed independently to achieve a boost in exposure within a focused effort.  SEM includes paid advertising strategies like PPC (Pay Per Click), PPV (Price Per View) and a CPA (Cost Per Action) campaign established through Google AdWords, Bing’s adCenter,  and Yahoo’s Ad Specs to drive traffic to your website.

Advertising in popular Social Media platforms like FacebookLinkedin and Twitter are also included in SEM. Depending on the client and their target audience, we have found starting with these networks can be less expensive and better targeted for smaller budgets than working with the larger markets of the search engines.

How Does Search Engine Marketing Work to Drive Sales?

The value of this strategy is really determined by balancing the quality of the ad created, with the keywords targeted and the overall search pattern of the market.  These three things work together to drive results.  If one of them is weaker than the others, your results can fall short of your expectations; however, you will still use that data to adjust and try again.

Network Building Strategies

We also use SEM for Network Building Strategies in social communities – particularly Facebook.  Creating an ad to promote your page or organization, website or other platforms is one of the easiest ways to get the attention of your consumer audience.  We’re really impressed with the results we’ve received on client projects and growth in “Likes” or membership sign-up.

How Much Does an SEM Campaign Typically Cost?

The cost to run a Search Engine Marketing campaign varies due to three factors:

1)  Demographics.  Typically the wider reach or greater exposure, the less the per-click value.  Targeting your ad to a very narrowed demographic provides a quicker response and potentially a slightly higher cost-per-click value.

2)  Keywords.  The more popular the keyword (higher ranked) the more value or cost added to the campaign.

3)  Your Budget.  Depending on the suggested bid of the ad as suggested by AdWords, adCenter, Ad Specs or Facebook, and how much you want to allocate to this campaign and how long you want it to run.  You can run a campaign for a few days, weeks or months.  Starting out, we suggest running a test sequence of three ads to determine which message drives more results.

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