What Is Search Engine Marketing and Why Does It Matter?

Jacob Gerloff

Introduction
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is, arguably, the most important aspect of any digital marketing effort. If performed properly, it can drive tons of free, relevant traffic to your website. If performed improperly (or illegally), it can destroy your business.

SEM involves the active marketing of your website rather than simply allowing the search engines to find your site without any additional effort. If you are on the fence about whether or not your business can benefit from the implementation of SEM, you first need to understand what SEM is and how it can be beneficial.

What is it?
Search Engine Marketing is a term that describes the different ways you can make your website even more visible in search engines. This increased visibility will result in more traffic to your website. SEM is a combination of SEO and pay-per-click, also known as PPC advertising, to help get more visibility for your website.

PPC advertising includes paying the search engines a fee so that your website will appear at the top of the search results as a sponsored ad or link. The link appears for free, but you will pay the search engine whenever it is clicked. Your website is placed at the top of the search engine results page based on how much you pay-per-click as well as the importance of your advertisement when compared to other advertisers.

What are the benefits?
SEM is used to target your product or service so that your website will appear in the search results when someone is searching for your keywords. It comes with a wealth of benefits that can help you convert traffic into sales.

  • Lead Generation: SEM works to provide visibility to your website on a constant basis so that you can achieve targeted traffic 24 hours every day. Using SEM, you can achieve higher levels of traffic as more people are looking for websites and information in your niche.
  • You Can Build Your Brand: As your website gains more and more exposure, your business will begin to appear as a respectable brand within your chosen industry. With proper SEM, your website will be visible to those searching and those potential customers will begin to trust that you are a professional resource and will therefore be more likely to choose you over others in your industry.
  • You Can Remain Competitive: By using SEM, you can compete and remain competitive with others in your niche. Take a moment to do a search for different keywords you use on your website. Your results will show the most competitive businesses within your industry. By improving your website with SEM, you will become even more competitive.

Why is Search Engine Marketing Important?
If you are going to invest in a website to promote your business and move it forward, it is in your best interest to take every opportunity you can to drive traffic to it. If individuals cannot find your website, you will not get the desired results. Lack of website traffic can even result in the loss of sales for your business.

Investing in Search Engine Marketing has major benefits because combining Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click can help you improve your online traffic more effectively than either marketing strategy can alone. Ultimately, SEM can help establish your website and your business and ultimately convert those website hits into money for your business.



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