What is search engine marketing? In the past, SEM referred to all marketing activities that involved a search engine. It was an umbrella term that covered SEO, paid search, and even social media marketing in some cases. However, over the years, the term has started to refer more and more to PPC and paid searches. This is what we will refer to as SEM in this article.

The Benefits of SEM

  1. Works well on a small budget

Every business expense has to be justified, and in most cases, that justification is the ROI. For PPC campaigns, the ROI can be quite appealing. Due to the technology behind PPC, companies can achieve profitable results on small budgets. For example, marketers can target customers and leads at various stages of the sales funnel, based on geography, time of day, and language. This means that a company can tailor its efforts with great precision and achieve a wide range of objectives on a low budget.

  1. Rapid-fire A/B testing

A/B testing is the cornerstone of advertising. The faster you can test messaging, the faster you can find something that resonates with the market. Gone are the days when you could only test a handful of versions of the copy. Nowadays, thanks to technologies such as the PPC, you can test several messages a week. Something as simple as switching the description line, or rearranging the copy on the landing page can see an increase in click-through rates by up to 8%.

  1. Easily test new markets

If one market responds well to your messaging and products, you can easily test another for a very low price. For example, if the British Canadian market responds well to one of your campaigns, all you have to do is switch the language to French to expand your reach in a very short period of time. Odds are that in geographically connected areas, the culture is similar enough to replicate the success of one marketing campaign with a simple translation.

  1. Strong analytics and data returns

When operating on a tight budget, it’s important to make the right decision as soon as possible. This is why you want to have access to as much data as possible. Most PPC platforms offer very sophisticated tools to measure and return highly relevant data points to your marketing team, ensuring that the build-test-learn loop is much more rapid, and thus much cheaper to implement.

  1. Immediate results

No marketing effort will bring in results as fast as search engine marketing. This is good for testing, of course, but once the messaging is right, it is very good for growing your business. In general, you can expect a click-through rate per campaign of 1 to 5%, and a 2 to 5% conversion rate on your website. If we take a scenario in which you have a 1% click-through rate on your ads, and a 2% conversion rate, you will need about 5,000 views on your ad before you make a sale. The good news is that you only have to pay for the clicks on your ad. Let’s assume that you have to pay $1-2 per click initially—this translates into $50 to $100 per sale/lead. Within a few weeks, a good marketer will be able to cut this price in half.

Contact us for more information

If you are looking for search engine marketing in Chicago, or would like to know more on how to run one of these campaigns for your business, contact us today. One of our specialists will be able to answer any questions you may have.  We are the top-ranked SEM/PPC agency and company serving Chicago and the suburbs.