SEM, or search engine marketing, is the internet marketing activity that revolves around use of paid advertising on search engines in order to promote a company, website, product, or service. It is fairly straightforward on the face of it, and the tools are freely available and easy to use, but there are still many questions that we hear from our customers regularly. In this article, we’re going to answer some of the ones that we hear most often from Rockford businesses.

How does SEM work for my business?

The internet has become one of the most affordable and most effective avenues of advertising. It makes your business information available to your clients 24/7, and depending on your market, this means that you can reach customers at every hour of the day. This directly translates into higher eCommerce sales, improved lead generation, a higher number of visitors to your physical location, and a higher conversion rate for various actions that you want your customers to take.

What is an SEM audit?

An SEM audit is a procedure that may be performed by your digital marketing service provider, which will help you gather and analyze the following data points:

  • The location of the people who visit your website
  • The search terms and referral sites used to find the business
  • Potential audiences that are currently not reaching your business
  • Search engine ranking possibilities
  • Websites and directories that could list your business and generate extra referral traffic
  • Pay-per-click campaign optimization opportunities
  • Other SEM opportunities that are currently untapped

How is SEM different than SEO?

So, SEM is all about marketing on the search engine, but what is SEO? SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and it is the practice of achieving higher ranks for a company’s website on search engine results. Both practices have their place in an online marketing strategy, with SEM being a great way to bring in users in the short term, while SEO is more of a long-term investment. SEO takes some time to build up. However, once you start to see results, the results will compound, and you will see more and more users flock to your website.

Does Search Engine Marketing (SEM) work for small businesses in a localized market?

Yes, SEM is very effective for small businesses targeting a specific geographic area. First, you have the very small cost of entry for each campaign, and second, you can target a geographic location based on keywords. This is great for both online and brick-and-mortar businesses that operate in a specific region. For example, you may have a themed restaurant, and you want to target people in the downtown area during the evening. Or, you may run a real estate business, and you are targeting clients that want to buy a home in the suburbs. In any case, you can tailor your ad campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

Is SEM (Search Engine Marketing) only available on Google?

SEM can be spread across all the major search engines, including Bing and Yahoo. While Google does have the largest user base, Bing users are more likely to click on ads. This means that you might achieve a lower cost-per-conversion on Bing than you would on Google. On top of that, Bing Ads (the advertising platform), covers both Bing and Yahoo’s search engine.

Are you interested in starting a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign in Rockford?

SEM can be a great way to boost your online presence and your inflow of customers on a tight budget. If you would like to start a campaign for Search Engine Marketing in Rockford, we’re here to help.  Contact us today to get started.