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Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a relatively newer term. (Not to be confused with Search Engine Optimization(SEO)).

Unlike Search Engine Optimization which is an organic way of driving traffic to your site determined by your content, site structure and following the recommendations of the search engines, Search Engine Marketing utilizes paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages. Site owners or advertisers bid on key words and phrases to provide the advertisers with the opportunity to show their ads and drive traffic to their website.

Search Engine Optimization is often referred to as Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising. While the typical format for these advertisements are text based ads within the search engine results page, other formats such as product listing ads, banner advertisements, and in banner video are also available on other platforms and websites throughout the web providing additional opportunities for advertisers.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing has several advantages over traditional SEO.

  • It’s very quick to get exposure. Typically, a SEM campaign can be running in 10 days or less while displaying an advertiser’s ads at the top of the search engine result pages. Accomplishing this with traditional SEO could literally take weeks or months and is not guaranteed.
  • It’s very effective. Ads are served only to motivated consumers who triggered the ad being shown only after matching the pre-defined criteria for the advertisement. Clearly stated, it puts the ad only in front of the right consumer at the right time.

It is important to note that this is a highly technical as well as a potentially time consuming and expensive process. Effective campaign development requires a definitive definition of the consumer and product, or service being presented, keyword research, ad structuring, and keyword bidding. Once the campaign begins, a/b testing, analytics monitoring, and continual optimization should occur. There are many pitfalls for the casual user of these systems which could delay and advertiser’s success or significantly impact an advertising budget.

Since opening our doors, Grey Goose Graphics, LLC has provided a variety of SEM options to our clients. Early on, we completed this work in-house. Over the years we have transitioned most of this work to trusted partners and affiliates to manage these campaigns on our behalf. As a result we’ve been able to not only improve the quality of the campaigns, but also reduce the overall management fee structure for this work allowing clients to spend more on advertising and less on management.

If you are considering initiating a campaign or project of this type, here are a few tips and considerations to keep in mind.

  • When defining a campaign, in addition to defining your customer and identifying relative keywords & phrases, you will need to identify a target geographic location for your campaign to run. Consider where your customers live, work and play when you are defining a geographical target.
  • When you purchase or bid on keywords, you will establish the percentage of time which your ad will display. For example, if you are a pizza place and we search pizza places near me… Do you want to appear in 25%, 50%, 75% or more of the ads displayed? As you continue to increase your percentage, the cost of your campaign increases in a non-linear manner. It is more expensive to go from 75% to 90% than it is to go from 50% to 75%.
  • You should plan on a few months minimum when you evaluate this type of advertising. While a campaign can be active in a matter of days, it takes time for data to come in and make optimization adjustments. You will not see the full effects or realize the full potential until the 30–45-day mark. We suggest that advertiser’s budget for a 90-day period before making significant decisions or changes in their strategy.
  • The analytics are awesome! You should be able to see the traffic being generated from these ads and identify consumers that you obtained from these campaigns. Some campaigns have the ability to track originating phone calls to your organization if that metric is important.

Lastly, SEM does not have to be expensive or mess up your marketing budget. When done correctly and systematically, organizations can initiate a relatively small implementation budget that should pay for itself. Many companies use the initial revenue these campaigns generate to further fuel an expanded campaign and further grow their online presence and marketing funnel.

Contact us today to learn more about how this may benefit you!