When It Absolutely Positively Has To Be At the Top of the Page Overnight
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been called the “organic” way to increase your search rankings. You adapt your pages to fit what people and search engines are looking for. It takes the search engines a little while to recognize your new content and formatting, but the process takes place naturally.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) forgoes the “natural” approach. It’s basically like genetic modification for websites. Simply put, you pay search engines to appear at the top of specific types of searches. While you are a “sponsored listing,” it’s one guaranteed way of putting your company in front of anyone searching for your product. Since we only use SEM methods approved by the search engines (because it’s how they make money off “free” searches), there are no ethical issues or sneaky tricks taking place. It’s merely a very effective form of narrowly directed advertising.
We develop the scope of your marketing campaign based on your budget. The cost is generally a factor of the amount of visitors your ads generate for your website, thus the “Pay Per Click” moniker that is also used for this type of advertising. To be cost effective, you must combine SEM with keyword research and A/B testing.
We also find that if you do not combine SEM with SEO, ending your ad campaign may result in a drop-off in your number of referrals from search engines. You may find, however, that the increased earnings merit continuing such a campaign indefinitely. Many major online retailers rely on SEM as their primary means of generating business.
The Secret of My Success?
Can you succeed without SEM? That depends on the nature of your business and the competition that you face. In this sense, it’s much like the question a farmer faces when deciding whether or not to go organic or buy genetically modified plants — except that SEM will never result in you facing natural foods protestors, a ban at your local farmers’ market, and an attack of mutant killer tomatoes.