Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of marketing a company through paid advertisements to appear in search engines. Nearly everyone, consumers and business decision-makers, search for the answers to their needs on search engines like Google and Bing, which is why Search Engine Marketing should be a vital aspect of any company’s marketing strategy.
The most commonly used search engine is Google, of course. It’s so common that “Google” is now a verb! Bing also holds a small market share though and there are other search engines you may want to explore depending on the geographical locations of your target market, such as Baidu and Yandex.
The goal of SEM is to match the consumer’s request and needs with the best possible solutions. To do this, search engines look through a variety of characteristics on your website and social media platforms to gather as much relevant information as possible. If you meet the requirements they are looking for, your visibility will increase and so will your sales, which is why SEM is so important.
Search engine marketing (SEM) consists of two mutually reinforced components:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about organic content and visibility. It refers to the optimization of the technical aspects and content of a website to meet the user’s needs. Search engines only show relevant results, so visibility and discoverability are very important. Properly done, Search Engine Optimization improves the organic visibility of the site, which increases traffic to the site. Increased traffic results in increase company sales.
Search Engine Advertising (SEA), on the other hand, is paid advertising. Paid ads will get to the top of the search results when you can’t get there yet organically with your chosen keywords. Ad placements for keyword advertising vary by search engine but on Google, a maximum of the first five search results are ads, the rest are there through organic efforts with SEO. You can easily recognize ads by the word, “Ad” in the top left corner of the result.
With well-designed and implemented keyword advertising, you will attract the customers most relevant to your business. One of the most intimidating aspects of paid advertising is obviously the cost. The good news is that with Google ads, you only pay for clicks. The higher the quality of advertising you do from a search engine perspective, the lower the cost per click you will pay to take visitors to your website.
Search engine advertising works on an auction basis, which means that for each search made, an auction is held between all the advertisers using that keyword. However, you can’t succeed in the auction by money alone. Another major factor in winning the auction is the quality of advertising, which is determined largely by the relevance of the keyword to the search on the search engine, the content of the ad, the estimated likelihood that the ad will be clicked relative to competitors, and the landing page. The landing page is especially important, which is where Search Engine Optimization comes into play.
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Google is, by far, the most familiar search engine. Many people “google” things on a daily basis but it is by no means the only search engine in the world. In fact, depending on your business and target market area, it can be very advantageous to learn more about other search engines and how they can best be utilized. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.
Google is the largest search engine in the world. According to Statcounter, it has a superior market share of more than 96 and more than 10 billion Google searches are made in Florida every year. Even more staggering, 160 billion searches are made per month globally.
Microsoft’s Bing has a market share of 1.7% in Florida, but it is the second largest search engine in the world. Although Google exports the largest search volumes, there are still a large number of potential users who actively use Bing as their search engine. So depending on your target audience, Bing may be the right marketing channel for your business as well.
In China, Google is banned, so the most widely used search engine in China is Baidu. As Baidu’s use is mainly limited to China, its worldwide market share is only around 1% (Statcounter 2020). If your company’s target market is in China though, we strongly recommend becoming familiar with search engine marketing on Baidu.
Yandex is Russia’s answer to search engine technology. Like Baidu, its use is limited to a certain part of the world, so its global market share is considerably smaller. However, if your target market is in Russia, ads on this engine are worth consideration.
Google Search Engine Marketing is expanding into other services as well, most notably Google My Business and Google Maps. Google Maps is one of Google’s most popular services and is frequently used when searching for new services and specific addresses. The map will appear in the search engine results too if you search a place by name or category, such as “cuban restaurant miami” or “kubla Miami”, which is an incredible tool to physically drive clients your way. If you want your business to be included in these results though, you’ll need to set up a free Google My Business account for your business.
A Google My Business account gives you access to map search and location searches, but it’s also an opportunity to showcase your business and gather customer reviews, which is definitely one of the most important features of Google My Business. So many people use Google’s map services to fulfill an immediate need across various industries, including restaurants, hairdressers, shops and more. Reviews are often a deciding factor in choosing which service provider to turn to, so make sure you get reviews, and respond to all of them, positive and negative. There several other advanced features on Google My Business that can help drive customers your way, but at a minimum, make sure your contact information and opening hours are current. We highly recommend posting offers, news and events regularly as well.
If your goal is to increase traffic to your website, increase leads and increase sales, Search Engine Marketing is the right marketing tool for you. Do you need help with search engine optimization, advertising, or maybe both? At Kubla, we are happy to help you design the whole of search engine marketing strategy and maintenance plan. Feel free to contact us to learn more about us and how we can help!Contact us!
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