Search advertising is a way of getting a business’s ad or message to appear on search engine results pages (specifically, the first page of results). There are two elements of search advertising used to achieve this – Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What Is SEM?
Search Engine Marketing is the use of paid strategies to appear on a search engine results page. In the marketing industry, SEM is also referred to as Pay-Per-Click marketing (PPC). Using PPC, a business does not have to pay for the ad appearing on the results page unless the user clicks on it, thus making it a cost-effective tactic to increase brand awareness and increase website traffic.
Google Ads is the most commonly used platform for this tactic, however, it can also be done on search engines like Bing and Yahoo. On Google Ads, business advertisers develop a list of keywords related to their products and services that their audience is most likely to search. They then bid on those keywords in an effort to be shown at the top of the search results page.
When a user enters a search query, Google looks at the pool of business advertisers bidding on keywords contained in the query. Several factors go into which businesses are chosen to appear in prime ad space. Things like the relevance of keywords, quality of ad campaigns, and the amount of their keyword bid budget are all considered.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the use of organic tactics to achieve visibility on search engine results pages. In other words, business advertisers do not pay for the placement – they earn it through tactics that demonstrate their content is valuable and accurate.
There are three main categories of SEO techniques that when combined, make a strong SEO plan:
- On-page – This technique ensures that each page of a website contains keyword-rich content related to the business, making it easier to find when a user enters a query.
- Technical – This focuses on the backend structure and foundation of a website so it is fully optimized for both users and search engines.
- Off-page – Keeping local listings and directory profiles up-to-date as well as having other high-quality websites link to content on a website will prove to search engines that a business’s website is reputable and reliable.
SEO efforts are extremely valuable to business advertisers as they are long-lasting. In an interview with eMarketer, Cate Dunn, enterprise client partner at SEO firm Terakeet said that SEO investments, “… live on after those dollars are spent. If you spend money to develop content and technology, that has a long-term ripple effect, and those things have the possibility to rank in search results forever.”
Interested in starting your own SEM campaign or improving your website’s SEO? Our team at River Valley Media Group will handle everything from start to finish, from the extensive keyword research and ad creation to campaign optimization. We’ll work with you to ensure a successful campaign with a high ROI. Contact us today!