SEO ( Search Engine optimization) displays the search results in such a way that websites with rich content and has relevant keywords that match the user’s search query. The websites get a ranking based on the above factors( top search results). The most important factor to remember about SEO is that it is “organic” or “free”. The businesses need not pay any money when the website is listed in the search results in SEO. Those websites occupy the central part of the search page.
The websites displayed at the top of the page and the rightmost end are paid ones (marked as Ad – advertisement). This is called Pay per click advertising or marketing ( PPC). The combination of SEO and paid services together is called SEM ( Search Engine Marketing). Nowadays, it solely refers to the paid search. When the user takes any action, either make a call or click on the link, then the businesses have to pay for it.
Steps in SEM
The keyword research is conducted and the most relevant keywords related to their product or service are chosen ( keyword planner tools can be used too). The particular geographic location to display the ad is finalized (especially, the special discounts for locals). A text-based ad to display in the search results is created. The brand or businesses bid on a price they are willing to pay for each click on their ad.
The ABCs of SEM
To drive more traffic to the website, the businesses take part in AUCTIONS (to position their website) and bid for their keywords. They purchase ads on search engines ( Yahoo !, Bing ) using keywords that are relevant to their website visitors. When their website ranking is high, it appears in the top search results ( above the organic or free search results). The active buyers will immediately click on the link and reach the landing page of the website or make an instant call. They can browse the products in different categories, add it to their shopping cart and purchase it online using the web-based payment software. During peak time, the companies have to bid for a higher price. They have to see that it is within their affordable limit – BUDGET. Therefore, SEM gives immediate results whereas SEO gives long-lasting results. SEM offers commerciality.
Paid Ads: These advertisements must be clear and concise, to the point. They can consider several factors – depending on the location, specific time duration, etc. They enter a topic or main headline, text for the body of the advertisement, a call-to-action, and a URL for the hyperlink.
A click-through event happens whenever a visitor in a search engine clicks on a displayed ad from the search result.CTR or Click-Through-Rate is calculated based on the clicks and converting it as a percentage. The PPC network fixes the minimum CPC that the businesses need to bid before the ads can run or show up on the publisher site as paid search results.CTR and CPC are the important performance indicators that a brand or advertiser uses for deciding future marketing investment.
PPC Networks: Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Yahoo! Search Marketing are the top three PPC networks in use.
The big companies afford to advertise in large Ad networks and startups stick to small Ad networks. The conversion rate is expected to be higher in SEM compared to SEO. The success or failure of a search engine marketing campaign depends on how products or service companies create and classify keywords. They attract targeted traffic and are more likely to convert them into potential customers or clients.
We shall discuss social media marketing and content marketing later.