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SEM paying your way to the top

31 May 2016

SEM paying your way to the top

Life is always just that little bit easier when you have a ticket that enables you to jump the queue. There must be at least of handful of you out there reading this, that have lined up for hours at Dreamworld on an excruciatingly hot day, waiting for a ride that will last all of a few seconds and thinking “if only I could jump the queue!”

The same can be said of the internet. Out of all those thousands of results you get for a search engine query – in google for example – only a handful of these get a prime position on the first page. And now I hear you ask, “how do I get my site link visible on the first page? How do I jump the queue?”

Blog SEM

Jump the queue with SEM

The good news is that with SEM, jumping the queue is indeed possible. But its no surprise to learn such a privilege comes with a price. SEM, or search engine marketing, is simply the paid placement of an Ad. For a fee, your site link will appear at the top, or to the right of the search engine results page.

There are two main forms of paid placement. These are paid inclusion and Pay per click (PPC). Paid inclusion is where you pay the provider a set fee, usually annually. Pay per click on the other hand enables only a set amount of clicks per day before the Ad disappears. How many clicks is up to you, it all depends how much you are willing to spend and if you feel it is the most appropriate approach for your business. PPC also requires a monthly management fee. The cost per click is also variable, depending on which key words and phrases are targeted. Popular keywords will incur a greater cost - anything from a few cents to multiple dollars.

Some of the most common providers of PPC are listed below;

  • Google AdWords
  • Bing Ads
  • Banner ads on third party sites
  • Social media platforms i.e. facebook Ads

What about SEO?

We all know how tempting it is to cut corners, even though there is nearly always some form of compromise that has to be made. The internet is no exception. You could take the easy road and focus on SEM. Sure, your site link will be pushed to the front of the line, which is very likely going to increase your site traffic (visits). But it is crucial to remember not to waste this advantage.

Having increased traffic is pointless if you cannot convert the traffic into sales. This is where SEO comes in. If the quality of your site content is poor, the probability of gaining conversions is lower. In the arena of web design ‘Content is king’. By applying SEO tactics, you are ensuring a higher quality of content and less likely to dissuade a customer from making a purchase.

SEO should always be a consideration in web design. SEM on the other hand is optional. They do work well in combination, but try to resist cutting corners and discounting SEO if you want to achieve an optimal conversion rate.

And always remember, if your SEO is up to scratch, you may not even need to bother with SEM. Your search engine ranking may be high enough without it. The cost of SEM may outweigh the benefits. In saying this though, it may be worthwhile trialling SEM to see if your conversion rate increases.

If you are not familiar with SEO and search engine rankings, refer to our previous blog article. - Click Here

Written by
John Blythman