There is so much content around the web on the ins and outs of search engine marketing (SEM) and its two major components; search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising. Most businesses end up discovering this growing revenue builder because they’re already online and aren’t seeing the Promised Land of results that were trumpeted by experts and gurus alike. After a bit of digging, or a helpful referral, they find out that they need ‘to do search engine marketing’.
Of course, once that search query is typed into Google or Bing, the world wide web becomes a more daunting place. They discover that there are around 7 or 8 major skill sets to SEM and around a billion recommended approaches. I found this graphic called ‘Noob Guide to Online Marketing’ from Unbounce.com. It’s a big graphic with lots of detail, so scroll a bit.
If you’ve digested that and think its manageable, then your business requires so little effort that I’d like to know where to sign up. Or you have a big enough budget to hire several people to do it in house. I always point out that most SEO and SEM companies don’t have enough money to work full time on their own sites’ campaigns. The majority of the top-ranked SEO brands on Google are selling conferences, software, memberships,and speaking engagements. Their income is almost strictly for on-page conversions or short term, low service efforts like landing pages. The rest of us work for clients, creating effective marketing efforts that drive results.
But back to the original question. Why SEM? The truth of the matter is that for any given business there is usually a large number of competitors. In larger cities like Los Angeles and Seattle (where we are ‘hosted’), each industry is usually teetering just at the over saturation point. Amidst all of that, your business needs to rise to the top.
With so many people turning away from print advertising, away from television, radio, and other media formats, you need to be where they are. The speed at which our cultural economic experience is moving to the internet is startling.
The answer is just too simple at this point- you need to have an SEM partner because that is where your clients go to find you.