Search Engine Marketing…What Does It Even Mean?

Let’s Start By Breaking it Down

One way I like to evaluate a situation is by putting myself in other’s shoes. When I’m looking to buy something, I’m like the majority of today’s customers, I look online. Now, what comes up in the search results is all dialed up by something called Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) might sound like a foreign language to you….and that’s understandable!

Let’s think of SEM as two separate entities, paid search, and organic search. Paid search results are ads that are generated by the search engine (let’s use Google in this case). These paid search results give the person searching almost exactly what they are looking for. The main reason a business would use paid search ads is to attract relevant users that are ready-to-buy. On the flip side, organic search is what naturally comes up in search results without any type of ad payment by the said company. These results are more focused on attracting relevant users browsing the web. Getting the gist of it? Let’s look deeper…..

Paid Search

Paid search results are GREAT for generating instant results like a pretty impressive ROI on your ad. What is beneficial for using paid search is that your company does not get charged for the ad being displayed. Your company only gets charged on if it gets clicked on (pay-per-click). This is nice of the search engines because it gives everyone the opportunity for their ad to be displayed, regardless of the budget.

What is also nice is that paid ads will typically provide your business analytics, (impressions, cost-per-click, cost, etc.) for how your ads are doing. With these analytics, you can gauge which ads are doing better than others in drawing customers and leading to conversions.

Google Ads will provide your company analytics on your ad campaign!

All you have to do is write a really good ad. That can be accomplished according to Google Ads, through using relevant keywords your target user is using (See SEMRush keyword magic tool for help), quality landing pages (the page that pops up when the user clicks on the ad), and your bid on the ad space.

Google cares about what is being displayed in its search results pages as well because they are a business too. They will not just put any ad out there in someone’s search results. The last thing they want to do is show bad advertisements on their page just because someone paid a lot for that page. That can lead to them losing their loyal followers.

Organic Search

Organic search is very beneficial to a companies budget because it costs next to nothing. But it takes the correct steps to get your landing pages shown atop of your target user’s Google search results. Like I stated earlier, keywords are key in getting your paid ad shown.

The same goes for organic search results. It is just as important, if not more important to optimize your title tag and meta description with relevant keywords. This is because there are a lot of companies looking for their landing pages to be at the top of the organic search results. Not familiar with the title of the terms tag and meta description? The title tag is the link shown in the Google search results, that leads the user to your page. Whereas the meta description is the description below the link that gives the user a preview of what they will come across on your landing page. Here is a visual representation of a title tag and meta description:

An additional benefit to organic search is Google users tend to find organic results more credible and trustworthy. They may feel like paid ads might just be something shown to them because a company is looking for a sale.

Organic search tends to feel more comfortable for the user as they feel like they are not being schemed into a sale, which can lead to better user experience. This said feeling allows them to freely browse search results and different sites without the feeling of being “pressured” into a sale. Before I got into digital marketing, I know this is how I felt about paid ads, they seemed kind of pushy, so I am trying to put myself in the user’s shoes once again.

However, now that I have been working in digital marketing for a little while now, I realize that companies who put out paid ads are just trying to help the user find what they are looking for. How nice of them :D. But be aware that the common Google user may not realize that. So be mindful of how your audience thinks when conducting a search.

SEM can be Tricky

We at James Pellizzi & Co understand the challenges that companies face when making an effort to climb their landing pages to the top of Google’s search results. We are ready to be your climbing guide to the top. Let’s chat! 🙂


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