It’s safe to say you are probably somewhat familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), but what about search marketing? Originally referred to as “search engine marketing”, search marketing is the other side of SEO (think paid and unpaid search activity). For small businesses, this is one of the most important aspects of any good digital marketing plan. In a nutshell, search marketing is an effective way for you to increase visibility, reach your target audience, and grow your brand.
What is Search Marketing?
Before we move any further, an important distinction to make is that search marketing, or SEM, is not the same thing as SEO.
I know, confusing.
While the two work closely together, SEM is more about advertising and gives you instant gratification by displaying ads in search engine results. SEO, on the other hand, is a long-term approach that will keep your brand relevant and allow you to continuously reach new customers. Search marketing relies heavily on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, allowing you to use Google and Bing ads to spread the word about your brand.
Why Does it Matter to My Business?
As a small business, finding the right tactics to grow your brand and become successful is difficult, to say the least. This is why it is so important that you look for the most efficient ways to spend your marketing dollars – which often means search engine marketing. This is especially important during the busy holiday shopping season, as millions of consumers will be relying on Google and other search engines to help them fulfill those gift-buying lists.
It is unfortunately common for businesses to fall behind a bit when it comes to integrating all these different strategies into their overall digital marketing plan. Not only does it seem like there is always something new you should be doing, but Google is constantly changing their algorithms, keeping us all on our toes.
It may help to look at SEM as a set of techniques used to bring more traffic to your business website, as it works to promote websites through ads on search engine results pages. This can be done through paid advertising or organic placement, depending on your brand and goals.
Search marketing also matters to your business for the following reasons:
- It increases brand awareness
- It can help you sell your products or services to online customers
- It can increase your sales and generate new leads
- It can provide your customers with solid, informational content
Tips for Using Search Marketing to Grow Your Brand
When used in conjunction with SEO, search marketing can increase visibility and showcase your brand. This is important, as a good SEM strategy can literally drive potential customers directly to your website.
Here are a few tips for using search marketing – during the holidays and otherwise – to grow your brand:
- Pick the appropriate keywords
- Use these keywords in your online campaigns and paid ads
- Make sure you know who your audience is
- Create eye-catching, informative ads people will want to click on
- Drive your audience from ads to an SEO landing page to increase conversion rates
We hope you now understand just how valuable search marketing can be to your digital marketing strategy. We know how overwhelming this can be, especially when you are launching a holiday campaign to promote your brand. If you have any questions or would like our help with this, get in touch with us! We’re happy to brainstorm at no cost to you.