How do you develop the right strategy? What's the right budget for search engine marketing (SEM)? And should you focus more on SEO or PPC?
We wanted to leverage our search marketing expertise to answer a few frequently asked questions about SEM.
What You Need To Know About Search Engine Marketing In Denver
If you can't find the answer you need in our FAQs below, feel free to give us a call! Our marketers are always happy to chat about search engine marketing and offer their two cents.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is essentially a digital marketing strategy that works to increase the digital visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). Every SEM strategy is dependent upon two similar, yet unique marketing channels:
- Search engine optimization
- Pay-per-click advertising
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the digital marketing strategy of optimizing and improving your website rankings to attract new organic visitors to your site. This is a gradual process that aims to get your site listed on the first page of SERPs for various keywords.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is a long-term strategy, which means it won't deliver results overnight. Especially for brand new websites, SEO can take a long time to generate leads for your business. This is because your search engine rankings are dependent upon a plethora of factors, from page load times and external links to your site security features and image alt tags.
That said, every search engine has its own ranking algorithms to determine the best results for searchers. However, Google has established the standard for the industry and they have created an SEO Starter Guide to jumpstart your marketing efforts.
To truly succeed at SEO, you'll need to conduct diligent keyword research and optimize the content on your entire site around the most relevant keywords for your business. You'll also need technical website expertise to ensure your website is functioning properly and displaying correctly. And you'll likely need to conduct routine re-optimizations of your website in the future too.
What Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?
Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC for short, is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee every time a user clicks on one of their online advertisements (hence the name). PPC ads can come in a variety of formats, but paid search ads (both text and visual ads) are the most common ones.
How Does PPC Work?
For ads to appear alongside search results, ads will enter a process called the Ad Auction. This is an automated bidding system in which advertisers bid on keywords/terms that they want to trigger/display their ads.
When a searcher submits a query, like "basketballs," Google will run through complex algorithmic calculations in the Ad Auction system within nanoseconds. This system then determines which ads are displayed for that search query. It also determines the order in which the ads are shown and by which advertiser.
What's The Right Budget For SEM?
The appropriate SEM budget will depend on several factors, including:
- The industry and size of your business
- The goal of your search marketing efforts
- Which digital marketing channels you want to pursue
- And which search engines you want to target
While PPC ads require an advertising budget, SEO has little-to-no costs. As long as you routinely publish new content and have fully optimized your site for relevant keywords, your site will eventually rise through the rankings and continuously generate organic leads for your business for free.
That said, you can generally expect most PPC ads to cost at least $1-$2 per click. However, the more competitive your keywords are, the higher the cost per click (CPC). For instance, the average CPC for "insurance" may run as high as $48 (WordStream).
In general, we recommend that most businesses devote at least 10%-15% of their annual revenue to their marketing strategies.
Should I Run PPC Ads On Bing Or Yahoo?
There's no reason not to. While it is true that Google is the dominant search engine across the globe, millions of people still search through Bing and Yahoo. In fact, Bing gets over 1 billion visits every month (Backlinko).
Plus, the CPC for paid ads will likely be lower on Bing than Google. And thanks to Microsoft's partnership with Verizon Media, your Bing Ads can be served on Yahoo search results.
Give it a try and see what kinds of results you generate through Microsoft Ads.
How Can I Tell If SEM Is Right For My Company?
Are you interested in attracting new customers to your brand? If so, you can't afford to ignore search engine marketing strategies.
Whether you invest in SEO, PPC, or both, search engine marketing presents a wealth of opportunities to improve your bottom line. In our digital era, SEM should be a part of every business’s marketing efforts.
How Do I Get Started On Search Engine Marketing In Denver?
Search engine marketing isn't easy. Unless you're already familiar with all of the bits and pieces of the search engine industry, it can be difficult to develop the right SEM strategy. That's why it's often best to enlist the help of professionals. And there's no better place to turn that Real FiG Advertising + Marketing.
For over 12 years now, FiG has been developing, implementing, and continuously improving search engine marketing strategies. We are intimately familiar with all of the best practices for SEO and PPC, and we are ready to put our knowledge to work for your benefit.
Contact Real FiG Advertising + Marketing today to learn how we help you excel at search engine marketing in Denver.