SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a pooling of various online marketing strategies to increase traffic flow to a website, a blanket term which includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SMO (Social Media Optimization), pay-per-click advertising, and paid inclusion into search engines.
But why is SEM so effective? A good SEM campaign can vastly increase your website’s traffic and boost sales, more so than any other marketing campaign. So why does it work so well?
The answer is variety. SEM draws on many different strategies, rather than relying on just one. SMO “gets the word out” to entire communities of people with potential interest in your products and services. Pay-per-click advertising works much like standard marketing, placing your advertisements on the monitors of hundreds if not thousands of people across the Internet. Paid inclusion makes sure search engines get around to evaluating and listing your website in a timely fashion. And SEO ensures that your website’s META tags, keyword content, and backlink promotions all work together to ensure that your website places as high as possible on said search engines.
In essence, where your traditional marketing campaign might target only one or two areas, good SEM covers the full spectrum of marketing possibilities.
Be sure before paying for SEM that you know what the company is offering, however. A good SEM service will be upfront about which of these services it offers, and how much it charges for them. Some SEM services focus on only one or two aspects of online marketing, such as search engine inclusion and SEO, for example. Others offer certain services for low prices, but charge significantly more to include the full spectrum of SEM. And there is nothing wrong with paying a SEM service to do strictly SEO or strictly search engine inclusion. But you should know upfront that that’s all the service plans to do, and that anything more will cost extra.
SEM is effective because it works with the natural patterns of traffic on the Internet. It capitalizes on advertisements, on search engines, even on word of mouth through social media. A good SEM company knows how to use each outlet of marketing to its best advantage, and your business booms as a result of it. That’s the true secret of SEM; knowing how to work with the Internet, instead of working against it.