SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing.
This acronym covers several elements of online marketing that, when employed properly, work together to increase your company’s web traffic, online presence, and conversions to sales.
There are three key elements of SEM that work in conjunction with each other to direct traffic towards your website and translate that traffic into sales.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization refers to a set of techniques for generating traffic that all revolve around optimizing your web presence to be highly ranked in the major search engines.
SEO is based on organic ranking and works by gaining as high a possible organic listing to bring additional traffic and attention to your website. Being high in the rankings, ie… 1-3 on the front page, will bring internet users to your website when they are searching for specific terms related to your brand, products and services.
Some of the key aspects of SEO include:
- Keywords and targeted search terms strategically integrated into the content of your website, including Meta tags, headers, and text withing your content.
- Inbound links to your site from other relevant websites. This can take time and effort, but being listed on other sites in your category gives your web presence credibility.
- Targeted, well-researched and frequently updated content. With CSM operating systems, you can do this with direct feeds from Twitter, Facebook and other social media resources.
- Content Marketing
Using Google Adwords
Whereas SEO works with organic traffic, raising your website’s rank within search engines naturally through keywords and other strategies, advertising with Google, Bing and other search engines are exactly that, paid for ads.
Paid advertising usually appears in a few key forms:
- - Adwords or related programs. These are keywords that are closely associated with your brand that you pay to have even more firmly attached to that brand via Google. When you purchase an adword from Google, whenever anyone searches for that term, your brand’s site will always appear at the top of the (paid) search results if you bid high enough on the key word.
- PPC (pay-per-click) ads. These are ads placed on targeted websites that are frequented by members of your target audience. Each time someone clicks through to your website via one of these ads, you pay the owner of the website a fee (also the network you purchased them through).
- Social Media Ads. These can come in the form of Twitter trending topics that you promote, Facebook ads, or other paid ads that appear on social media.
Having an active, integrated presence on social media is absolutely necessary to an effective SEM strategy.
Also, your social media presence should be incorporated into your main site in the form of “like” buttons, sharing options and other widgets. For example, brands with a Facebook page generally see a 300% increase in referral traffic through that social media site.
Social media presence also positively effects e-commerce behaviour. Giantnerd.com saw a 100% increase in revenue from Facebook within a month of adding a “like” button to their site.
Being able to interact with a brand via social media has a tremendous positive influence on your target audience, and they respond to social media not just by boosting your brand’s profile and proving your SEM strategy effective, but also by buying your products and services.
So, by integrating these three aspects of SEM effectively, you can create a well-executed and coordinated SEM strategy that is sure to drive traffic to your site, resulting in a rise of your brand’s online profile and translating directly into an increase of sales.