Utah SEM – Three Strategies for Pay per Click
Some people have noticed I haven’t spent much time talking about search engine marketing (SEM) on this site, even though I prominently mention it in my site title. Let’s fix that real quickly.
Once upon a time, SEM meant buying ads like banner ads or billboard ads through third parties. These days the common definition is buying text ads on search engines that are keyword driven, i.e. pay-per-click.
Some Internet marketers will tell you to focus on one type of web strategy. I suggest there is a time and place for them all. SEO is a fundamental discipline of Internet marketing and should always be used. Social media is rapidly transitioning from a “want” to a “need.” SEM can help augment both.
The nice thing about SEM is you only pay when you get an interested prospect. Your ad can be served hundreds or thousands of times before this happens. This is called cost per click or CPC. Other advertising payment mechanisms are cost per thousand views (CPM) or payment when a prospect provides information (CPL) or a sale (CPA).
Please note I didn’t say SEM should be the heart of an Internet marketing campaign. It should be used to augment a campaign. Here are three scenarios when this is necessary.
A new website –
If you’re just starting a new website, organic search engine results are going to be difficult to obtain during the first six months, even if you’re using alternate SEO methods. SEM solves this problem. It can also help with SEO if you get noticed by sites that are willing to link to you.
A temporary or promotional campaign –
If you get a special price or an over shipment of widget X, a PPC campaign is a great way to blow them out. Organic SEO would take too long to take effect, while SEM can be going in just a few hours. Any advertising that is time sensitive can benefit from SEM.
To control the sales cycle –
SEM is also highly effective at controlling the sales cycle. Several years ago I worked for a lead generation company in the secondary education field. Their major client would often call in asking to decrease or increase lead volume for certain schools. PPC allowed us to have more control of the amount of leads for a particular school and even a particular program offering.
For an Internet marketing campaign, I believe in using as many tools as I can to create effective results. Whether it be SEO, social media, press releases, article marketing or any of the other tools in my kit. SEM is just another tool that can be effectively used to augment a web marketing campaign. Use it wisely.