Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

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What is it?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites and their offerings by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising. In a nutshell, it is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.

Using Google as an example, these ads are usually displayed over and right beside the natural search results. See image below:

search engine ads



How’s it different from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or unpaid (“organic”) search results. In the long term, this is by far the best way of getting free targeted traffic to your website with zero or minimal cost.


natural and paid search results difference


SEO is basically optimizing your website to rank higher in the search engines and get free traffic. This includes methods such as cleaning out the code and the way your website is structured, using the proper key phrases and meta data etc. The resulting or desired result, depending on other factors such as competition, is that your website rises to the top of organic/natural search results as in the image above.

However, even when well done, SEO can take months and up to a year to produce real results, such as a first page or top 5 ranking for your primary key words, depending on factors such as competition. SEM, on the other hand, can produce results in the form of targeted traffic in minutes!


How can it benefit my business?

Based on the above, it’s a no brainer how SEM can benefit your business. Instead of waiting up to a year, or never, for your website to start receiving valuable traffic and attendant business leads or sales, within an hour of a properly setup campaign, you can begin receiving targeted traffic to your site. Here’s a list of benefits listed for your quick perusal:

1. Targeted Traffic, 24/7 – You receive highly targeted traffic, which by the way means people who’re actually interested in your offerings, round the clock. The campaign can also be configured to focus on people from a particular geographic location, such as Lagos, or the whole of Nigeria.

2. Cost Effective – SEM is extremely cost-effective compared to other advertising media, as it has arguably the least cost per customer acquisition. SEM targets the individuals who are actively seeking information on your company’s products or services and is the most cost effective way of targeting this market. If your business is not actively pursuing Search Engine Marketing, you can be sure one of your competitors is, and gaining on market share.

3. Quick To Implement – Once your campaign is properly setup, your ads can begin attracting traffic within an hour.

4. Measurable & Flexible – SEM can provide extensive data on your campaign. Which ads are attracting the most traffic, which keywords are working and which ones are not, where your traffic is coming from, making it easier to adjust your campaign to capitalize on what works.

Contact us today to discuss search engine marketing options for your business!

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About The Author

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A CIW Certified Website Design Professional & Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 10 years' experience. Creative Director at Level Seven Ltd. Nigeria's leading, award-winning website design company based in Lagos.
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One thought on “Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

  1. Victor says:

    Nice and instresting SEO topic

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