Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the most important and most represented marketing channel within digital marketing. Also, it is one of the most necessary advertising activities in the world of marketing and business in general.
This marketing activity aims to position websites in search results on search engines. Here we primarily mean Google, as the most dominant and most accurate search engine in the world.
This marketing channel is the only method of advertising that does not ‘attack’ the audience/potential buyers.
In other words, in this communication channel, the market is not flooded with advertising messages as is the case with almost all other types of advertising – advertising on TV and radio, email and SMS advertising messages, flyers, posts on social networks, ads and videos on YouTube, etc.
The essence of action in SEM is to provide conditions for the advertising message, through the website, to appear only when the potential customer wants it.
That is, when a customer searches the Internet for a particular product or service, the task of SEM is to enable the website offering that product/service to appear in the best possible position in the customer’s search results.
How Can People Who Need Our Products or Services Find Our Website
When a user types the terms they search into an Internet search engine, advanced search engine algorithms will find websites that are relevant to the search terms in milliseconds.
In order for these search engines to recognize our site as relevant and display it to the customer, the site needs to contain the terms used by the customer in the search. These terms are defined as keywords.
Is it enough to just list those keywords on our site and we will appear in search results? No, it is not enough. Not even close enough.
So what does it take for our site to be found in search results? Preferably to be among the first? There is a way. In fact, there are two ways…
1. SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Website Optimization
SEO, or website optimization for search engines, is a set of actions aimed at meeting the conditions for displaying the site in search results. Search engines first search for sites that are relevant in their content to the given terms and then rank the sites by a number of parameters.
The position at which our site will be ranked in the search results also depends on the quality of the content and optimization of the site in relation to a competing site that uses the same terms – search keywords. The display results obtained in this way are called ‘natural’ or organic.
Site optimization is carried out through 2 separate methods:
i. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO means optimizing the content of the site, mainly during its development. On-page site optimization is a task for professionals who are well acquainted with the system of search algorithms.
If the site optimization is done incorrectly or not done at all during the development, the site can be subsequently optimized, but it is a more difficult (and more expensive) process. That is why we need to take care of proper services that can build our website and how to build it, as well as how our site works. Especially, to take care of its optimization.
ii. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is the process that takes place outside the site. There are a large number of activities in off-page optimization, and all of them aim to increase the ‘strength’ of our site, i.e. to raise its importance and relevance in relation to competing sites.
The most important processes in off-page optimization are:
- linking to other sites (the stronger the site that has a link to our site, the better the effects),
- interaction with social networks (connection with the strongest possible page on social networks)
Recently, search engines such as Google have been attaching increasing importance to off-page optimization.
The impact of on-page optimization on the site ranking in search results is becoming weaker and weaker and practically comes down to deciding whether the content of the site is relevant to a given search.
Achieving success in search results through a natural or organic optimization process is possible and achievable. However, it should be borne in mind that this is a process whose results have to be awaited for a long time.
2. SEA – Search Engine Advertising – Advertising and Advertising on Google
While site optimization (SEO) is work on and around the site in order to achieve the best possible organic search result, Search Engine Advertising, i.e. advertising on the Internet or advertising on Google, involves simply paying a service to a search engine that will position our site in search results.
By paying for ads, however, we are not guaranteed first place in search results. Nor does it mean that we do not need to do site optimization at all. By paying for ads, we ensure that our site appears in search results, in most cases, ABOVE organic results that are achieved only through optimization.
But what happens when we have multiple paid ads from competing sites that define the same terms or keywords? This is where SEO comes into play again, i.e. site optimization, which defines the relevance with the given terms, strength, and importance of sites.
Based on these parameters, together with some other elements from the domain of campaign management, the ranking and positioning of paid ads are performed.
Paid Google Ads
As running advertising campaigns on Google search is not an easy task, Google has developed a training program for professionals, who will be certified to provide commercial AdWords campaign management services. This program is called AdWords Partners or Google Partners.
If we create a site that has not been professionally optimized, it is very likely that such a site will not appear in the search at all. At best, if we have no competition, it may appear somewhere on the 5th, 6th, or 10th page of the search. And that is the same as not having it.
If we do quality site optimization, we can count on the site to certainly appear in searches, and the position in which it will be displayed will depend on the number and quality of competing sites. It is important to point out here that the results in organic searches appear gradually.
It takes several months, even years until we reach the maximum position we have secured organically.
If we opt for a paid ad and assume that at least basic on-page optimization has been done, we can expect immediate results, and that our site will appear at the top of the first page of the search on the first day.
But remember that there is always the possibility that our ad may appear below other paid competition ads, and even below organic results, at the bottom of the page. What happens will depend on how the paid ad campaigns are run.
Google Advertising by Advertising on Google Search
The starting point in using the Internet is the browser. Absolute dominance in the world of internet search is held by Google with its search engine.
The fact that in many world languages, a new verb – googling – has taken root, speaks best about how pronounced the long-term dominance of Google in internet search is. And the whole Search Engine Marketing is simply called – advertising on Google. In particular, Google search is used by over 70 percent of Internet users globally.
Google AdWords – Advertising Service on Google Search Results
Google AdWords is a service that allows advertisers to create and run campaigns to manage the ads that appear in search results.
The concept of advertising through AdWords is based on pay-per-performance. This is a unique and extremely effective system for advertisers. There are several ways we can define how we pay for ads:
- pay per click: payment by the number of realized ad views (realized entries to the site)
- pay per view: pay per number of video ads viewed
- pay per acquisition: payment per interaction with customers (online shopping, download, newsletters, etc.)
- pay per impressions: pay per ad impression regardless of the number of views (per 1,000 impressions)
Creating and Managing AdWords Campaign for Managing Paid Ads
Creating and running AdWords advertising campaigns on search results is a complex and demanding job. For a campaign to be successful, and for our ad to show where it needs to and when it needs to, we must do a lot of analysis, setup, and planning.
- Website analysis and done on-page optimization
- Defining search terms
- Creating keywords
- Analysis of competing websites
- Analysis of the use of defined keywords
- Planning daily budgets and cost-per-click in relation to the competition
- Creating and optimizing ad text
- Daily monitoring and analysis of the campaign flow
- Harmonization of campaign parameters in accordance with the results of analyzes, etc.
Price for Google Advertising and Paid Advertising Ranking
The most important thing is to determine for ourselves how much money we will spend on advertising. There is no lower limit. However, the amount we plan to spend greatly affects the results of the campaign.
As we have already written, just paying for ads is not enough to make our site appear in the first place in search results.
There are many factors that affect when, how much, and where our site or paid ad will appear. First of all, an ad-managed campaign must be well-created, set up, and managed.
However, one of the most important items that affect the display and ranking of paid ads is the price we are willing to pay for advertising.
First of all, the amount of maximum daily budget that we define ourselves, as well as the amount that we are willing to pay for one click on our site, depends on how many times our ad will appear in search results.
For example, if we have defined that our maximum daily budget is $300 and that we are willing to pay, say, $30 for one click, that means that our ad will stop showing when it is clicked 10 times in one day.
Next, when ranking for the order in which paid ads that have the same keywords appear, the bid is used. Simply put, a site that offered a higher cost-per-click will have an advantage. However, a defined maximum cost-per-click, while important, is not the only criterion for ranking ads.
The strength and relevance of the site are also taken into account so that people who search the Internet get the best possible results for their searches. This is where site optimization comes into play again, which we wrote about earlier.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, an SEO Specialist helping online businesses grow through content creation and proven SEO strategies. Proficient in WordPress CMS, Technical Site Audits, Search Engine Optimization, Keyword Research, and Technical Writing (Portfolio).
Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, an online business resource for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.