Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. (Wikipedia)
This question can only really be answered by having a better understanding of your particular business, your marketing goals and where you are in your digital marketing plan.
There is no point in spending money to drive qualified traffic (clicks) to your website if…
1. Your website looks like a dog’s breakfast and it’s unclear what your business is about and what users are to do when they get there.
2. You don’t know what you are trying to achieve by using pay-per-click (PPC) marketing.
a. Do you want to increase sales?
b. Get email sign ups?
c. Encourage video views or information downloads?
d. Drive more customer leads?
It’s extremely important to get your foundations laid correctly first – that is that your website is following best practice website design, is mobile optimised, has a clear message that speaks to your target audience and is search engined optimised.
Once you have all these ducks in a row, then you may want to start driving more traffic to your web pages to achieve your desired goal.
Why would you engage in SEM if you’re already doing SEO?
To use a fire analogy SEO could be considered the logs and SEM (PPC) the flame that creates the heat. You need SEO as a foundation to ensure your website is working in its optimum.
SEO could be enough for you, if you’re already indexing well within the Google SERPs for all your top keywords. But more than likely it will take you quiet a bit of time to index on the first page of Google for many competitive and long-tail search terms and so you may want to launch a Google Adwords campaign with a lot of search terms (keywords) that are relevant to your business so you’re your website becomes visible within the top pages of Google almost instantly.
How much does SEM cost?
This is like asking the old age questions “how long is a piece of string?” The answer depends on a number of factors;
- Your media budget?
- The competitiveness of your chosen keywords
- The size of your target market
- Whether or not you are concerned with having 100% share of voiceor not. That is to say whether you want your ads to show 100% of the time that someone is searching for your keywords.
- What the management fees are of the agency/ person running and managing your account, if you’re having someone else do it for you. You can see our prices here.
What is important to note is that you only paid Google (Adwords) when someone clicks on your ad, hence this type of marketing being referred to as pay-per-click (PPC). It is for this reason that you want to make sure that they keywords that you have in your Adwords account are relevant to your business, brand, products and/ or services as you don’t want to be paying for clicks on irrelevant search terms.