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It’s a Multi-Billion Dollar Game of Seek and Find…and Who Doesn’t Love a Good Game?

What is “it”? It’s SEM, search engine marketing, and assuming you’re doing it correctly, you’ll enjoy high search engine rankings, low bid rates for online advertising and targeted leads headed straight to your website. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. The rule: SEM and SEO are not one in the same SEM is an “umbrella” term that contains organic (non-paid) SEO practices, as well as PPC, pay-per-click, advertising. The great thing about SEM is that it creates a balanced approach. It incorporates all the pros and cons from SEO and PPC which drives greater online success. This is worth repeating: you will not achieve s-u-c-c-e-s-s without consistently incorporating both approaches – without one or the other, you only have “s-u-c” and nobody wants that.

 Let the game begin!

How many times have I picked up the phone and a client has said, “I want to be one of the top 5 results in Google (…or Bing, or Yahoo!)”? Too many to count, for sure. What I always make adamantly clear is that SEM is as big of a commitment as any other marketing initiative, if not bigger. You must start from the ground up. We could be optimizing title tags, updating a sitemap or updating website content to include more relevant keywords for on-page optimization. Off-page, we might be reviewing inbound links and quantifying their relevancy to your site. Those are only a few items that fall under the SEO umbrella. This effort may not have a cost-per-click, but it is not a free model either. SEO is an investment requiring serious IQ, time and even development, content creation, etc. On the “paid” side, meaning PPC or network advertising, one area of focus must be on your quality score. No, you aren’t graded on “you” as a person – we think you are great! Your quality score refers to a grade that search engines apply to your ad campaigns – the higher your quality score, the more prevalent your ads are. The score, in part, is improved by having your click destination, usually a landing page on your web site, be highly relevant to the content of the ad and keywords. Quality scores are a blog post for another day, but in a nutshell, higher quality scores mean lower cost-per-click on your ads and better ad positions.  

Put it all together and what do you get?

Not a medal (or even a certificate of completion) – it’s better! QUALIFIED LEADS…and here’s how it works:  Step 1 – Search Results (paid and organic results based upon keywords searched)

Step 2 – Clicking from the search results brings you to a landing page (note: relevant message consistent with content from search and the page includes data capture for future marketing efforts)

Landing Page: Next level of conversion - Data capture, sign up, etc. Message matters for quality score!

  Step 3 – Email Campaign (use of data captured at the landing page to remarket and introduce new incentives)

Email Campaign: Uses data capture from the landing page.

Step 4 – Remarketing (show PPC ads to users who’ve previously visited your website as they browse the rest of the web)

Remarketing: Smart engineering to show ads to people what have already visited your site.

We know that all good things must come to an end. Fortunately for us, the world of digital marketing is ever-changing. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow; that’s part of the fun! An internet full of opportunity waits – I’ll bring the team jerseys!      
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