All online businesses can benefit from SEM. Any service or product related company must have a web site – that’s a given. But simply having that on-line presence is not enough. Your clients need to know where you are.
Picture a new retail premises opening up shop: They’ve spent a fortune on stock, fixtures, merchandising and systems. It’s opening time, they look for clients… And discover they’re in a tiny backstreet, 3 miles out of the city centre on the 4th floor, and the road outside is closed due to a diversion. What’s worse, they haven’t told anyone where they are. Can you see a fundamental flaw?
This is exactly the scenario for 99% of ALL commercial web sites in existence.
The shape of modern marketing has radically altered. Ten years ago, as everyone was getting on the bandwagon, there was an idea that everyone needed a web site. Businesses scrambled to get themselves an online presence, often spending tens of thousands to create fancy graphical sites. This trend was cheerfully encouraged by on-line design companies, who relished the business! Then it became apparent that no-one was visiting these sites. It had been thought that simply building a website would lead to sales. Sadly, this wasn’t true…
Off-line marketing methods are inadequate for website promotion. Traditional marketers would say your site is an advertisement of your products or services. As such, they’d use the traditional methods of TV and media advertising to promote the site. In other words, doing what they know. Launch a nice big brochure, then market it every way they can. This view is completely and utterly flawed in the internet economy.
The internet itself is not just a viewing portal. It’s a huge dynamic environment with complex interactivity. Users drill down to investigate the services they’re interested in. And because of Search Engines like Google & Bing/MSN, there are huge indexes of sites that can be easily found (from the customers perspective at least) to perform these tasks. Think of the chaos involved if Business Yellow Pages wasn’t in alphabetical order: How would you ever find what you wanted?
This set-back is solved by Search Engines. But in doing so, they’ve radically changed the face of marketing forever. Now, if you wish to be visible online, you must be indexed by Google, Bing and/or Yahoo etc. But indexing alone isn’t the answer – as it’s a waste of time if you’re several pages down. Research shows that only a tiny minority of people look beyond the fifth slot on page one. Unless your customer spends half their day on the internet, they’ll never find you on page 6.
So to give all companies a chance to be on the first pages, the Search Engines came up with a novel form of paid advertising. You only pay when someone actually chooses your advert – hence the name ‘Pay-Per-Click’. It was revolutionary. Basically the only time you now paid was when someone already interested asked to look at your site. Professionally monitored and targeted adverts can bring spectacular results.
But it’s now a very saturated market. Costs per click have been heavily driven up, mostly by inexperienced marketers bidding too highly. Click prices are now so expensive in some markets that they’re no longer profitable. In particular where every sale requires a large number of clicks. This has brought Search Engine Optimisation to the fore, where driving a site to page one is the goal.
As an exercise: Bring up a major Search Engine now and enter a number of keywords for your products or services. Does your site appear in the first 3 pages of results? It’s very doubtful. Which means you’re just like the shop in the middle of no-where. And if your site is listed, is it appearing for keywords that your customers will actually enter?
It’s possible you’ve already done some advertising in the paid listings – and maybe you’ve had some results. But are you professionally managing your campaign? Is your ROI satisfactory? Which are your most successful areas? Testing, measuring and split-testing are some of the most important factors with all PPC campaigns. You’ll never get the best results without correct figures.
Both in Britain and around the world, statistics show that commercial advertising and selling is experiencing a seismic shift towards the internet. Companies must acknowledge this, to survive and flourish in today’s economy.
I can drive traffic to your website or blog with my powerful SEO/SEM Article Promotion techniques. Find out how by sending me an email via my contact form. -Rob Fleming is a Freelance writer for hire with over 10 years experience in Developing unique website content, Website Marketing, and SEO techniques. He has authored thousands of powerful articles on building site authority and driving traffic to websites.