What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

by | Sep 17, 2013 | SEO Marketing

Search engines find information for people at the exact moment they want it. As society becomes more and more comfortable with the internet, search engines become a natural hotspot for online business. So hot, in fact, that search engines accounted for over $14 billion spent on online advertising in 2008. Despite the recession that began in 2008, online sales were one of the only areas of growth. In the world of online advertising, search engine marketing is king.


What is Search Engine marketing?

Search engine marketing is the strategy of generating sales through search-based traffic. However there is more than just “search” when it comes to search engine marketing. Since the internet gave birth to the first search engines in the early 90s, they have advanced at a break-neck pace. Search engines are our eyes and ears to the world, including some last minute Christmas shopping or a review of the local Sushi bars. Some common search engine marketing channels include the following:


  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Pay Per Click Marketing
  • Local Business Listings
  • Content-Specific Ad Placements
  • Co-Registration
  • Banner Advertisement

Search Engine Marketing Strategy

There are many different ways to market your business via the search engines. This does not mean that you should embrace all of the search engine marketing methods that are at your disposal. Different marketing methods serve a different purpose for each unique business situation. Keep in mind too, that search engines were made to help people search. By sticking to the strengths of a search engine, you will generally minimize your risk while also maximizing your return on investment. Those strengths are (1) Search Engine Optimization [SEO] and (2) Pay Per Click [PPC] Marketing. We feel that only seasoned search engine marketing campaigns should include impression-based or content-based advertisements, such as banner Ads, contextual marketing and co-registration. There are areas that you may wish to consider moving into, after SEO and PPC have been successfully tackled.

Leveraging SEO Services and PPC Management – Working Together

To optimize your search engine marketing efforts, PPC and SEO should collaborate. We often find people bidding for keywords through PPC that they already have strong ranking though SEO. In order to maximize your overall search engine marketing ROI, SEO and PPC must work together. Your SEO and PPC campaigns should compliment each other, rather than compete against one another. As you gain strong search engine ranking through SEO, PPC bids for those corresponding keywords should be paused. As your SEO services mature and evolve over time, your PPC bill may actually decline.

Consider PPC Management for New and Established Businesses

Fact: Retailers without an online presence are 30% more likely to fail.

Fact: 62% of all people using the search engines will not look past the 1st page results.

Fact: In March of 2006, there were a total of 6.4 billion searches from US based search engines. In 2010, there were 88 billion per month.

Fact: The #5 search engine listing will receive 60% of the views. The top 3 spots are scanned nearly 100% of the time, and #4 comes in at 85%.

Fact: For businesses who engage in search engine marketing, only 16% stated that they were unhappy.

Search Engine Marketing Yields the Highest Quality Traffic

It is no surprise that search engine traffic produces the highest quality website traffic. That includes retail sales conversions as well as the hottest sales leads. Through search engine marketing, you can drive people to your website who are actively seeking information about your products and services. Other online marketing media can also reach people who are interested in what you have to offer, however it also reaches a lot of people who are not. In regard to marketing ROI, you cannot beat the precision targeting offered through search engine marketing.

SharpNet Search Engine Marketing Services

SharpNet has provided search engine marketing services for over a decade. We understand how to put a search engine to work for you, driving traffic to your website from people who are interested in what you have to sell. Whether you are interested in an entry-level or advanced search engine marketing campaign, SharpNet can strategize and execute a low-risk and high-return search engine marketing campaign. To learn more about SharpNet’s search engine marketing services, please visit our home page to learn more about SEO & PPC Services.

"By sticking to the strengths of a search engine, you will generally minimize your risk while also maximizing your return on investment."