What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of improving the ranking and increasing the visibility of a website in a search engine’s paid search results. This is different from Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which is improving the ranking and increasing the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural (organic) search results.

SEM can include paid keywords such as Google AdWords and other forms of direct payment to search engines and other firms to ensure high rankings for selected keywords.

Here is a quick checklist to consider before you commence an SEM campaign:

  • Do we have the expertise to manage an SEM program in-house?
  • If we are going to outsource SEM, how will we evaluate the supplier?
  • What keywords are important to us and are most likely to produce the highest quality traffic and conversions?
  • How will we cull and distill the long list of potential keywords into a concise, potent and manageable shortlist?
  • What are the current search frequency, demand, competition, pricing and value of our preferred keywords?
  • How will we manage the keyword bidding and budget?
  • Who will analyse and report on the effectiveness of our campaign?
  • Who will monitor and adjust the campaign as keyword effectiveness changes over time?
  • How will we track traffic and evaluate the success of the campaign?

What would you add to this list?

Contributor:

Michael Field, Managing Director for Michael Field Pty Ltd.

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