How To Buy Your Way To The Top Of Google
In the online version of the tortoise and the hare, the hare wins too.
Tired of the hare’s arrogance, the tortoise challenges him to a race. Not surprisingly, the hare gets off to a flying start, leaving the tortoise trailing far behind. So confident is the hare that he will beat the tortoise easily, he decides to take a nap at the midway point. Meanwhile, the tortoise continues to make slow but steady progress and eventually passes the napping hare and heads towards the finish line. By the time the hare wakes up, it’s too late. The tortoise has won the race.
The online marketing world has its own version of the hare and tortoise race, with Search Engine Marketing or SEM playing the part of the hare, and Search Engine Optimisation or SEO the role of the tortoise.
The big difference online is SEM and SEO can both be winners because they are running different races, albeit with identical prizes in the shape of increased traffic to your website.
SEO - steady as she goesYou can think of SEO as the distance runner, the marathon man. SEO is in it for the long run. It takes time to see the fruits of your SEO labour, but the traffic it produces is free. What's more, its impact can be long-lasting. SEO done now can pay dividends for months, even years, to come.
SEM - run rabbit runSEM is best suited for shorter races, particularly sprints. It's more Usain Bolt than Mo Farah because its impact is instant. You pay your money and see immediate results because you are literally buying your way to the top of Google's search results pages.
When you search for a product or service via Google, for example, the top of the results page is reserved for paid for advertising in the form of Google Ads. The same is true for other search engines like Bing and Yahoo, both of which offer paid advertising slots under the name Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads).
This gives a business paying for one of those advertising slots a massive advantage over their competitors who don't. The obvious benefit is you are at the top of the page and so a potential customer will come across you first. But it's so much better than that. Your ad appears at precisely the moment that potential customer is looking for your product or service., making SEM the ultimate form of targeted advertising. And remember, you only pay for that ad if that potential customer clicks on it and goes through to your website.
The downside is that traffic generated by SEM is never free. You are paying for every single click. That's why it is often called Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). And when you stop an SEM or PPC campaign, it's like turning off a tap. Your ad no longer appears so nobody can click it. The traffic you've been paying for stops immediately.
When it's best to back Search Engine MarketingSince both SEO and SEM can drive more traffic to your website, it makes sense for most businesses to use both.
Here's when we believe SEM should definitely be part of your marketing arsenal.
Here's how Google Ads worksGoogle Ads isn't the only PPC offering out there, but it's definitely the biggest, and it will give you a good idea how SEM works.
The beauty of SEM is that you will be able to track which of your ads, keywords, and placements are providing the best returns, allowing you to adjust your campaign accordingly.
Click fraud and how to prevent itOne major concern that SEM clients have is click fraud.
What is stopping a competitor repeatedly clicking on your ads and costing you money?
Or what is preventing a website owner repeatedly clicking your ad to increase his or her revenue when you advertise on a Google partner site?
Google and the other PPC networks do have anti-fraud measures in place and they do refund advertisers for clicks that they deem invalid.
There are also other measures we take on behalf of clients to minimise click fraud further. For example, we can exclude clicks from high-risk countries. Fraud protection software can also be deployed to provide an additional level of security.
Brandwise and SEM
To find out more about how we can help you both plan and manage your SEM campaigns, let's get together for a no-obligation chat. Click the button below, fill in your details, and we'll get that arranged.