The benefits of search engine marketing
Search engine marketing (or SEM) has become a significant growth area for Internet businesses in the past few years, due to a number of clear benefits that this form of marketing provides, such as:
Highly targeted - search engine marketing is one of the best forms of direct marketing, providing a technique that can be focused on the exact customer base and placing the business in front of these prospects at a time when they are actively searching for the product or service.
Responsive - because a website can be targeted at a user when they are looking to buy, then the response rates from this activity can be very high, although this can also depend upon the quality of the website in converting visitors to sales or enquiries.
Low entry costs - it is possible to start a search marketing campaign on a very low budget to test the market or to generate initial business for a low fee. Some level of search engine marketing should be built into the development costs of any new business website to make it work as effectively as possible. Used carefully, small companies can also easily compete alongside market leaders in many business sectors.
Quick to implement - although the optimisation of a website can take months to have a significant effect, setting up a pay-per-click advertising campaign can be done within a day and will start to attract website visits within hours.
Flexible - pay-per-click advertising campaigns can be adjusted and developed in response to results, providing a highly flexible form of advertising.
Measurable - most importantly, search engine marketing campaigns can provide extensive data on the responses being achieved, allowing a high level of analysis to support and develop the campaign.
Cost effective - any marketing campaign should generate a positive return on investment and search engine marketing has proven time and again to outperform most other forms of advertising, both online and offline.
Although these benefits are clear and can be demonstrated quite quickly, it is also true that as the search engine marketing sector becomes more