When deciding how to divide your digital marketing budget, you want to ensure that you are investing in the course that will most benefit your business.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a large component of positioning your company online.
Also, knowing the difference between Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the first step in deciding where to spend your marketing dollars.
Let’s first take a look at what PPC is and SEM is and how they work.
PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. This is when you create an ad that gets saved on search engines and other websites.
PPC is a form of SEM where an advertiser pays a publisher every time a user clicks on an ad. This advertising model allows advertisers to only pay the publisher PER CLICK.
This model was created to encourage meaningful interactions with ads on the internet and ensure advertisers get a return on their investment. An example is Google Ads.
PPC Ads are helpful when you’d like your company to compete in a crowded or highly searched market.
In search engine results, PPC Ads appear ABOVE the organic search results. When you use PPC Ads, you don’t have to work as hard (or at all!) on making your website SEO-friendly.
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. With this strategy, you’ll promote your website on popular search engines.
This strategy involves you putting money upfront to publish your ad. As such, it’s got a higher barrier to entry when compared to PPC.
The major advantage of this approach is that search engines are the best way to attract potential customers.
Search engines are still the main method for internet users to come across a new website.
As such, SEM is a great strategy for promoting your brand.
How PPC Works
With PPC, you want to focus on promoting a product or service that your company sells.
You can promote this ad on a search engine or another website.
This is great if you want to target a specific audience.
These targeted ads are often more effective than creating a generic ad. PPC is often the best strategy for this type of ad.
It’s much easier to gain traffic using PPC ads. You don’t have to do the intensive keyword research required from SEM. The traffic will continue for as long as you run the ad. You’ll also likely see faster results if you choose PPC ads.
Overall, this is a great choice if you’ve run your business for a few years. If you’re ready to promote your latest product or service, this is the ideal option.
How SEM Works
SEM is when you create an ad that shows up on search engine results pages. You’ll have to increase your price to compete with other search engine ads. You’ll also have to ensure that your ad shows up at the top of search results.
This requires a lot more work as you’ll have to research the right keywords for your niche. However, it lets you reach a wider audience as you can focus on promoting your brand as a whole.
This is a great option for startups. Combined with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEM is ideal for helping your brand reach a large audience online.