Search Engine Marketing (SEM) looks at ways to ensure that you come up as high as possible on the first search engine results page (SERPS) when a potential customer searches for the product or service that you sell. Of the more than 18 billion online searches conducted in the US each month, over 95% are powered by just 2 search engines, Google & Bing, no matter what site you search on, and the algorithms they use to determine which results to display are constantly changing as they attempt to refine their results to match people’s intentions and to eliminate results from sites attempting to game the system. However, basic rules apply to getting the best results:
Paid vs. Organic listings. You can try buying your way to the top of the page, where the highest bidding advertisers are placed, but we strongly believe that this is not a viable long-term strategy. You should be aiming to appear high on the page on your own merits, which means optimizing your website to score highly in the organic listings. Of course, you may have a short-term campaign you want to run, on a seasonal basis perhaps, or to push particular stock, but trying to be at the top on paid search alone is just going to eat into your profits, even assuming you can outbid competition with deeper pockets. Some research does suggest that multiple appearances on a page can lead to more sales, but unless you can carry out some research to back that up, you might find that you are cannibalizing your potential clicks rather than augmenting them. Good ad campaigns require good analytics to go with them, so that you can be sure they are achieving their aim.
Leone Advertising handles both paid and organic campaigns for our clients, and we have been very successful at optimizing sites for organic search before we add pay-per-click campaigns to the mix.