5 SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Myths Debunked

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SEM Myths

Some might argue that due to the constant changes happening in the digital industry, and the frequent updates in search algorithms from search engines like Google, you are better off leaving it altogether. This is a mistake.

In an industry where constant change is inevitable and an adapt-or-die mindset is a must, you will often come across these scary (and obviously false) statements.

“Search engine marketing is over! It’s done… It’s not good enough anymore, move on to the next thing.”

That is why it’s so important that you stick with the right digital specialists that aren’t afraid to adapt or make adjustments when required.

Search Engine Marketing is, and will forever be, very much alive. The methods may change but the core remains the same.  Search Engine Marketing is an extremely effective way of marketing, with many benefits for your business, but before I get to that, let’s do a quick recap.

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Search Marketing is the umbrella term for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click Ads). Search Engine Marketing is the process of getting relevant users to a website and increasing website visibility through both paid and unpaid (organic) efforts.

It is a non-intrusive way to market to potential customers.

Learn more about Search Engine Marketing >>

What is Search Engine Optimisation

SEO or search engine optimization is a process, most often implemented by web specialists, that aims to improve the ranking of a website or page on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This type of result is referred to as organic.

The aim of SEO is to ensure that your website appears when a user searches for words or phrases that are relevant to your product or service.

Although SEO is “free” and you don’t have to pay for advertising, it is a complex and in-depth process that should preferably be done by a professional to ensure you get the most out of your search marketing campaign.

Learn more about SEO >>

What is Per-Click-Click Advertising

PPC, or Pay per click ads, is exactly what it sounds like. When a user searches for something online that matches the service or product you are offering, your ad will show up in the paid search results section of the search engine.

This is usually above and on the right of the organic search results in Google and Bing. Users will also encounter carefully timed ads when watching YouTube or similar video sites, reading blog posts, or just browsing the web.

“If you want instant targeted traffic to your website or offer, pay-per-click advertising gives you that exact ability.”

These ads are based on their search history and preferences. The user then has the choice to click through to your website if they find the ad appealing. Generally, advertisers only pay when a user clicks on an ad, putting you in total control of your online advertising budget.

5 Most Common Myths About SEM

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a critical element to the growth of any digital business. However, there are some assumptions that even seasoned SEM specialists make far too often.

Let’s break down these myths, shall we?

1. Search Marketing only works for large companies.

This is, unfortunately, a common misconception among smaller businesses. Search Marketing can be utilized by any company no matter the size or budget.

There is always something you can do to improve your visibility in search engines and reach more people. The effectiveness of your search marketing efforts will depend on your planning, willingness to adapt and strategy that you implement.

2. You can get to the first page of Google within a few days

If a company promises you this, be careful. Search marketing is based on research, data collection and refining that process until you have a perfect, well-oiled marketing machine.

3. I do SEO so I don’t need to do PPC

Many businesses think that they can trade off one channel for the other but consider the following when making your choice. SEO and PPC are more effective when done together.

You get different types of people online with different types of search habits. PPC is instant and gets results quicker. When implementing an SEO strategy set aside a budget for PPC so you can get instant traffic from the keywords you’re trying to rank for organically as well other relevant keywords related to your products and services.

“Google Paid Search Ads are one of the most valuable tools for any business.”

Be aware, the moment you stop your ads; your visibility will stop too. It’s a short term solution that is very effective when you want to promote a new product or during the low season, but it can also be a long term solution as well when your ads are profitable.

SEO takes a few months to take effect and it is a medium to long term solution, but having both strategies working together will increase your traffic opportunities.

4. Spending More Money Means Better Results

Unfortunately, this is not the case. If you’re blindly just throwing money at something to see works without any strategic thought you are most definitely going to waste a tonne of money. Don’t get me wrong, we all love to scale budgets, but not until you have a controlled winner.

“Whether it’s your PPC ads or your SEO, you need to be seeing an ROI on your initial spend before looking to scale your budgets.”

If you don’t scale with past data, future goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) in mind, you could be flushing your money down the toilet. It’s crucial to learn from how your ads and SEO strategies have performed in the past and from the successes and failures of your biggest competitors to allocate your additional spend most effectively.

5. You Shouldn’t Waste Money on Your Own Branded Keywords

This is nonsense. Bidding on branded terms helps maximize your above-the-fold real estate. Also, showing up twice in search results (once organically and once in ad form) gives your searcher more opportunity to click on your links (and less space for a competitor’s ad)

7 Benefits of Search Marketing

Discover the top 7 benefits of Search Engine Marketing – SEM and how this online marketing strategy can help you build a strong presence on Google search, enabling you to fully reach your business goals and objectives.

So, let’s discuss some benefits of SEM, shall we?

1. SEM Generates Results

According to a recent survey by Shop.org and Forrester Research, 85% of retailers said that search marketing (PPC and Organic) was their most effective customer acquisition strategy.

2. Incredibly Large Target Market

More and more people are enjoying access to the internet thanks to more affordable smartphones entering the market. This means your business has an abundance of potential customers who are already searching for your products and services.

3. SEM is Measurable

Search marketing can be measured and help you gain more insight into your target audience’s spending and search habits.

4. It’s Cost-Effective

It’s cost-effective. Search marketing is still more affordable than most traditional marketing methods.

5. SEM Can Help Establish Trust

It helps to build better trust among consumers. With search marketing, you get a chance to be a part of the conversation with your communities and target audience. You get the opportunity to become one with the crowd.

6. People Are Making More of an Education Decision

Customers have become smarter. People make buying decisions based on word of mouth, social media recommendations among friends and by doing extensive online research. An increasing number of users compare prices and offers before they buy.

Search Engine Marketing is about solving the problems.

If your audience is searching online to gain more information about a particular service, product, company, health remedy, etc, etc this is a huge opportunity. Put the right information in front of the right people and you will increase your overall ROI dramatically.

7. Appear On Competitors’ Related Keywords

As a best practice for SEM, it is recommended to create search ads that are triggered to appear on your competitors’ related keywords. This will secure your exposure on those keywords and ultimately the chance to convert clients from competitors to you.

Conclusion

Considering all the above, it is clear that search marketing is a growing, evolving industry that constantly requires you to adapt to ensure you get the most out of your marketing efforts.

With the number of internet users increasing every day and becoming more web-savvy, ignoring the internet and not saddling up for the digital battlefield can become a costly mistake. No one wants to be left in the digital dust.

Beau Buckley

I'm a digital marketing expert, the founder of Revolucion One and SEO Services London. I've personally been making money online since 2009, so when it comes to generating more leads and sales for your business, I'm your go-to expert.

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