Search Engine Marketing Definition
1. Relevant Message
2. Customers Searching
3. Positive ROI
In this day and age, customers look for information on search engines, and Google in particular. In fact, 79% of customers begin their purchase journey on search engines. At the Zero Moment of Truth just before the purchase decision is made, they Google search reviews or compare prices on their mobile phones. Are you in their consideration set? If you are not on the first Google results pages on the keywords that describe your product or service, you are not.
Relevancy is key in SEM. Search engines actually reward relevant ads. When you run Adwords pay-per-click campaigns you get a discount on cost per click (CPC) if web searchers find your paid search ads relevant. Google measures relevancy by the ratio of clicks to impressions (i.e. click through rate), and it is called Quality Score. Competing with a large number advertisers buying the same keywords inhibits ability to grow click share without SEM optimization strategies. If your quality score is low relevant and will need to pay more for every click. More on it later, but, just so you know, you control relevancy but (1) keyword selection and optimization, (2) ad copy, and (3) landing page experience.
Matthew Capala (@SearchDecoder) is a search strategist, speaker, trainer, innovator, author and blogger at SearchDecoder.com. Currently, Matthew is the Head as Search at Profero, the largest independent global digital agency. He is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU, where he teaches a graduate course on search marketing.