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What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is also often referred to as paid search or PPC (Pay-per Click) advertising.  This is an auction-based type of advertising on Google, Bing and partner search engines where advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their business.  SEM varies from a traditional auction in that the highest bidder doesn’t always win and relevancy plays a big part in the order of ads appearing on the search results page, if at all.  Advertisers only pay when a user clicks on an ad.

Why Search Engine Marketing Matters 

Paid search is fundamentally different from many other forms of advertising because it fulfills demand rather than attempts to create it.  In other words, advertisers are reaching people actively looking for products or services they provide.  When executed well, another benefit is the ability to finely tune targeting around desired locations, devices, time of day and even demographics.  It is also an ideal place to test new messaging and offers since results can be garnered quickly and changes made rapidly.


How Can SEM Help My Business?

For many businesses, paid search is the “best first place” to put advertising dollars since most research before a purchase happens on search engines.  However, it requires a hands-on approach to remain effective.  Among other advertising platforms, Google is notorious for making updates to its Google Ads (Formerly called AdWords) platform which broaden the audience an advertiser reaches and obscure the granular data about what is working to bring in customers.  They’ve become masters at spending a budget but have done little to improve transparency, creating more vague definitions and offering up many “black box” automation solutions. Over the past decade, paid search has become a less daunting platform on the surface while an increasingly challenging platform to maintain control and efficiency.  Paid search has become a subtractive platform where skill is applied to filtering out (and not paying for) unwanted traffic. 


Our approach is methodical, measured and skeptical.  A channel with a tremendous volume of variables, SEM requires a deep understanding of the innerworkings of search to gain accurate cause and effect insights and maximize investment.  It starts with a meticulous setup process down individual naming conventions and culminates with scheduled testing plans to keep things fresh and never settle.

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