Search engine marketing (SEM) is often confused with search engine optimization (SEO). While both have the same goals, to increase your ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs), they use different methods to achieve them. SEM is an umbrella term that covers two separate methods of increasing your rank, SEO and PPC, but some marketing companies reserve it to use exclusively with paid search optimization.
SEO relates to organic searching, which involves methods of increasing your ranking through outreach only, building your traffic in a sustained, natural manner over time. The other facet is pay-per-click marketing (PPC), which is a method of monetizing your outreach to generate website traffic and leads. This method casts a wider net, and the results can be observed faster than with organic SEO. Combining both tactics and using them strategically is what SEM is all about.
As an integral part of your overall SEO strategy, SEM can increase your market reach across a range of platforms. Here’s how to make the most of some available tools.
How Social Media Platforms Work for Business Marketing
Social media has become an essential plank in any well-executed digital marketing plan. Each social media outlet has its own advantages and disadvantages, and not all of them work the same for marketing purposes. Digital marketing firms are experts at maximizing the potential of social media to increase web traffic and sales.
If you want to reach the largest marketing demographics, rely on millennials and social media. Millennials are quickly overtaking baby boomers for market share, and among them are important social media influencers whose word is law as to what’s trending or not. The benefits of influencer marketing shouldn’t be underestimated either. If you want to build your brand quickly, getting a shoutout from the social media celebrities with the most followers can bring an astounding ROI in terms of brand building, trust, and recognition with very little time invested.
Using Specific Tools From Each Platform to Your Advantage
Much has been written about using Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for marketing purposes, but platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram are up-and-comers that have found their own niche in the online marketing community. For example, once you learn how to make a Snapchat account for your business, you can use Snapchat business geofilters to attract a younger, social media-savvy demographic to your location in the community.
What is a geofilter? It’s a method of branding and a way to build a following online within your local community, using a fresh concept that brings both worlds together. When you learn when and how to use geofilters effectively, they will enhance your local SEO efforts. They’re best for B2C marketing rather than business-to-business outreach, and they’re ideal for youth-oriented companies that have an online following and a physical location.
Learning how to use Pinterest for business or grow Instagram followers organically is a solid option for marketing products or services with a high level of visual appeal. Instagram is also great for adding personal touches like behind-the-scenes shots that intrigue customers and make them want to learn more about your company. Combining this with paid search ads that utilize strategies like behavioral targeting allows you to analyze and refine your outreach efforts to maximize and convert leads.
Analyzing Your Efforts
Once you have all of your digital marketing platforms in place, connected and generating content, you have to use the analytics specific to each platform to gauge its effectiveness. If analytical tools show that one platform isn’t working for you but another is generating lots of interest and engagement, you’ll know where your efforts are paying off and what social media platform works best for your kind of business or demographic.
Two words you might see when you look at your social media reporting are reach and impressions. They’re both words that are used to describe the extent of your social media engagement, but each platform uses the terms in a slightly different way. The simplest way of explaining reach versus impressions is that reach refers to the number of people who have seen your content, and impressions refer to the number of times your content has appeared on a screen.
Facebook differentiates between organic reach and paid reach that’s generated by practices like strategic PPC marketing. Twitter doesn’t measure reach at all, but it measures impressions by the number of people who have seen your paid advertisements or tweets. In each of these cases, the metric doesn’t account for specific actions taken by viewers; it just counts the views themselves. Instagram defines both terms in a similar manner to Facebook, and Snapchat uses the same metrics but calls them “reach” or “story views” rather than impressions.
If you’re analyzing your Google AdWords outreach, your analysis will report back how many unique and return visits or clicks you’ve had. The first is referred to simply as “unique reach,” and it counts the first visit or click by a unique user. The second is cookie-based reach, which is tracked as return visits by previous content viewers to the same page, ad, or website.
Each metric will tell you something different about initial viewer interactions. If your impression number is too high, you may be oversaturating your market with ads or content. That can cause viewers to tune out. If your reach is high but you’re not getting any conversions, your ads aren’t effective. Combined with viewer feedback and other analytics, you’ll gain a more comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of your SEM.
Do You Need a Professional Team to Optimize Your Social Media Presence?
Social outreach may be global, but the best SEM is local. Social media marketing in Los Angeles might take a different approach than marketing companies in Mississauga. If it all seems too overwhelming, confusing, and time-consuming, you can always let the PPC advertising management pros take care of optimizing and tracking your accounts. That way, you’ll know it’s being done right by a digital marketing group that manages SEO, SEM, and PPC successfully.
Are you ready to start optimizing your search engine marketing? We are ready to help you do just that. Give our experienced and professional team a call at 1-800-807-8784 to start today.