Search engine marketing (SEM) may have taken a backseat to social media marketing in recent years, but this type of advertising is still one of the most cost-efficient ways for businesses to reach their target audiences — by leveraging the power of key phrases to deliver ads to a highly relevant audience. While you may know the basics of this marketing tool, there are some specific benefits of SEM you may have overlooked.
You Get More Bang for Your Buck
While there are plenty of moving parts to a holistic marketing campaign, search engine marketing produces a high conversion rate for relatively low investment. Though there are cost fluctuations depending on the type of business being promoted (Search Engine Watch has a great run-down of varying costs across different industries), on the whole, SEM is often more cost-effective than other forms of digital marketing.
Search Is Still Important for Consumers Looking to Get a Deal
According to a 2016 study by Nielsen, consumers are increasingly using search for information-gathering and deal-seeking, both for online merchants and physical shops. This presents a unique opportunity for businesses, as marketers can advertise deals using SEM for current customers, and competitors can offer healthy competition, so that consumers can "shop around" before making a purchase.
Ad Blocking Can't Depress SEM
Display ads have been having a rough time with ad-blocking technology on the rise, but the good news is that this has had minimal effect on search engine marketing. While the effects of so-called "ad blindness" are just now beginning to be studied (according to Search Engine Watch), most ad-blocking technology is not removing these ads outright, which means they are intrinsically more viewable than other display ads.
You Can Tweak on the Fly
Marketers spend a lot of time looking at metrics, but generally, there's a little bit of lag between when the data becomes available and when you can make changes. With SEM, however, you have access to tools that can help you track your audience's responses in real-time. Armed with this data, you can make changes on the fly, cutting off campaigns with clearly unsuccessful key phrases early, or boosting up campaigns that are exceeding expectations.
Though there are plenty of advantages to using other marketing methods, the unique benefits of SEM are hard to deny!