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Search Engine Marketing: What It Is, How To Start, And How Much It Costs

Search Engine Marketing: What It Is, How To Start, And How Much It Costs

Search Engine Marketing or SEM promotes your product or services on the World Wide Web via search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You can target specific keywords to appear higher in a particular search, but the primary purpose of SEM is to create a steady stream of traffic to your website.

If you're unsure whether you should start a search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign, the answer is probably ‘yes'. Many companies and organisations are experimenting with SEO, trying to see how much it impacts their businesses. This article will explain SEO simply so you know what you're getting yourself into. It will explain what you need to consider before starting an SEO campaign. It will then explain how SEO works, how to start an SEO campaign, and the potential cost. Finally, it will answer common questions about SEO, such as: “Why should I use SEO?” “Should I use SEO or PPC?” and “How much does SEO cost?”

Search engine marketing is a term used to describe promoting websites through search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

There are many types of SEM, including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, display advertising, and video marketing.

This guide will explain exactly what SEM is, how to start, and how much it costs.

What Is Search Engine Marketing?

What Is Search Engine Marketing

If you're reading this article, chances are you already know what search engine marketing is — a digital marketing strategy that encourages people to search online for your brand.

Search engine marketing uses websites and other digital tools to encourage people to type keywords into the search bar of significant search engines, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo!

The purpose of SEM is to increase traffic to your website and boost sales by making your company appear more relevant to the terms people are typing into their search engines.

How Does SEM Work?

There are several ways to incorporate search engine marketing into your business.

One way is through SEO or search engine optimisation. This involves creating content on your site and linking it to the right keywords so that your site appears on the first page of results when someone searches for those words on a search engine.

The other approach is PPC (pay-per-click), which costs money but is a quick way to get traffic and leads to your business.

The main difference between SEO and PPC is that PPC campaigns only work when someone actively seeks your offer.

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You can start with either strategy or both. The goal is to drive organic search traffic to your site. Once you've built traffic to your site, you can run PPC campaigns that advertise your services and products.

The most effective way to build organic traffic is to have a robust and authoritative presence on the internet and in your industry. For example, if you own a small business, it's essential to have a strong online presence with articles published on high-authority websites.

Also, don't forget to ensure that your business has an active social media presence. While organic social media is free, paid social media is more effective for targeting specific keywords.

In today's digital age, it's easy to do all of this on your own, but hiring an SEO specialist to take care of it in the long term is much cheaper and less time-consuming.

A professional can optimise your content and improve your online visibility. They can help your site rank by creating and publishing content that attracts more visitors and links.

A pro can create backlinks, or inbound links, to your site, which helps your site appear higher in search results. Backlinks are vital because they show Google that other sites believe in your content.

What Is SEO?

Seo Overview

In layman's terms, SEO is optimising your website and other online properties to increase your search engine ranking.

Here are the main ways to do SEO that are best for small businesses:

  • Get your domain name right
  • Use the keywords that best describe what your site is about.
  • Create relevant content for your website
  • Add links and related pages to your site.
  • Get to know your audience.
  • Learn more about your customers and their interests.
  • Write blog posts that answer questions and solve problems.

The Importance of SEO

There are many ways to market your business online, but none are more effective than SEO.

In 2022, Google was the leading search engine, receiving over 90% of all online searches worldwide. SEO is the best way to reach a global audience with its vast reach.

But don't underestimate the importance of SEO. If your business isn't on the first page of Google, Bing, and Yahoo! — or if it ranks poorly in the search engine results — people won't find you.

SEO is a competitive industry, so it's essential to learn the basics of SEO and hire an expert to help you achieve your goals.

You can get started with a free consultation to learn more about SEO and how it can work for your business.

How To Get Visitors To Your Site Via Search Engines

Google Freshness

If your site is listed in the search results of search engines, then it has become a valuable asset. However, getting that valuable asset listed in the search results is challenging. Getting listed is the first step toward a successful SEO campaign, but it's also a process you must undertake carefully.

Understanding how search engines work is critical before you begin your SEO campaign. Search engines look for sites relevant to the search term and are quality sites that will provide the searcher with the information they are looking for. It's up to you to make sure your site is in a prime position to be found.

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Search engines use a variety of factors to determine which sites are listed in the search results. These include the number of links pointing to your site, the number of pages on your site, the length of your site, and the quality of your site's content. The latter is where your site shines, so ensuring you have high-quality content is essential.

What is the Best Way to Promote Your Site?

There are many ways to promote your site, and the best way to promote your site depends on what you try to do. If you want to drive traffic to your site, it's important to use strategies to get people to click.

Creating high-quality content that attracts search engine spiders to crawl your site is the most powerful means of driving traffic to your site. That means that the content on your site must be relevant to the keywords you are targeting. Ensure you use the correct keywords in your content, as this will attract search engine spiders and cause them to return a page listing your site in the search results.

Once your site is listed, the real work begins. To rank well, your site needs to be relevant to the keywords you are targeting, and it needs to be highly optimised for the keywords you are targeting. This requires using keywords in your site's title and meta tags. You should also have a page dedicated to keyword optimisation.

There are many other ways to promote your site, but none are more effective than good content. Content is key and differentiates between a website listed in the search results and one that is not.

Is Link Building Important For SEO?

When it comes to link building there are two types of link building that you need to do:

Inbound links: These are links that point to your site from other websites. These are generally considered to be more important than outbound links. When you write a blog post or article for your site, ensure the article includes a link to your site. This will give you an inbound link. When someone links to your site, it's considered a vote of confidence in it and its content. The more votes your site receives, the higher it will rank in the search results.

Outbound links: Outbound links are links that point from your site to another site. Inbound links are generally considered more valuable than outbound links, but it's important to note that they can increase your site's rankings in the search results. If you want to increase your site's ranking in the search results, you can use SEO techniques to attract more inbound links.

Why Do I Need Both Inbound Links and Outbound Links?

Inbound links are crucial for SEO, but they don't always get the attention they deserve. Outbound links make your site appear more credible than other links. Many think an outbound link makes their site look like a spam site. However, it's used to increase your site's credibility, as it will increase your site's Page Rank.

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The problem with outbound links is that they are relatively easy to get and are often ignored by search engines. There is a good chance that if you can get a link to your site from a respected source, it will go a long way in helping your site's ranking in the search results.

How Do I Get Inbound Links?

One of the best ways to get inbound links is to publish high-quality content. The content you write needs to be relevant to the keywords you are targeting and should be well-written, as this will attract other authors to link to it.

Another way to get inbound links is to ask other websites to link to your site. This isn't as easy as it sounds, though, as it requires that you make an active effort to contact other web admins. It's also important to know any rules and regulations you must follow to get the best results. 

The truth? There isn't a single correct strategy for building links. Some of the most valuable links come from “opportunistic” links. This means these links were created from a natural flow of conversation or thought and weren't specifically built to send visitors to a website.


Although search engines are still the most popular way to find websites online, the market for SEM has grown immensely. The rise in SEM has been driven by users spending more time searching online, which has led to many businesses and websites competing for their attention.

However, while SEO and SEM may appear the same, the two have essential differences. SEO is more technical and deals with things like keyword research and building websites that are optimised to make them rank higher in the search results.

On the other hand, SEM is more sales and marketing-focused, with marketers and business owners using it to get their products and services to more people.

SEO and SEM are different in that SEO focuses on your website's content, while SEM focuses on your website's marketing.

For example, someone could create a website about how great his new smartphone is, which might do well with SEO.

This isn't always the case, however. SEO won't do much for you if you're trying to market a product or service that has nothing to do with your website's subject.

To be successful with search engine marketing, it's crucial to think about the purpose of your website. Why is your site different from the other websites? What are you offering that's different from what everyone else is offering?

By answering these questions, you can begin to craft your SEO strategy.

How do you use keywords in search engine marketing?

The next step is to determine what keywords and terms to focus on. If your product or service is selling something unique, it might be hard to rank for, and you'll need to focus on keywords and phrases that are more generic.

It's also essential to understand the competition. Are other websites already targeting the keywords you want to rank for?

Once you've answered these questions, it's time to begin implementing strategies to help you rank higher in search results.

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There are many ways to optimise a website to rank higher in the search results. For instance, if you're selling a car, you'll likely want to ensure your website has relevant and high-quality car-related content.

In addition, you should add images to your website that include the car. Finally, building links to your website from other relevant websites is also a good idea.

In summary, it's essential to remember that search engine optimisation is more than just having a website. You'll also have to use clever marketing to get your website to rank higher in the search results.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Seo Vs Ppc

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is an online marketing technique that allows you to place ads on search engines like Google. Using this method, you pay monthly for the clicks you generate. However, you don't pay for the ad until someone clicks it.

Pay-per-click advertising is very similar to paid media, such as paid social media marketing and paid search.

Why Use PPC?

While search engine optimisation and other paid media are effective ways to attract traffic to your website, there's no guarantee that a visitor will convert into a paying customer or even notice your ad. Most people find online ads distracting and annoying.

However, with PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and that person is much more likely to convert into a customer. As a result, PPC is a more efficient form of advertising.

Advantages of Pay per Click:

  • It is less expensive than other forms of advertising
  • You pay only for the results you get
  • It's more targeted than other forms of paid advertising
  • You can choose your target audience
  • You can monitor your results
  • You can track conversions
  • You can create campaigns

PPC Advertising Tools

Many tools can help you implement pay-per-click advertising on your site or blog. Here are some of the most popular tools:

Google AdWords

This is the most common pay-per-click advertising tool and is often used for search marketing. Google AdWords allows advertisers to bid for specific keywords. You can create ads that include your keywords to drive traffic to your website.

You'll be charged a fee for each conversion when people click on your ad. This is also referred to as cost-per-click or CPM.

Amazon's CPC (cost-per-click) model

Amazon runs a CPC program that enables Amazon customers to post products on their sites and earn money from their sales. They charge a fee for each click that leads to a sale, much less than traditional search marketing.

Pay-per-click is one of the best options for businesses without investing time or resources in SEO or social media marketing.

Pay-per-click is less expensive than other forms of paid advertising. It can also be more targeted than SEO and other forms of paid media.

It can be more affordable than other forms of advertising, and you only pay for the results you get.

It's easier to measure and track than other forms of advertising because you can see results immediately.

It's more consistent than other forms of advertising. The same people will click on your ads every time, so you don't need to worry about random visitors clicking on your ads.

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Why Choose Search Engine Marketing?

Choosing PPC to market your business is a great option, especially if you're short on time and resources. It is a simple, effective, and inexpensive way to reach potential customers actively searching online.

The best part is that you don't need to rely on other forms of paid media. Instead, you can target people who are already interested in your offer. PPC is an excellent opportunity to build brand awareness and generate leads immediately.

How do you get started with pay-per-click?

Find the right keywords. Before effectively using pay-per-click, you need to identify the keywords people use to find the information they need online.

You can do this by conducting a keyword research report. A keyword research report identifies the most popular keywords people are using in your niche. Doing this lets you gain insight into your target audience's terms.

Get creative. Creating ads is the next step once you have identified the most popular keywords. You can set up your ads using Google AdWords, but if you don't know how to build effective ads, you may find it easier to use a third-party tool like BrightEdge or SEMrush.

Optimise your ads. Ads that are well-optimised with the right keywords and landing page address will get the most clicks. The best ads are also easy to understand, have clear call-to-action buttons, and can incorporate your brand's voice.

Get more views. The higher the number of views on your ad, the better. While there's no specific magic number, you'll want to aim for a minimum of 1,000 views. Use the proper channels. You'll want to use the right channels for your business, whether Facebook, Google, Instagram, or Twitter. And while you may not need to pay for ads on each channel, you should consider how they will fit into your overall marketing plan.


There are several ways you can generate leads and start building an audience.

The main thing to remember is that you don't need to go into this blind. There are plenty of resources out there that can show you the ropes.

I recommend starting with Google and YouTube because they are probably the two platforms you can access. But if you don't, they are worth looking into.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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