Search engine optimization is without a doubt an attractive option for small and medium-sized businesses. No less than 93 percent of all internet experiences start with a search engine, and a successful SEO strategy means your company will be visible to thousands of potential customers looking for someone like you online, for little to no cost.
There is just one little problem: your competitors know about the effectiveness of SEO as well. A great strategy and execution may have you ranked highly on Google, but it may end up right next to the website of your fiercest professional rival. How do you separate yourself from the pack? The answer: search engine marketing.
Unlike search engine optimization, search engine marketing costs money. If you’re on Google, you’ll likely see the "sponsored results" on top and to the right of the actual, "organic" results. Those are the results of search engine marketing; by bidding for spots, your company can pop up for a specific keyword above any other results.
How much money depends entirely on the type of keyword you’re looking to optimize for. Generally speaking, long-tail keywords (phrases like "law firm in Pittsburgh") are cheaper than simple words, but prices still vary significantly based on your industry.
These costs may make you immediately shy away from search engine marketing. But it’s important to remember that the costs are generally pay-per-click, meaning you only pay if someone actually clicks on your link. If you’re confident enough in your website and content, it may be worth to pay a bit of money in order to lead your audience to it.
Of course, we don’t suggest that you shouldn’t engage in organic search engine optimization. In fact, just the opposite: studies are beginning to suggest that a combination of the two works best, as both positively influence each other. But search engine marketing can be a great opportunity to make your brand stand out on Google, and showcase your content to your potential audience. Contact us to learn more about the potential impact of SEM on your brand!