Web 2.0+: The Real Value of SEM

Paid keyword management can seem over-complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or can’t tell a CPC from a CTR simple keyword management will increase the performance of your campaigns. It starts with a few basics.

First take a look at the two main players, the Sprinter and the Marathoner.


Don’t get hung up on acronyms. You’ll be investing time and money into all SEM/SEO strategies, so they each have a relative cost. *SEM* (Search Engine Marketing, The Sprinter) – Select keywords are purchased for a single price each time they are used. Cost per term is based on market competition, and your listing appears in the paid search results. The Advertiser willing to pay the most per-click has their ad appear at the top. If your search terms have little or no competition – Ad rates can be as low as $0.05/click. More competitive term rates average $2.50 – $5.00. Highly competitive, and lucrative markets can command ad rates of over $10.00/click. *ADVANTAGES of SEM:* * Immediate results * React quickly to changing markets and opportunities * Predictable and measurable costs


(Search Engine Optimization, The Marathon Runner) – Select keywords are incorporated into your web content in a manner that gives your site more Authority for any given term, and causes your listing to appear higher in the organic search results area. Ranking based strictly on your Authority. Costs are based on the amount of time invested. Given the nature of how the Bots search web content, individual page rankings are continually flowing towards, and ebbing away from the top spot.


Higher click-through performance from listing pages  Greater long term ROI Effective online marketing requires a balance of SEM and SEO to be effective.

Unfortunately, most people see the efforts of a good SEO campaign very similar to that of going to the gym everyday. You know you need it, but it’s frustrating to not see results immediately. We’ll explain all of the steps to create a painless and successful SEO program next entry, but first, let’s talk about the immediacy of SEM. How Does it Work? There is no mystery surrounding effective SEM. Successful SEM requires a disciplined 4-step cycle:

  1. Analysis
  2. Execution
  3. Measurement
  4. Optimization


As with traditional media, all terms are vetted for strength, weakness, opportunities and threats in your market. During this stage initial strategies are developed, benchmarks are set for conversions, and the online communications plan is tailored for the available budget. *Execution* – Each search term will have unique advertising copy, and corresponding landing pages. Multiple sales funnels for each term provide the empirical data necessary to evaluate search term performance. It is not uncommon to use a rotation of as many as 3 unique ads, and 3 unique landing pages for each search term. *Measurement* – One of the strongest benefits of SEM is the availability of quality data to make quick, and informed decisions. SEM happens in almost real time. Reacting to market opportunities can happen within hours instead of weeks. Each of your search terms should be given scheduled evaluation of conversion ratios:

CPC – How many people that saw the ad clicked on it?  CPA – How many people that clicked on the ad entered into the sales funnel? * ROI – What did it cost to convert a search into a lead or a sale?


Now that we have a disciplined approach implemented, the optimization portion helps us maximize ROI. Several conditions will occur throughout the life of any SEM strategy. Competition will vary per term, users will adapt new terminology to search out your products and services, and seasonality will influence the effectiveness of select terms. Optimization provides continued refinement of the search terms, placed ads, and landing pages to increase your bottom line.

What does it take to get started? 

All you need to get started is a list of goals, and a connection to the Internet. SEM is one of the quickest marketing strategies to execute. It works with every sized monthly budget, and reaches online prospects that are using the web 24/7. Get Started Today!