There are many ways to optimize a site for search engines like Google and dominate online marketing. The best ways of doing this all involve thinking like a consumer. For example, what are the words that a consumer is likely to use when searching the internet for something? These words can then be purchased as key words for Google Adwords. Technical terms are unlikely to be used by your everyday consumer. If a consumer is looking for a very specific thing they might use uncommon, more object-specific words. On average though, a consumer may not know what they are looking for specifically, and it is your job as an advertiser to make the best use of these moments and present them with your option. They may be using more generic terms and depending on the words they use, Google and other search engines will populate results matching those words, using their algorithm. How well they match is up to you and how well you have predicted the need of the consumer. If your bid on a specific word is highest, then you will appear higher in the page.

Taking advantage of SEM can help your business stand out by vastly improving your reach and online presence based on certain demographics and keywords.  If your page content is strong, and your keywords are relevant then you have increased your chances of appearing in the top paid ad positions. This tells the consumer you are among the most relevant in addressing their need. It also increases your credibility by presenting you as a more well-known good or service.

It is also important to understand the difference between on-the-go mobile marketing for smartphones or tablets, and desktop computer searches. The method of marketing will differ between the two. For instance, conversational searches are now on the rise for mobile devices. People can talk to their devices and ask questions instead of searching for just a couple words. You can open up Siri on your iPhone and ask her where the nearest gas station is. This is an opportunity to market your gas station or attached convenient store goods and prices to the customer searching. If they’re looking for the nearest station, they are likely out somewhere, and their car is low on gas. This means the likelihood of them actually coming and getting gas is very high. You could capitalize on this moment and say maybe they themselves are low on “fuel” too and would like to come in for the snack that’s on sale in your attached convenient store. Or you could showcase your sale on gas. You could bid on some of these words or set up a paid advertisement.

SEM is paid, and the results will vary. Many companies favor paid advertising over unpaid organic search advertising because it puts your results at the top of the page. One option is pay per click (PPC) advertising, in that you can purchase ads but you are only charged when and if someone clicks on them. This is a great way to track and see if your ads are working. Paid search results show up at the top and on the right side of the search engine. This helps them stand out even further. Most ads are purchased on a PPC or CPC basis (CPC has the same definition as PPC). The advantage of this is that the ad will remain on the page until enough clicks are generated. This option is more favorable because each cost is a direct result of a “conversion” (consumer performs the desired behavior of clicking on the ad), as opposed to CPM advertising which means you pay per time the ad is displayed (whether or not someone clicks on it). Valpak of Rochester is a preferred Google Partner and can help you with our resources.