So many abbreviations exist when it comes to digital marketing. Any online marketing expert you’re speaking to will want to know what are you doing with SEO? Have you seen a boost in traffic with your PPC campaigns? And many will not even know what SEM is but they may offer it up to you to sound smart.
Allow me to explain:
SEM - Search Engine Marketing. This is simply the umbrella term that presides over ALL of digital online marketing. Under the SEM term you would find SEO, PPC, Google Display Network, Google AdWords, and other one-off display networks.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization. A search engine’s job is to crawl all websites and build an index, and provide search users with a ranked list of the websites they've determined are the most relevant. You are looking for mini trampoline parts? Google or Bing or Yahoo scours the world wide web to find websites that are optimized to be found. If you are a trampoline parts manufacturer and have specific pages dedicated to trampoline parts, why they are important, how to put them together, where to buy them, what they cost and of course marketing blogs, videos, social media and collateral that include RELEVANT information on trampoline parts - you’ll pop up first in the search list. UNDER the PPC ads. Which brings me to…
PPC - Pay Per Click. One of the two networks in Google AdWords. Don’t be fooled by that name - PPC is simply just advertising. It’s a model of internet advertising in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it's a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically. When you do your trampoline parts search - the top two and the bottom two links you see are companies who bought the ads there.
Google Display Network. The other of the two networks in Google AdWords. PPC focuses on SEARCH terms. PPC reaches people when they’re already searching for specific goods or services. The Google Display Network helps you capture someone's attention earlier in the buying cycle. For example, if you run a bakery, you can catch a Mom’s eye when he's reading reviews about wedding cakes. These text, image, video, or rich media formats ads can follow Mom throughout her web experience and encourage her to buy YOUR wedding cakes rather than head out the door to a competitor. Bing, Yahoo and even AOL all have display networks.
And there’s more. SOCIAL MEDIA. Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat...want me to keep going? Some social media channels have been around awhile and some are popping up and growing in popularity depending on the audience. ALL of them should be known by your marketing team because they are powerful ways to interact with your customer. Oh guess what? You can advertise with PPC and Display ads on social media too! Ever heard of SMO?? Social Media Optimization. Don’t worry - I’ll get into that in tomorrow’s post.
Think of it this way - your website is your store. It has all of your products, introduces staff, explains your purpose in providing what you provide for the customer. PPC, SEO, SEM, SMO and Display Networks are the promotion channels to get people into your store. And social media - that’s your customer service rep in the store. This is a real-time live person that can interact with your customers. Your customers may ask questions, complain, participate in conversations or contests, read reviews etc.
What are the lessons here? Know what you need and get an experienced digital marketer to take search engine marketing seriously for you. It’s a lot - but I can guarantee you it’s powerful and it can make you a success with your customers and a success with your bottom line.