SEM (Chicago Search Engine Marketing)

SEM involves Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search to optimize a web property for both technical and user-experience. With the goal being to increase visibility and linkages to that property.

Search engine marketing, typically abbreviated to SEM, is one of the more powerful tools available to today's digital marketing professional. It is an overall strategy, relying upon several individual techniques including pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and SEO; in turn, SEM falls under the greater umbrella of inbound marketing. By using its constituent techniques in a complementary fashion, search engine marketing works to create a quick and statistically significant boost to your web traffic, as well as improving your conversion rate. It does this by enhancing, in the short term, the visibility of your online presence, enabling more of those individuals who are looking for what you have to offer to find your business, blog, or other digital presence on the Web. Executed properly, a solid, adequately supported SEM initiative will have a decisive and visible effect upon your bottom line.

For optimum effect, search engine marketing needs to be coupled with long-term traffic boosting strategies, such as a sound SEO campaign. It needs to be handled effectively, or the cost of some of the individual components of SEM can rapidly go over budget. Additionally, it and other strategies need to be carefully integrated, or your other marketing tools won't benefit from your SEM-related efforts as efficiently as they might. At our Chicago-based offices, our expert staff understands how SEM and its most complementary partner strategies work; by handling everything under one roof, we ensure that all of our various marketing efforts on your behalf will function together, smoothly and effectively.

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How will a combined SEM and SEO strategy help my Chicago-based business?

Imagine a staircase ascending towards an objective, such as an annual sales goal – a “second floor” that you need to fill up with people. SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” represents how many people are taking that staircase. Periodic “injections” of SEM, on the other hand, represent how high each individual step on that staircase is; with good SEM, that second floor can be higher than it otherwise would be, and with strong SEO it will fill up more quickly. SEM works to elevate your SEO, allowing the same traffic-boosting campaigns to reach a higher goal than they otherwise would, by piggybacking their gradual, sustainable growth off of its short-term boosts.

What do I need to combine SEM with in order to boost its effectiveness?

While effective on its own, the results of a SEM campaign will diminish quickly over time. They require a continuous cash investment to maintain in the long term. As an industry professional in the Chicago business scene, you want to see a superior “return on investment” (ROI) for money spent on advertising. This requires a healthy search engine optimization effort – something for prospective customers' organic search results to piggyback on. Your SEO will provide a passive traffic flow, your SEM will provide an intermittent boost, and after each SEM initiative your SEO will pick up at a higher level than where it was at before.

How important is SEM to my Chicago-based business?

SEM is a highly effective means of marketing which fills a unique niche in the digital marketer's playbook, no matter where your business is located. It is vitally important to international, regional, and locally-based marketing. It incorporates all of the individual tools which take effect most quickly – and measurably. By taking advantage of the occasional SEM campaign, you are virtually guaranteed some level of results, even if you use it all by itself. Coupled with SEO and Social Media Marketing, both of which result in a passive increase of traffic and brand recognition over time, SEM is uniquely capable of dramatically boosting their ongoing results. In short, for anybody who isn't already making “enough money,” or reaching “a large enough audience already,” SEM should be a major player in their handbook.