How many times have you been in a social situation and you meet somebody who asks – “what do you do?”. Many many times I’ll bet, it’s a natural question after all. Anyway I have experienced this many times and as you can imagine, when I say I run a Search Engine Marketing Agency, people have a lot of questions.
Now it’s not that I don’t like talking about my Search Engine Marketing Agency, I really do. It’s just that I’ve realized with such a thirst for this information I thought I could save some time (and my voice) by writing an article and pointing people towards it. Anyway, here it is…
What does a Search Engine Marketing Agency (SEMA) Do?
Well a SEMA will usually offer a range of services to help a company grab the lions share of available business in their niche from the Internet. These services are many and complex but may be broadly split into two main areas:
1) Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing
2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Here’s what it means…
Pay Per Click (PPC)
If you have ever done a Google search (and I’ll bet you have) you will have noticed some small classified advertisements that appear in a column down the right hand side of the screen.
It’s called pay per click because if you put up one of these ads you pay a fee every time somebody clicks on it. The problem with PPC is that if you don’t know what you are doing you really can lose your shirt. You could have hundreds of people clicking your ad but not buying your product or service. Oh yes this really happens – I lost around $1200US learning how to do this properly some years ago.
Most importantly your ad needs to be targeted to your client. If you attract people who don’t really want what you are selling then you are going to make losses. You could write ‘click here now to get money free’ and you would get lots of clicks on your ad – so far so good – but then when they find out your selling insurance or whatever they click away without buying but you are left with a bill for the ad – ouch!
So you want lots of clicks but only for qualified targeted customers. So then you need to know how to write an ad to attract those ideal customers and how to split test different ad copy (the words in the ads) to get the best results. There are also a million (well maybe a little less than that) other things you need to think about to make PPC work – Choosing the best keywords which give good results but don’t cost too much, how to create one ad per each keyword to give you a good ‘Google score’ and minimize the cost per click, how to set out your website sales page – again for a good Google score. Anyway you get the idea – without years of training and experience it would be a miracle to make money using PPC. However with the right training and experience fortunes can be made!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This isn’t paid advertising like PPC so you are less likely to make losses, but the effects are not so instant. It would probably take weeks for an expert to get a website on the first few pages of a Google search for somebody with no training or knowledge it is virtually impossible! Often un optimized sites don’t exist on Google at all not even on the 500th page.
So what is SEO anyway? For very low competition keywords (less than 500,000 competing pages) you may be able to make headway with ‘on page’ SEO. This means setting up the information on your website so that Google will know that it is “about” your chosen keyword. By the way, choosing the right keyword is absolutely critical to any search engine marketing endeavor. You need to find keywords with a high search volume and low competition or all your efforts will be in vain. This in itself can take hundreds of hours of painstaking work for an amateur.
For competitive key words “on page” SEO isn’t going to get you far. For competitive key words you need to take it to a whole new level and get back-links. Back-links are like recommendations from other websites. Ideally you want back-links from other highly ranked web sites which have the right ‘anchor text’. The anchor text is the word that people click on to get to your site. For example a third party site might have the word ‘insurance’ in the content. If that word has a link back to your site then Google will know that your site is about… you guessed it ‘insurance’. Now all you need to do is get hundreds – if not thousands – of those back links. Do that and you have a good chance of getting into the first few pages of Google when somebody searches on-line for your keyword! Again this is just the basics you need to know all about ‘no follow’ links, authority pages, reciprocal links etc. etc. etc.
So there you have a basic outline of what a ‘Search Engine Marketing Agency’ does. Of course you could try and do it yourself but I wouldn’t recommend it. A much better idea is to get a SEM Agency to help you. The ROI can be realized in a very short time. It has been known for a good SEM strategy well implemented to increase the income of a business by multiples! Many businesses have dominated their local markets with these types of strategies and become known as authorities within their niches!