So, you want to know the advantages of search engine marketing (SEM) and how it can help you scale your business.

I run a Boutique Digital Marketing Agency based in Spokane, WA. We manage different ad campaigns for our clients based on their needs.

What makes an SEM campaign stand out is that it allows you to:

  • Quicky get more online visibility
  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Reach prospects at the right time
  • Drive website traffic that converts
  • Dominate Local Search Results
  • Optimize your budget in real-time

As Neil Patel summarized it...

"SEM is a powerful way to drive traffic, growth, and conversions quickly"

My name is Evan Ernst, and in this blog post, I'll explain the above key points. If you want to start with the basics, read my article on the types of search engine marketing.

The Search Engine Marketing Benefits for Your Business

You may think the opinion of seasoned marketers like myself and Neil Patel is biased...I get it.

So, before we dive into the advantages of SEM, check out some stats from Lunio Ai

  • Search ads increase brand awareness by as much as 80% (WordStream)
  • 46% of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on the search results page (WebFX)
  • 75% of people say paid ads make it easier to find information (ClutchIo)

I hope this info sheds more light on the importance of adding an SEM campaign to your digital marketing strategies. The goal is to generate more leads or sales...and here is how you can do it.

Shortcut to the Top of Search Engines Results

As you may know, search engine optimization is an effective way to reach your target audience...but it's also a long-term strategy. Don't get me wrong, SEO can be very beneficial for your business, but we're talking about quick results.

Paid advertising guarantees a prime position.

using organic and paid traffic in a marketing strategy

This immediate visibility in search engine results pages has made a huge difference, proven by the KPIs of SMBs we work with at Ernst Media.

When you launch an SEM campaign with Google Ads, for example, your brand will instantly appear above organic results. In other words, search engine marketing means investing in positions on SERPs, where all the eyeballs are.

When folks ask me to compare organic traffic to paid traffic...I say it's like taking the stairs instead of riding the elevator!

Increased Brand Recognition & Competitiveness

When your business appears at the top of search engine results, you aren't just getting web traffic. Those prime spots secured through SEM also enhance the recognition and credibility of your brand.

Something most of our clients aiming for quick results never thought about is that:

Brand visibility is very beneficial in the long haul...Especially if you're in an industry where your customers have many options.

Studies have shown that brands appearing in top search results are perceived as more credible and trustworthy. Because of human psychology, strong brand identity is a key factor for digital marketing success.

The late Steve Jobs once said:

"Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business"

Effective Search Intent-Based Targeting

Another advantage of search engine marketing is precise targeting. With other types of digital marketing, like social media ads, you can target people by demographics, interests, behavior, etc...When advertising on search engines, you can also perfectly match the intent of your target audience.

Do the keyword research, find the relevant keywords, and decode the search intent.

Let's say you own an interior design studio and want to promote your business on Google.

For informational search queries like "How to choose colors for your home interior?", the top Google search results are blog posts.

example of search engine results where a blog post is at the top

For transactional keywords like "Home interior designer in Seattle," the top results are ads. I don't think further explanation is needed.

example of top search engine results being paid ads

It was a very basic example, but I'm sure you get the point.

High-Value Traffic & More Conversions

This one is a natural continuation of the last section.

When you combine geo-targeting with specific keywords, your ads appear only in front of people ready to spend money.

This translates to high-quality traffic, which results in much better conversion rates...And that's how you maximize ad spend.

However, to achieve good results with your search engine marketing efforts, you need to learn two more things:

  1. How to create, manage, and optimize your PPC ad campaigns the right way. That's a whole nother topic that I covered in this blog post.
  2. How to craft great landing pages. According to SERP WATCH, conversion rates increase by 80% on average when pain points are addressed on a landing page.

Very Powerful for Local Businesses

Search engine marketing is a powerful digital advertising tool for any local business trying to get more visibility.

Recent statistics published by SemRush suggest that in the US:

  • 63% of Google searches occur on mobile devices
  • 46% of those Google searches have local intent

As you can imagine, many of those people are searching for businesses with physical locations or service providers. Here is how you can target mobile users:

For Businesses That Need More Foot Traffic

Placing paid advertisements on Google Maps is the most effective way to reach potential customers. Your ads appear above all your competitors, who only have a business profile.

As you can see from the screenshot, the business that advertises on Google Maps has fewer reviews. However, because it is the first result, it gets the most clicks.

google maps ads example

For Businesses That Need Quality Leads

Google Local Services ads (LSA) are specifically designed for service providers and appear above all other advertisements. In some states, LSAs are also displayed in Google Maps when opened on mobile devices.

They give your potential customers all the information they need to make an informed decision quickly, plus verification badges for extra credibility.

example of local service ads appearing on top of search engine results

SEM Strategies Are Easy to Scale (Up or Down)

One of the most important search engine marketing benefits is its scalability.

It doesn't matter if you're a small business experimenting with Google Ads or an established company looking to expand...any SEM strategy can be audited and adjusted to meet your evolving needs and marketing budget.

Let's say you’re launching a new product or entering a new market. What you can do is increase your ad spend to boost visibility by:

  • Bidding on more competitive keywords
  • Expanding your geographic targeting
  • Increasing the frequency of your ads
  • Experiment with different ad formats

Dependable Painting (one of our clients) is a great example. This small business, operating in Dallas, GA, wanted to expand into the Northwest suburbs of Atlanta.

To help them achieve that, we scaled their Google Ads budget from $5K to $20K in a matter of a few months. If you want to see more data, check out the Growing a Home Services Google Ads Account case study.

Another scenario would be if your business is going through a slow period and you must cut costs. Scaling down your search engine marketing campaign is just as simple.

To maintain a presence in search results without overspending, you can:

  • Reduce your daily SEM campaign budget
  • Bid on less competitive (cheaper) keywords
  • Narrow your targeting to focus on the best audience segments

Similarly, when running SEM campaigns and one of them isn't performing well, you can quickly adjust your marketing strategy. In this case, not by reducing your budget but by reallocating it to more successful PPC ads.

That's what we recommended after performing a PPC account audit of one of our clients in Seattle. They were running multiple Shopping campaigns, and one of them had by far the best ROAS over the past month.

When you know how to do it, running a successful SEM campaign isn't rocket science.

work with a boutique digital marketing agency to grow your business

What Are the Disadvantages of Search Engine Marketing?

The only potential disadvantage of search engine marketing is the continuous financial investment. Unlike SEO strategies focusing on organic traffic, SEM has an ongoing cost. Thus, each campaign must be monitored and optimized on a regular basis to avoid overspending.

At Ernst Media, we work with businesses from very competitive industries. Naturally, everyone wants their ads to be at the top spot in search engines. But, when you can't match the bids of big corporations, focusing on the number 1 position will quickly eat your advertising budget.

The Wrap Up

I hope you now have a better understanding of the benefits of search engine marketing. When utilized correctly, it's highly effective for all types of businesses.

If you check out our clients' testimonials, you'll see that search engine marketing appears in the majority of them. There is a simple reason for works.

If you have any other questions about digital marketing, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm always available for a free consultation.