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How to drive traffic with search engine marketing

Search engine marketing is an important component of establishing some type of online visibility. Online visitors are using search engines more than ever before, especially since they're continually becoming more intuitive as time progresses. In fact, recent Statista data found that more than 197 million U.S. adults accessed some type of search engine service in 2012, with that figure likely growing before the year's end.

Since e-commerce is so largely predicated on Web presence, it's crucial for new-business owners to implement a targeted and scalable SEM strategy for their business, otherwise their platform will get lost in the online ether. While there are various ways to attract new and unique visitors to your website, search engine marketing differs from the rest in that with a marginal investment, a business can have its advertisement well positioned on or near the top of a popular search engine page when specific keywords are used in an online query. Advertisers will commonly bid on phrases and word sets that are industry specific or hyper relevant to a specific product or service.

Search marketing for the win

Since SEM is so heavily reliant on keywords, it's important that businesses focus on selecting and implementing a proper keyword strategy from the get-go. The difference between search engine optimization and search engine marketing lies in the fact that companies using SEM have much more control over their digital marketing efforts. SEO is a strong tool for a highly targeted optimization effort, while SEM can focus on a much larger pool of keywords while ensuring similar visibility success. What's more, the guaranteed placement of an SEM investment is a strong way to begin driving traffic to your website. This can be especially helpful for a business that's just beginning and wants to drive traffic to their platform right away. What's more, SEM strategies tend to deliver a higher volume of first-time visitors to websites, which is especially advantageous for startup e-commerce businesses since they're looking to establish a new client base.

Combine SEO and SEM

Yet, SEM and SEO aren't mutually exclusive. Rather, the two have been found to work well in tandem, often yielding positive results for companies that utilize this strategy. In using SEO as a complement to SEM, businesses can optimize which keywords are yielding the best results for their search engine outreach efforts and dedicate more time and financial resources to those particular strategies.

Web traffic is now widely accepted as a barometer of a platform's viability in a given marketplace, so it's essential for business owners to direct unique visitors to their websites. E-commerce operators don't want to funnel a high volume of uninterested buyers to their website, though, so it's important to use industry-related and targeted keywords about specific products and services that will help direct interested clientele to your platform. Both SEM and SEO strategies are useful on their own, but when combined, their efforts can produce a synergized search engine outreach campaign and lead to an outpouring of prospective clientele.

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