What Is A Search Engine Marketing Consultant?

Originally Published: 26 September 2022
Last Updated: 17 October 2022
Written by: Nick Jolliffe

Reading Time: 4.055 minutes

Categories: SEO
What Is A Search Engine Marketing Consultant?

How much do you know about SEO? Would you say you’re fairly familiar with the concept, but not the nitty gritty or how it works?

What about SEM? Don’t worry if you don’t really have a clue – that’s the term that often trips people up! SEO and SEM are often used interchangeably, but they are actually 2 different practices, with different aims and different tools to achieve them. In recent years both SEO and SEM have gone from being a luxury to a necessity in the world of business, and so business owners need to understand the ins and outs of SEM in a lot more detail. Or hire an SEM consultant to help them out. In this article we answer the question, What is a Search Engine Marketing Consultant?

What Is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing (or SEM), is the practice of marketing your business on search engines using paid methods. Also known as Pay Per Click, SEM campaigns are perfect for businesses who want to drive clicks to their website in a relatively short time frame.

SEM campaigns will be made up of different types of ads on different platforms to maximise reach For example, an SEM campaign might include:

  • Search Ads (that appear as text in search engines)
  • Shopping Ads (that you see at the top of Google when searching for a product)
  • Display Ads
  • Gmail Ads (ads displayed within the Gmail platform)
  • YouTube Ads (advertising on YouTube both as banner ads and within videos)

All of these ads can be different, and help your business reach a unique market segment with a new message. Specialists design these ads to appear when a user searches for a specific term they wish to be found for, and every time the ad is clicked the business will pay for it. Results tend to be seen quicker than SEO, with clicks and conversions rising in a short period of time if the ad is well designed. 

The Difference Between SEO and SEM

If you’ve read any of our previous posts on SEO, you might be wondering what the difference is between SEM and SEO. After all, it sounds pretty similar. So, to clear things up:

SEO is the process of optimising your website and other online presences through organic methods, such as keyword research, content marketing and link building.

SEM is the process of using paid methods to appear in search results.

Both methods rely heavily on keyword research and audience understanding, with the aim of driving traffic to your website. So why have 2 terms?

Simple – one is paid, and one is organic. This is the primary difference between the two. In the past, this wouldn’t have been such a big distinction, and often both methods would have been handled by the same teams. But with the evolution of Google, SEO and SEM require different skills and levels of understanding and have become specialisms in their own right. SEM ads are clearly marked as ‘ads’, and you pay for every single click made regardless of if it results in a sale.

SEM is something you can do in-house if you have the resources (it’s almost a full-time job, and definitely not a responsibility to be added on to another job role), but most businesses choose to hire an SEM consultant instead. This is a person or agency who can manage your SEM needs for you, including designing campaigns, doing research, setting up and monitoring campaigns. 

Why Hire An SEM Consultant?

Simply put, because SEO and SEM are huge fields, with changes happening every single day. There’s a lot of monitoring, tweaking and changing, and designing strategies that will produce the results you want in a constantly changing landscape. 

An SEM consultant is someone who lives and breathes SEM. They have spent years learning the fundamentals and theories, honing their skills and designing successful SEM strategies. They also have access to the specialised skills and tools needed to make those strategies successful and have the time to dedicate to them. Most SEM consultants will work with you on a contract or freelance basis, with bigger corporations hiring their own SEO specialists in-house. In short, they are a crucial part of your digital marketing team, and if you want to succeed on Google, you need one on board.So yes, you could do it yourself. But the likelihood is you would find it far too time-intensive very quickly, and your results would never be as good as those from a specialist SEM consultant. At Lion Spirit Media, our team are fully trained and experienced in SEM and has worked with a wide variety of businesses to design successful SEM strategies. If you would like to know more about the benefits of SEM to your business, just get in touch with the team today.

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