Is SEM useful only to online companies?
SEM (search engine marketing) is equally useful to both online and offline companies. The heart of SEM is the search engine where companies bid on keywords or phrases in order to have their ads appear in the SERP (search engine results page). The search provides a gauge to what is being looked for, which allows companies to focus their marketing on those that are most likely to buy from them.
SEM incorporates advertising on web pages and blogs, keyword search, search site listing, email ads, sponsored mobile content, and more with the goal of generating increased internet traffic that can be converted into a sale. SEM can also include using free media such as a social network profile in an online community like Facebook; offering email subscriptions for product updates, new product announcements, and issuing coupon codes; having a blog in addition to a website; and adapting an online presence to accommodate a mobile platform.
How can SEM be used to benefit offline companies?
Offline or brick-and-mortar companies can get ahead of the competition with a good website and the right SEM strategy. Kevin Lee writes at ClickZ that customers will research products online and then buy offline at a brick-and-mortar store, which emphasizes their need for SEM. Available SEM options can include paid advertising on blogs, websites, and in emails; inviting existing customers to take online surveys about the business and their experience; issuing coupons in emails; and providing QR codes that contains coupons, discounts, or product announcements.