How aggressive should you be with search engine marketing (SEM)?

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Search engine marketing (SEM) can be a great way of driving visitors to your website, and measuring exactly how they got there and how much it cost.

Using paid advertising, it's also possible to negatively target your competitors – a technique that was used by political parties in this year's federal election.

From The Age:

A CURIOUS thing happened yesterday when Sally-Anne Brown typed her own name into Google. The independent candidate for the marginal Victorian seat of Corangamite was startled to find the first link that appeared on the screen belonged to the Liberal Party. Beside it were the words sponsored link.

Late afternoon yesterday, The Age googled the words Darren Cheeseman, the name of the Labor MP who holds the seat of Corangamite. Another Liberal Party sponsored link was the first link to appear on the screen.

The tactic, according to Google, is called search advertising, using the Google product AdWords. And - in an era where reaching your audience in every possible way is crucial - Labor and the Greens are using it, too. The party pays for their advertising to be the top link on the screen when someone googles a related word.

Read the full article from The Age (opens in new window).

Is it a technique worth trying? As political parties have found out, it can back-fire disastrously. When trying to be clever with finding visitors, make sure you do it honestly, or it may do your brand more harm than good.

To learn more about SEM, contact Webdragon for a free consultation.

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