Search Engine Marketing incorporates search engine optimization, website design + development, graphics, Adwords + PPC advertising and traditional marketing to increase customer traffic & loyalty, brand awareness plus conversions to sales.
Seeing your website in the #1 position of Google Search is certainly a thrill but if you are not converting the searchers once you get them to your website, you have wasted a lot of effort.
The truth is if you are not converting searchers on your site, you are probably not #1 in search.
Search Engine Marketing is the culmination of:
SEM is really Web Marketing because it uses many vehicles to get users to your website including custom applications, social media, Near Field Communications, WiFi splash pages and more. Once a user is on your site, it is important to give them what they want - quickly and easliy. Then the task is to get them to click down into a funnel that ends with them becoming a customer, then there is a second funnel to get them to become a repeat customer.
For your user experience to be high, you must make your pages engaging and focused. Make the information easily found and digested. Link to further reading on your website so users can "flesh out" concepts presented.
Eric Enge, of Stone Temple Consulting, interviewed Rand Fishkin, of Moz, about the importance of UX - read the interview.
The interview is from 2011 and even though some of the things talked about have gone away, we can see that Google started a long time ago to look at User Experience as a ranking factor. They look at things like:
All the foregoing is subjective to the content being consumed. Looking at today's weather may only take seconds and no second page is looked at, while looking for a stock market analysis should probably involve several minutes and many pages.
Google Analytics can provide valuable data about users who visit your website: how many sessions they they engage in; are they are new or returning customer; how often they return; where they are city/country; what language they use to browse; do they use a desktop, mobile or tablet to access your site; when they visit; how long they stay; what pages, in what order, do they visit & where they exit your site; and with Google Tag Manager set up: what they click on; how far do they scroll; and other actions you can set up.
All this data is available to you by setting up a GA account and placing a code snippet on each page of your website.
Kissmetrics has a good article on: How to Use Google Analytics to Help Shape Your Marketing Strategy
You can market, using rich media (videos, images, apps), through the Google Display Network, to users that have interacted with your website or Search Ad, using AdWords Remarketing lists. For example, if someone visits a specific webpage on your site selling nutritional supplements, you can make an image or video reminding people about your website, and have that shown on websites that are part of the Google Display Network. You can specifically choose websites within the Display Network either by url or category. You may choose a local gym or yoga studio. Or you may choose a blog that discusses nutrition and diet. Either way you are showing a media rich ad to pre-primed potential customers. Further reading about: Increasing brand awareness
You can read more here About remarketing
You can also expand your remarketing by using your Ad Groups and remarket to "similar audiences". Google help article:Add website remarketing lists to ad groups
There are many GA reports you can look at to help you improve your marketing efforts, here are 3 you can look at:
These are just 3 reports of dozens that are standard in Google Analytics. Most reports can have a secondary dimension added to see the data against other data and filters to view a segment of your data in detail.