How about a search engine market? I know you won’t be here if everything is going well with your marketing. But don’t worry; put a smile on your face.
Bad SEO prevents your SME website or blog articles from appearing high in searches, leading to fewer clicks, fewer leads, and fewer sales.
So, what if there was a way to make your marketing more effective? Just what if?
What if you could get more value for each buck spent on paid search? Do you want a head start on your competition? Then keep on reading.
While it’s critical you employ organic strategies to attract traffic over the long-term, sometimes, you can’t properly compete on the SERPs without putting money behind it — and that’s where SEM comes into play.
In this guide, you’ll learn all the basics of search engine marketing and some of the best strategies for doing SEM marketing just right.
What is SEM(Search Engine Marketing)?
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is the act of using paid strategies to increase search visibility. Brands pay for ads to appear as search results on search engine results pages. With SEM, brands pay for ads to appear as search results on search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEM intersects with search engine optimization (SEO), as it can include strategies like rewriting the content of a website and its architecture to achieve higher rankings.
Businesses pay for their adverts to appear alongside search queries in search engines with search engine marketing. For example, Google, Yahoo, Safari, and Bing are search engines. This brings us to how does search engine marketing works.
How Does Search Engine Marketing Really Works?
Before we get to that, we should know SEO and SEM are fundamental parts of your online marketing strategy because the algorithms that power search engines are becoming more sophisticated by the day. A well-thought-out paid search advertising strategy has become an absolute necessity if you want to ensure high rankings in the searches relevant to your business.
Simply put: The SEM practices revolve around promoting websites in SERPs to optimize the brand presence and conversions.
The search engines use algorithms to provide the most relevant results to every user. To produce the best suggestions to the users’ queries, they consider not only the search keywords entered by users but also users’ location, type of device and operating system they are working on, users’ preferences, and identities.
In search engine marketing, advertisers pay for impressions that result in visitors, hence the name pay-per-click. Search engine marketing aims to reach users when they most need the information you have to offer, making PPC advertising less intrusive. A well-constructed SEM strategy can also boost your website’s SEO by attracting high-quality traffic. This proves to search engines like Google that your website is an authoritative source, which can, in turn, boost rankings.
The better the search algorithm is, the happier the user is with its results.
How To Build An SEM Strategy Using Keywords.
Keywords are very important. Keywords are the words and phrases people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for.
For example, if you were looking to buy a new jacket, you might type something like a “men’s leather jacket” into Google. Even though that phrase consists of more than one word, it’s still a keyword.
Of course, nobody outside of the SEO industry tends to use this terminology. Most people would call them Google searches or queries. Just know that keywords are synonymous with both of these things.
Keywords are the heart of search engine marketing. We cannot stress enough how important good keyword research is for the success of your paid ads strategy. If you want to own the SERPs, a good SEM strategy complements an already strong SEO strategy.
Enter a relevant keyword to your business and scroll through the related keywords. Explore the suggested search terms to find the right idea for your PPC ad groups.
Remember to take full advantage of the filters available and choose keywords to exclude. Also, take note of the “CPC $” column to get an idea of the cost-per-click. Now you have a strong basis for any search engine marketing campaign.
Do not forget, before you start:
Conceptualizing your ad, you must spend some time with your keywords and understand them deeply.
Users sometimes enter search queries with very clear intent. Those who need the information of a commercial nature are way more likely to make a purchase at the end of their search than those just “scrolling” the internet for content.
The Steps To Build An SEM Strategy Are Pretty Straightforward:
- Conduct keyword research.
- Select those keywords related to your business and have the right intent.
- Open Google Ads and set up a campaign.
- Select the most relevant keywords.
- Create an ad that will be displayed in the SERPs.
- Choose a bidding strategy and pay for each click you get.
SEM allows you to place an ad in front of users in the right phase of the marketing funnel. In other words, customers who are ready to convert. But to ensure that your search marketing campaign will have the highest ROI, you’ll need to target the right keywords and watch out for a few more things.Let’s look at these more in detail.
How To Build An Effective SEM Strategy: Best Practices
SEM strategy comes down to optimizing paid search ads with a specific goal in mind. To create a good strategy, you must understand how paid ad platforms works and effectively manage variables that affect performance, such as keywords, budget, and copy.With this in mind, here are some of the factors that should go into your strategy if you want to earn paid ads success:1. Define Your Goals.What do you want people to do once they click on your PPC ad?Before you get into the technicalities of paid advertising, it’s crucial to nail why you want to spend money on SEM in the first place. Do you want users to download your latest app? Sign up for your newsletter? Or maybe subscribe to your podcast?Whatever your goal is, be sure it is clear for the whole team so that you can set a strategy that aligns all your search engine marketing efforts.2. Set A Budget.Unlike SEO, which is free, search engine marketing has a steep (and often costly) learning curve in identifying your optimal starting budget.It’s a tricky phase for many businesses, resulting in dollars wasted without moving the needle closer to your target if done wrong. This is why many businesses prefer to consult with a PPC advertising agency, where paid search analysts do the legwork of constantly looking for ways to improve your results, whether it’s decreasing your cost per acquisition (CPA) or netting more visibility for your brand.3.Pick Your PPC Platform.Like social media, different PPC platforms also have different strengths and weaknesses depending on what you need. Google has the highest search volume, but bidding also comes with thicker competition. On the other hand, Bing isn’t as expensive, but you get less search volume than Google.That said, your choice of platform is largely dependent on your unique needs as a business and your audience. Run exploratory tests to see which platforms produce the best quality traffic for the best results.4. Check On Your Keywords Cost.The bid determines ad placement you specific for the keyword and the quality score Google has given your ad. While there can be a desire to use broad terms to bring in more traffic, specific keywords bring the best kind of traffic. If you want to optimize the value of each click, unique keywords are your best option.Higher bids and higher quality ads win the best placement. With this in mind, high competition keywords end up being more expensive. Bidding too low means your ad will not be shown, so you’ll want to ensure that you can be competitive based on how much competition is for the.5. Analyze Search Keywords.Intent Search intent helps identify keywords to select based on why people search. They’re divided into three categories:
- Navigational– the user wants to find another web page
- Informational – researching a topic
- Commercial – desire to make a purchase
To choose the right keywords with the best results, you need to think like your customer.Research to determine what keywords to bid on or, in other words, what queries you want your ad to show up for. Start by brainstorming brand terms, terms that describe your product, and even terms that describe your competition. Searches like ‘buy low-cost water heater’ differ from ‘water heater broke’ queries. One is a commercial key phrase, and the other is informational.Ideally, you should offer content on all three areas to complete your call-to-action (CTA). Your keywords will target different landing pages or web pages dedicated to those search phrases.In the case of informational searches, you should provide some unique content related to that phrase.6. Refine Your Keywords With Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI is a convoluted way of saying word association. Google uses LSI to produce related results through context. In other words, the search engine tries to understand what you mean through your keywords.One of the easiest ways to find your LSI keywords is through the search engine. You can type a particular phrase in Google Search to find the relevant LSI keywords and search terms. For example, if you google the search term “Website,” you will find the following LSI keywords.To demonstrate this, go to Google and start to type a phrase.Use these semantic or associated words to refine your keywords list. Google has identified them as important, so use them to your advantage.7. Use A Keyword Planner ToolsOne of the best tips for choosing the right keywords is to know where to begin your research. Google’s Keyword Planner tool is a free tool to see what keywords work and which ones don’t.You can access it within the Google Ads platform. But don’t create a PPC ad. Simply create an account, then use the planner to enter a key phrase.Results show how many people searched for those keywords over time. The service also displays related phrases with associated traffic counts.You can add phrases that work well to your advertising plan. This list is useful to group related keywords to use within your SEO strategy.If you want an alternative to Google’s offering, try Moz Explorer. Enter a keyword or web address and create your free account for up to 10 queries. The service provides monthly volume metrics and how difficult it will be to rank for that keyphrase.It’s a detailed report that includes a SERP analysis and organic CTR.If those phrases don’t mean much, don’t worry. Using the right SEO agency will shield you from the tech-talk and get straight to what’s required.8. Link With The Landing Page:You have to make your landing page relevant you can’t have people clicking on a PPC ad about PPC ads only to bring them to a page about SEO. Your bounce rates will go through the roof, and that’s not a good thing.Bring value to your users and set up your landing pages so that there’s as little friction as possible when you want users to sign up for your newsletter or download your eBook.You need to optimize your landing pages to link with your keyword selection; otherwise, they won’t work.Landing pages display targeted content, so you must optimize them to link with your keyword selection. Your chosen keywords will fit in the page title, headings, and alt image tags. Everything about these should relate to the keywords you want to rank for.Keep your landing page in mind when choosing keywords – not only will Google rank your page higher, but an optimized landing page will act as the starting point for a sale or lead.9. Write The Copy.Compelling ad copy ensures that your users click on your paid advertisement. This is one of the elements that need to be continuously tested and optimized to improve click rates further, thus increasing the number of people that visit your landing page (which we’ll talk about in a bit.)SEM and SEO may employ different tactics, but they’re two sides of the same coin, so they work best together. In this case, the team can run PPC campaigns and use the click through data to determine copy variations that work better with your audience.
- Crafting an SEM plan that works for your brand may take a while, but the initial time spent on the drawing board could potentially save you weeks (or months) of stumbling in the dark and wasting resources.
- SEM campaigns may be iterative, but when you have a plan, the rest will fall into place.
Having read through what I wrote. I feel it’s the best time to get to work with all the knowledge you’ve found and watch your search engine marketing blossom like that of rose petals. Start now and earn money!!