The current landscape for numerous markets looks very similar. Countless businesses are all competing for the same target customers within their markets, implementing similar tactics to gain their attention. With so much fierce competition vying for your customer’s time and attention, how do you ensure your business makes a significant impact? Search engine marketing, also […]
The current landscape for numerous markets looks very similar. Countless businesses are all competing for the same target customers within their markets, implementing similar tactics to gain their attention. With so much fierce competition vying for your customer’s time and attention, how do you ensure your business makes a significant impact?
Search engine marketing, also known as SEM, is an effective method that can help enhance your business strategy by promoting your products and services and gain visibility on search engines. While SEM is a simple marketing tool, it’s important to understand the basics behind the practice and effective tips that can further boost your efforts.
In this blog, we will explore some of the basics of search engine marketing, and some tips that can help you incorporate SEM into your business strategy.
In the most basic terms, search engine marketing (SEM) is a set of marketing practices in which a business uses paid search to rank high on search engines. Like SEO, it’s an incredible tool that helps boost your business’s visibility online, allowing it to come to the attention of potential customers.
Your marketing team can purchase listings in the “sponsored” section at the top of a search engine through paid search. They may also bid for specific keywords and keyword phrases that potential customers may enter on Google or another search engine when searching for products or services your business offers. You may have come across paid search ads during Google searches—these ads are usually reserved at the top of a search results page with the word “ad” or “sponsored” to indicate it as an ad.
The most common paid search program is PPC (pay-per-click). With PPC, you only pay for a search listing when a user clicks on your ad. These ads come in different formats, including text ads and product ads. Depending on your business objectives, you’ll need to decide what type of ads you want to utilize to make the most of your business’s marketing efforts. The best part about SEM is that it allows you to put your business in front of customers who are likely in shopping mode. By having ads ready at the top of search results, you can ensure that your business’s products or services are the first things customers see when they’re ready to make purchases.
You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO) as it’s heralded to be one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness—among other things. SEO and SEM share various similarities but there are key differences that should be noted. For example, search engine marketing (SEM) typically involves paid advertisements that are displayed on search results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has a different system. Instead of using paid advertisements to increase traffic and clicks, businesses can leverage keywords and relevant content to boost their ranking on search engines…for free! Now, SEO takes longer to build than SEM, and both should play key roles in your business strategy.
With traditional marketing like billboards and mail becoming largely ineffective, SEM is taking its place as one of the best tools for business growth. SEM provides tangible benefits to your business such as:
According to Higher Visibility, around 27% of website traffic comes from paid search efforts. This becomes especially powerful when combined with organic search. Search engine marketing helps guide visitors to your business’s website through strong, relevant keywords. For example, if you owned a bakery that sold organic desserts in Miami, FL, you would need to essentially bid for keywords like “organic bakery”, “organic bakery in Miami, FL”, and other relevant keywords so that anyone searching for those terms could come across your ads, click, and visit your website.
When you combine SEM and SEO together, you can target a large audience size with your specific keywords and ads, leading to an increase in ROI for your business’s marketing efforts. The amount of times your ad appears to potential customers depends on your budget and how much you pay per click. This usually ranges from a few cents per click to a few dollars per click. If there’s fierce competition for your chosen keywords, they may be more expensive as opposed to keywords that have fewer competitors. Fortunately, you can also set a limit to the amount you want to spend on your ads. You are also able to actively measure conversions and other relevant stats that can help your team decide strengths and weaknesses in the overall strategy. In contrast, traditional marketing like TV or radio ads does not provide businesses with any type of data that can help them make informed decisions.
It’s no question that your competitors likely use SEM for their business efforts. If your competitors are investing in SEM and you are not, you risk being outshined by the competition which can essentially make your brand irrelevant to your audience. As stated by Digital Third Coast, 2 in 5 small-to-midsized businesses launch PPC campaigns to reach their marketing objectives. SEM offers a valuable solution that can boost your business’s edge in the competition by increasing its exposure.
SEM is quite flexible as it allows you to make necessary adjustments to the budget and timing of campaigns. Any type of budget can also reach positive results. You are also able to specify locations and target consumers in each campaign, which ensures your ads are seen by the right people. These useful features are some of the numerous reasons why SEM is so successful and widely used by businesses.
Most people use search engines to find what they want. Whether it’s information on a product or a brand, search engines are an integral part of a business’s success. As many as 3.5 billion Google searches are conducted every day and grow by 10% each year, according to Internet Live Stats. 74% of these online users perform local searches to find businesses that sell relevant products or services. Since Google is the largest search engine, it’s important to take advantage of these tools for your business’s success.
Search engine marketing is one of the best ways to gain new customers and maximize your business efforts. SEM is also easy to scale, so it grows as your business increases. Of course, it’s important to make sure you consider your objectives, goals, and overall budget to not waste time and money on fruitless efforts.
Contact us today to make the most of your marketing budget and create effective SEM campaigns for your business.