What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and who is using it?
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is an incredibly effective protocol that helps grow a business in a progressively competitive marketplace. It is a practice of marketing a business using paid advertisements that appear on several search engine results pages (or SERPs).
It’s never been more important to advertise online, and search engine marketing is the most productive way to promote products and services online and expand the business. Common strategies and tactics include search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, link development, and pay-per-click (PPC) management.
SEM is not like any high-level complicated Science topic but a digital marketing strategy. It can assist companies to develop their business market digitally through paid and unpaid Ads on various search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. It allows you to promote the websites in search engine result pages (SERPs) for optimizing brand presence to attract target customers.
Search engine marketing’s greatest strength is that it offers advertisers the opportunity to put their ads in front of motivated customers who are ready to buy at the precise moment. No other advertising medium can do so, which is why search engine marketing is so effective and such a powerful way to grow your business.
What’s the difference Between SEM And SEO?
Generally, “search engine marketing” refers to paid search marketing, a system where companies pay Google to show their ads in the search results.
Whereas search engine optimization, or SEO, is quite different. For this, advertisers don’t have to pay Google for traffic and clicks. It allows to earn a free spot in the search results by having the most relevant content for a given keyword search.
Both SEO and SEM are critical parts of any online marketing strategy. SEO aims to drive evergreen traffic at the top of the funnel while search engine advertisements is a highly cost-effective way to drive conversions at the bottom of the funnel
Here are some differences between the two terms:
• SEO is an organic technique to have your listings in search, while SEM is a paid strategy that involves paying to have ads appear in search.
• SEO takes some time to show results, while SEM shows instantaneous results.
Which types of Search Engine Marketing exist?
Search Engine Marketing can be broadly categorized into three types:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the method of increasing the rankings of a webpage in the SERPs to gain more visibility, drive traffic, and also help a website improve its leads and conversions.
Search Engine Advertising
While SEO is the means to organically stimulate rankings of a website on the SERPs, Search Engine Advertising is the method that pays search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing so that an ad will emerge on top of their search results.
Paid Submission is a method of listing a company’s information (including its website) to paid online directories. These directories have editors who manually review recommendations.
What Benefits can be expected from Search Engine Management?
SEM provides a clear pathway to improved productivity, functional efficiency, profitability, and competitive advantage. It can promote energy-intensive businesses to relatively reduce energy consumption.
It helps businesses to build strong cooperation and relationships between customers and energy efficiency program providers, resulting in increased velocity of capital projects.
By including SEM into the marketing mix businesses start yielding a range of advantages like:
The most significant benefit of search engine marketing are immediate results. Other strategies like SEO are also quite effective but it will take time to yield meaningful results. With SEM, rapid results can be achieved.
As soon as an ad campaign is launched, statistics about the outcome can be obtained. By applyingdoing SEM for a couple of months and observing it, certain ads won’t be driving clicks, or eat all budget. Therefore it is crucial to monitor any campaign and optimize while running.
Top Search Results
Based on the budget, SEM strategies allow a business to appear at the top of search results. When users conduct searches, they usually click on the top-ranking listings. Statistics show, that 46% of page clicks go to the top three paid ads in search results.
SEM guarantees to put the business at the top of search results, which results in more clicks from inquisitive prospects.
Even if prospects don’t click on the ads, they still get familiar with the brand. Search engine marketing is ideal for building brand recognition, as it can lead to more sales down the line.
More Qualified Leads
Search Engine Marketing is among the best strategies for driving more competent leads to a business. SEM involves targeting accurate keywords, known as long-tail keywords, to help ads appear in related search results.
Targeting precise keywords allows to reach more qualified leads.
Control Over Budget
A major benefit of search engine marketing is that it gives have full control over the budget. Even with very small budgets effective campaigns are possible.
It is essential to keep track of how much to spend as it greatly impacts the success of the campaigns. An important part, though, is to control the spending. Productive SEM strategies give the power to determine what works withing the boundaries of the budget.
Better Brand Awareness
SEM can also boost brand awareness by up to 80%. When people search for certain keywords and see ads, they may not click on them, but still can recognize the product, brand, or even the URL.
The ads for the website are often the first thing a users sees when searching for related keywords. If the ad copy is effective, then this can drive more traffic to the website, increasing the visibility and productivity.
SEM helps to earn more conversions. Since businesses can reach more qualified leads, they’re driving the traffic that’s more likely to convert.
By conveying a customized ad experience, businesses help push these leads towards conversion. As a result, more conversions are achieved which increases the company’s revenue.
Why is SEM typically added into a Marketing Strategy?
Search engine marketing has become a significant online marketing strategy for improving a company’s reach. At some point, businesses might feel like customers are not using search engines to find their products or services anymore. It might be true because of an increasing number of consumers researching and shopping for products online.
The majority of visitors to a website find it by performing a query on a search engine. In search engine marketing, advertisers only pay for impressions that result in more visitors, making it an efficient way for a company to spend its marketing dollars. As a bonus, each visitor incrementally expands the website’s rankings in organic search results.
Since consumers enter search queries with the intent of finding data of a commercial nature, they are in an excellent state of mind to make a purchase, compared to other sites such as social media where users are not explicitly searching for something.
Search marketing reaches consumers at exactly the right time, like when they are open to new information. Unlike the majority of digital advertising, PPC advertising is non-intrusive and does not hinder their tasks.
Plus, the results are immediate with SEM. It is arguably the fastest way to drive traffic to a website. It comes with benefits in every aspect.
How can a SEM Strategy look like?
Search engines work with complicated algorithms to guarantee that the most appropriate results are returned for each search, including location and other available information. Search engine marketing is considered by many to be the most profitable way to spend marketing dollars.
In paid search advertisements, sponsored ads appear at the top of or on the side of search engine results pages. It allows to gain more visibility and significance above organic results. Paid listings are highly relevant to specific search and keywords, making it likely that more people will click on them.
SEM networks are self-serve procedures. Once a marketer assigns a certain network, they can get a campaign up within a short period.
When setting up a campaign within an SEM network, marketers typically:
• Conduct keyword research and specify a set of designated keywords related to the website or product.
• Select a geographic location for the ad to be illustrated.
• Create a text-based ad to be displayed in the various search results.
• For sponsored search results, bid on the most appropriate pricing for each click on the ad.
• Text-only ads are easy to produce. A headline, text for the body of the ad, a call-to-action, and a URL for the hyperlink are added.
How Can The Success of a SEM Campaign be measured?
It is majorly based on the objectives. Professional and competent search engine marketers can understand objectives and customize a program to meet re the quirements.
Following a few metrics to measure the performance of a successful SEM campaign:
Search Engine Marketing Ad Impressions
The number of times a search engine marketing ad is run or shown on a search engine marketing page. This is the input value, of sorts, and you can compare the number with the number of clicks and redirects to see how effective the ad is.
Only well-crafted and targeted ads can compel visitors to click and be redirected to your site. Apart from the basics of advertising, an SEM specialist should also understand the brand voice and the mentality of the prospective clients for optimal results. Search engines typically favor ads with good click-trough rates. They can be run cheaper and will be more efficient in the underlying ad auction.
Number of Clicks From the Search Engine Marketing Ads
The number of times a search engine marketing ad is clicked on by a consumer. This reflects the success or failure of the ad. Ideally, an ad must get as many clicks as possible. This is only possible if an ad has been well-placed, i.e., somewhere where the target audience might find it, and is compelling.
To ensure more clicks, marketers typically do competitor research to understand the mentality of the prospective clients.
Search Engine Marketing Keyword Report
The keywords or terms searched within a search engine that results in a search engine marketing ad click (SEM or PPC).
Keywords are the essence of both SEO and SEM; they need to strategize the ad according to the keyword search trends related to the ad. Doing so will guarantee that people who’re genuinely interested in such things will find your ad.
SEM Keyword Cost-per-click
The cost charged by a search engine to the advertiser for a click on a search engine marketing ad. Cost-per-click denotes the demand for a keyword or phrase. The more businesses that bid on a keyword or phrase, the more companies will pay per click.
Search Engine Marketing Ad Impression Share
The number of times your SEM or pay-per-click ad runs on a search engine vs. the number of impressions available for purchase.
Competent SEM Businesses can provide detailed and precise records to track success after SEM.
What Budget is required for a SEM campaign?
SEM can be a very cost-effective procedure for doing advertising, especially online. The price of SEM is determined by a variety of different factors, some internal and some external.
The internal factors affecting the cost of an SEM strategy include:
• A highly competitive industry like finance comes with high cost-per-clicks as compared to a less competitive business.
• The effectiveness of optimization of Google Ads accounts (and others)
• The cost-per-clicks can vary a lot per keyword. It’s beneficial to find cheaper keyword alternatives when favorable if you have a tight budget
• Budgets typically start as little as 5$ per day, however for larger campaigns this is easily also scaleable.
Taking into consideration the external factors provides a more accurate cost of SEM campaigns. These external factors include:
• Managing, optimizing, and creating SEM accounts takes time and effort, whether it is outsourced or done internally.
• The creation of individual landing pages, optimizing SEO, managing the growth of the website for better user experience.
• Most suppliers charge around 20% of the Budget for the ads to cover Service costs. This however varies, as suppliers might also agree on success-based fees (or part of it).
What does SEM service typically include?
Experienced and professional marketers offer typically high-end services to enhance the visibility of products and services on various search engines.
Creating a Strategy
Setting long-term goals for SEM and aligning them with business necessities. In order to attain more revenue, typically it's decided on how many new customers are needed to acquire and obtain meaningful results.
Conducting Keyword Research
Before starting a paid campaign, a list of keywords associated with the business needs is typically created. Different tools are available to create effective specific and general keywords or combinations of both, measure the traffic volume and get an understanding of the price per click.
Before rolling out, a competitor analysis can be conducted, and online tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, ahrefs can be utilized to get insights. Keywords can be sorted by their intent, whether for commercial intent, informational or generic.
Add Organic Search Promotion
Paid and organic search engine promotion activities work better together. Produced correctly, they reinforce each other and bring greater results. So, ensure to add or tailor SEO along with all SEM activities.
Experiment With Different Types Of Ads & A/B Test your copy
Different ads can be more or less effective for certain businesses. Trying different variations of text, images, etc. and experimenting with ad formats, such as text or shopping ads will help to find the best option.
This is where the SEO part of SEM happens. Make sure that the website, product pages, landing pages, and any other pieces of the online presence align with SEO best practices.
Success Measurement and Review
To analyze the effectiveness of any search engine marketing campaign, it is advised to strive, keep track and regularly monitor the results.
Inhouse Search Engine Marketing or outsource to professional SEM Vendors?
Most companies prefer to outsource their search engine marketing struggles to SEM professionals to assure their programs are properly managed and remain cutting-edge.
Entrusting SEM activities to a trusted vendor will allow your business to free up time to educate and manage internal resources. Whereas the vendors will develop long-term strategies, and create optimized content. There are some factors that might influence the decision process like objectives, timeline, available marketing budget, and internal resources.
When you’re busy running your business, SEM is a big hassle. Instead of trying to figure it out all on your own, consider partnering with an SEM expert.
Xpeer can assist you with finding experts and businesses for more than 100 different services. Reduce the Risk with our help and start exploring the best businesses for Search Engine Marketing.