Did you know that 6.5 billion searches are made each day on search engines across the world? In fact, Smart Insights reports that online searches will rapidly continue to increase year after year. Do you want to be in front of those potential consumers at critical times? With search engine marketing (SEM), you have immediate top placement, statistics to help make informed decisions and trackable ROI for you to do just that.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHAT IS SEM?
SEM is a marketing practice businesses use that involves increasing visibility in search engine results pages using paid advertisements. Ultimately, advertisers bid on keywords that users might enter when conducting a search for certain products or services. The advertiser’s ads then have the opportunity to appear next to the results for those search queries.
FIVE CONSIDERATIONS FOR STARTING YOUR SEM CAMPAIGN
SEM can be overwhelming at first. Below are top tips to jumpstart your paid search adventure.
1. Select Your Search Engine
The choice between which advertising platform to use is an important place to start. There are two commonly known advertising platforms: Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Both platforms can work great for SEM; however it’s important to know your goals and overall budget when deciding which one to use. Pinterest has also announced their move into the paid search world with a focus on visual search. Facebook wants to be in the game as well, stating that Facebook Ads combined with paid search ads increase overall conversions.
A big factor when deciding which platform to use are demographics. Who are you trying to reach and where will those users be searching for your products or services? Once answered, the fun begins. You can start strategically creating the structure of the campaign.
2. Determine What Defines Success
Once you decide what platform you are going to use, determine what you’re trying to accomplish. An SEM campaign is categorized into subcategories or ad groups. Under each ad group, keywords, ad copy, landing pages and ad extensions are built out. When creating ads, it is important to direct users to the most relevant pages on the website with a strong call to action – not to mention, bidding on the keywords that will convert for your business. Ultimately, what do you want the end user to do once they get to the site? Fill out a form, purchase a product or book a room? An SEM campaign can easily track these actions; they just need to be established first.
3. What Do Users Want?
How are we going to get in front of users? Simple – by researching their search habits. Knowing what consumers are searching for and what stage they are in within the decision-making process is key to determining what messaging will relate to that user. Today, according to Google, more than 50 percent of global search queries now come from mobile devices. People are searching on the go and often times search for services and products when they need them the most. Having this knowledge, we are able to personalize ads and the consumer journey to make for a great experience.
4. Name Your Price
Bidding is another important part of the strategy. Campaigns can be optimized towards clicks or conversions. Bids should be customized based on performance and desired outcomes. These might include bid adjustments based on location, day-parts, devices, customer lists and/or audiences. It’s just another way to boost your business’s SEM.
5. Get in Front of Billions
Finally, there is no on and off switch for SEM. SEM is overarching within a campaign and is a tactic that should always be turned on even when a campaign ends. While billions of searches are made each day on search engines across the world, this is increasing year over year. SEM is vital for your business to get in front of those people actively searching for your product or service and keeps your business top of mind with consumers.
DOES SEM REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
From planning the strategy to implementation, our clients’ advertising goals are our primary focus. We’ve helped clients see sales increases and upticks in ROI because, often, paid search is the first interaction in the consumer journey.
Managing SEM can be an enormous task, and optimizing it to the fullest requires expertise. If you are ready to take your campaign to the next level or want help getting started, contact L&S today.