Understanding SEM

Search Engine Marketing is one of the most essential and effective marketing strategies to enhance the visibility of a website through paid advertising campaigns. It involves researching, submitting and positioning of your company’s website within a search engine to maximise viewership in SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages) and boost your share of paid traffic referrals from search engines. As unlimited users are utilising the internet for almost anything and everything in their lives, it acts as a fertile field for businesses and corporations to sow their seeds of salience resulting in assured success.

Why do you need SEM?

More Money — Maximising revenue exists as the common denominator between all brands, irrespective of their capital, industry or their clients. Here are a few facts that substantiate the importance of Adwords which result in better returns:

  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Adwords
  • Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users
  • 52% of online who interact with PPC (Pay Per Click) Ads immediately follow their browsing with calls to the advertiser

SEM offers an instant and immediate way of generating revenue for your brand by attracting the appropriate audience.

Conversion-Centric

SEM is an important conversion driver when it comes to any marketing campaign. It’s mostly due to the intention of chalking out paid ads which are commonly linked to conversion focused landing pages that move web traffic through the sales funnel. Adding onto this subscribers, newsletter signups, surveys and contents are all alternative types of conversions that a marketer would explore.

Better Branding

According to Google, search ads can increase brand awareness by 80%. Even if the ads don’t receive the expected clicks, the brand names that appear on the top direct the viewers in the desired direction. Viewers might recognize the product and check it out or compare it with a competitor to verify its validity. But it basically brings the brand under a lucrative limelight.

SEM is a saviour for local marketing

Local marketing aims to target clientele from a particular region which lie in the vicinity of the company. When people search for a “food delivery near me” or “technology servicing near me” it’s the local marketers who make such queries get connected with business listings and ads in the search engines. This supports small businesses who would otherwise get overshadowed by the omnipresence of MNCS. Research also shows that 75% of searchers who find local business information online will physically visit the store within 24 hours.

Creates a Consistent source of Traffic

The constancy of change causes great uncertainty for a business. Even though they can’t forecast the future, they plan a strategic budget in case of a contingency. To mitigate come of this chaos, search ads can be used to generate consistent traffic for certain keywords that help you channelise the amount of traffic coming to your site at any time. So even if your SEO and other tactics fluctuate, search ads will generate traffic to your site.

Quickest Quest

Ads appear first in the search engine results. A paid ad gives you a better chance of being at the top of the SERPs if your keyword is high enough with a good quality score. SEM can get you into the first page more easily and effortlessly than SEO would because that’s where all the clicks actually happen.

Collect Competitive Data

Competitive analysis tools can help you track keywords and analyse other valuable insights that will improve your marketing campaigns and drive more traffic. By checking your competitors ads and comparing their adwords to yours, you can sharpen your stretch of audience and realise the shortcomings of your strategy. It constantly keeps you in check.

Delivers Diversity

SEM provides a plethora of possibilities. Text based ads are usually preferred, but it can be expanded into several other types of ads as well depending on the budget. In addition to the AdWords(Google’s PPC offering and Bing (Microsoft’s PPC offering), Display Ads (banners at the top, side and footer of a website), Retargeting Ads (the ones which get displayed based on a user’s previous searches) and Google shopping Ads (visual search results that drive plenty of clicks and conversions) can be explored and exercised.

Favourable Flexibility

The greatest benefit of SEM is the flexibility it renders to a campaign unlike any other channel. Ads can be completely customised based on the audience, type, category and even location, including the search engine ads that are displayed which can be curated to create the perfect cross-publisher campaign. There’s no single formula that can be applied to every brand, as each campaign has a different motive, mission and message that intend to convey to its customer. SEM lures brands with its multiple options that can be leveraged into creative campaigns and subsequent success.

Master of Mobile Marketing

Search is the most common starting point for mobile research

  • 48% of the searches start on start engines
  • 33% start on branded websites
  • 26% start on branded apps

With an exponential increase of the mobile market engaging in search, SEM provides a perfect opportunity for sites to capitalise on this chance simultaneously extending their reach across multiple platforms as well.

What does a solid SEM strategy include?

  • Know your Customer

SEM is much more than an ad. It’s about combining concepts and capturing the competitive space at your helm. A user typically uses a search engine for 3 reasons :

i) Research — A person might want to learn about a brand, product or service with the intent of gaining information or solving a problem

ii) Entertainment — This ephemeral essentiality of man can help you shape your SEM in a more immersive manner

ii) Purchase a product — These are your safest bets as they’ve already ventured online with a purpose of buying something which saves you the time spent in creating a conviction.

  • Fix a Budget

Your budget should include funding of time and money for the following:

i) Creating landing pages

ii) Content

iii) Research

iv) Managing campaigns

v) Analytics

vi) CPC

  • Set a Goal

Determine the parameters of your goal, whether it is to generate a lead or achieve a particular landmark. Setting a goal, steers the strategy in a direction instead of turning it into a shot in the dark. It doesn’t always have to pertain to sales, but should definitely have a scale.

  • Track your Target

To better understand who your target customers are, compile and analyze data about them. Have a fair knowledge about the niche you’re focusing on substantiated with factual data that drives you to do so. Build your Ads around these challenges to abstain more clicks.

  • Keyword Research

What is SEM without keyword research? Almost nothing. This research translates the thoughts of your potential clients and gives you an idea about how much you need to shell out for a particular keyword. Align them in an appealing manner instead of including as many as you can. These are the key to unlocking the ultimate aim.

SEM is one of the most powerful paradigms in the formation of a digital marketing strategy and turns out to be one of the most significant contributors to its success. SEM can truly make a brand skyrocket, without burning a hole in their pocket.

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