Each year, businesses spend a good portion of their budget on Search Engine marketing. SEM is an effective way to promote your products and services and grow your business. This Search Engine Marketing guide aims to introduce you to SEM, help you learn PPC and explains how to run ads on Google AdWords to drive traffic and leads on your website. SEM, Google Adwords and PPC are sometimes used interchangeably. This is because one of the most popular methods of SEM and the most used bidding strategy in Google AdWords, is PPC.
Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a process of gaining website traffic through paid ads on search engines, which target users based on keywords. SEM is an effective and powerful way to enhance your company’s online presence. In SEM, organizations bid on keywords to drive traffic to their websites. This search engine marketing guide will help you to learn ppc and explain how SEM works.
Benefits of using SEM (Search Engine Marketing):
- Consistent Website Traffic: SEM provides consistent web traffic, as long as the ads are displayed. Since ads are placed above the organic listings, people tend to click on them. This drives traffic at a consistent rate.
- Brand Awareness: SEM increases visibility of a brand, which builds a positive image. Even if searchers do not click on the ads, appearing on the SERPs increases brand awareness.
- Easy targeting: SEM allows you to choose who to target. Ads are shown in the targeted locations only.
- Fast results: SEO takes time to bring results. SEM on the other hand, takes less time to set up and brings almost instantaneous results. Ads show up the minute the ad campaign is launched.
Acronyms related to SEM
- PPC: stands for pay-per-click. It is a marketing method where advertisers pay when a viewer clicks on their ads.
- CPC: stands for cost-per-click. Sometimes, PPC and CPC are used interchangeably. But PPC is payment based marketing method, while CPC is the actual cost advertisers pay for for each click.
- CPM: Cost Per Mille or cost per thousand impressions is the amount advertisers pay for 1000 impressions or views of their ads. It is charged regardless of whether viewers of the ad click on it or not.
- CTR: Click through rate is the rate at which the viewers click on the ads. CTR is the ratio of the number of clicks to the number of impressions.
- CPA: Stands for cost per action. It is the cost that an advertiser pays for each action that a search engine user performs on the ad.
Websites for SEM
- Google AdWords: AdWords is a paid marketing service by Google. Advertisers pay to get their ads displayed to the users of Google.
- Bing Ads: It is a service that provides PPC ads on the Bing and Yahoo network.
On the other hand, paid ads on social media are generally display type ads. Instead of PPC, ads on social media mostly use the CPM strategy. SEM puts ads on Search Engine results and partnered websites. Social media ads on the other hand are put up on social media sites like twitter and linkedin.
- Facebook: Facebook is another efficient way to advertise and target prospects online. Advertisers pay based on clicks or impressions.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn provides a self serve PPC ad platform. Advertisers can target professionals and choose whether they want to pay for results or exposure.
Steps involved in SEM
- Create a strategy: The biggest mistake any company can do is to start SEM without a strategy. A good strategy is essential for the success of an SEM campaign. To create a strategy you need to define your target audience, analyse their needs, know their buying motives, highlight your product’s USPs and how they can solve the prospect’s needs. You need to set goals for your campaign like increased traffic, more sales, higher rankings in SERPs etc.
- Select the right keywords: Selecting the right keywords is crucial for the success of an SEM campaign. Choose words relevant to your niche and those that are also used by your target customers. Use Google Keywords Planner, SEMrush, KWFinder etc. to create a list of the best keywords that will drive traffic.
- Manage your paid advertising campaign: A SEM campaign is made up of Ad Groups, Keywords, Ad text and Landing pages. Each ad campaign might contain multiple ad groups. Each ad group has ads, which are based on keywords. Keyword research is important. Select keywords based on relevance and popularity. The ad text must be unique and must have a call to action so that viewers navigate to your landing pages. The landing pages are important and must be related to your ads and must compel prospects to take a desired action.
- Evaluate your campaigns: Evaluating a SEM campaign is essential. Check your website traffic, CTRs, conversions, sales and monitor you SERP rankings. This way you can make changes to your campaign and implement strategies that result in better results.
How to run ads on Google Adwords
- Select a campaign type. There are five categories of campaigns: search, display, shopping, video and universal app.
Pick your goals. whether you want to increase sales, drive traffic, get leads etc.
- Enter campaign name, target locations, and language for your ads.
- Set your daily budget and bidding strategy.
- Create ad groups, research keywords, and create your ads.
- Add billing methods and launch ad campaign.
SEM is an effective way to target the prospect customers and get leads. It is result and conversion based and thus acts as a powerful method to enhance your online presence. SEM is a good strategy to compliment your SEO efforts. It is important to always keep optimizing and changing your SEM strategy for best results.