search engine marketing

SEM – The spend to glory

Businesses looking to build their brand faster or to generate more leads in a shorter time, opt for search engine marketing. Of course, the spend can be temporary, for a discount sale or as a shot-in-the-arm for your business. Well-to-do businesses should look at balacing SEM spend with SEO efforts for best possible results.

sem

SEM works best!

Using search engine marketing to execute a PPC strategy is a good decision subject to allocation of spend depending on domain data analysis and expected outcomes. Due diligence on data is necessary to ensure that the spend does not go waste.

Serch engine marketing for branding!

The king of search, Google says that SEM can improve brand awareness by over 80%.  Clicks or no clicks, your brand name appears in the top fold of keyword related search results when you bid maximum. That, in addition to being the only conversion-focussed digital marketing tool, are great reasons to invest in search engine marketing.

Hard data proves that Google AdWords display ads to over 80%of internet users which is quite a spread. Also, a business makes about 2X revenue for every X spent on SEM. Moreover, over 52% of visitors who interact with PPC ads follow it up with calls to the advertising businesses.

SEM also makes you money in addition to giving ypur business a great branding spread.

Why search engine marketing?

Immediate results

Compared to other marketing initiatives like SEO which could take over 6 months to show results, SEM is ready to deliver once the ads are approved.

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* Branding

According to Google, practicing search engine marketing or using PPC ads through Google Adwords improves brand awareness by 80%. This kind of marketing is bracketed as a bottom-funnel marketing channel, however, the fact that your brand is visible right on top of the organic results of a search page makes such branding possible. It is displayed for all searchers to see, irrespective of receiving clicks or not. The fact that keywords are organic and display ads depend on them, makes it all the more relevant for brand recognition.

* Instant Results

Most digital marketing channels like search engine optimization are long-term marketing strategies while search engine marketing brings in immediate results since it goes into action once the ad you create is approved, which could take a maximum of one business day. Though account maintenance and ad optimization require regular attention, the clicks start rolling in, if everything is well. Clicks and sales are live now and this is the fastest marketing strategies that gets results.

* More Qualified Leads

Inbound traffic is of all sorts, and search engine marketing brings in the right targeted traffic since Google ensures that the ads are displayed in relevant searches and not strewn across the virtual planet. Custom audiences can be defined easily and you can find the right visitors who are more qualified to buy. Usage of negative keywords ensures filters are in place for best conversion options.

* Practical Ads

Visitors or searchers tend to click on top of the search results and since your PPC ad is placed right above the organic results, the chances of clicks is very high. People want their queries answered quickly, therefore the chances of getting clicks is very high. Unlike other mediums where people tend to avoid advertisements, it is not so in case of search engine marketing since they serve the right purpose and actually save time.

Relevant marketing

Unlike SEO and SMM, search engine marketing has more chances of bringing in targeted traffic faster, due to super-focused ad deliveries, time after time.

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* Fastest way to the top

PPC Ads take up primary real estate on search engine result pages. Opting for PPC ensures your place right there, at the top. You need to take care of the quality score and ensure that your bid is high enough to appear right at the top. Being at the top means more clicks and more business. Craft your SEM campaigns carefully to create that critical balance between your budget and placement. Don’t overspend to stay at the top, if it is not viable or, if you are blowing up your budget quicker than planned.

* Leverage marketing data

A PPC campaign provides great insights into marketing data, especially about about visitors who clicked through your ad. This data can be leveraged in other digital marketing processes your business follows. Data like geo-location, time spent on pages, devices used etc are very important insights. Data on the most popular keywords that get clicks can be used to drive your SEO strategy better.

* PPC Ads help maximise ad spend

PPC ensures that you are charged only when you ads are clicked unlike the ‘cost per impression’ strategy. This ensures that your dollar goes a long way in getting you that click. Maximizing ad spend is a strategy that can help you get the best bang for your advertising buck because of the amazing ROI that search engine marketing offers.

* Readymade customers

The best part of PPC advertising is that you get those visitors to your website who are already looking for products or services you provide. They are readymade customers waiting to buy. So, you are at the right place at the right time, every time. Here, the potential of sale is much higher compared to inbound traffic form other means. Use advanced targeting options to kill it, efficiently.

No account size limitation

Search engine marketing can begin with the smallest budget and has the capability to bring wonderful long-term results when managed well.

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* Smallest budgets

The biggest consideration while opting for search engine marketing is the cost. While new business may think that the cost involved may not bring in expected results. As per Google, every dollar invested in Adwords has brought in twice in revenue. So, over a period, there is the chance that you will end up doubling your Adwords budgets. There is potential here, however, careful account management is the key the success. One can start as low as $5, so that is good news to small and localized businesses too and in fact it worls wonders for local searches.

* Smallest budgets

The biggest consideration while opting for search engine marketing is the cost. While new businesses may think in terms of ROI, as per Google, every dollar invested in Adwords has brought in two dollars in revenue. So, over a period, there is the chance that you will end up doubling your Adwords budgets. There is potential here, however, careful account management is the key the success. One can start as low as $5, so that is good news to small and localized businesses too.

* Local Marketing

When visitors look to fulfilling needs in the local geography and adjoining areas with searches like “eateries near me” or “home food delivery in London”. SEM is well-equipped to throw up  best local results for such searches. For brick-and-mortar business marketing products in the neighbourhood, PPC advertising works great. It is known that 75% of searchers tend to visit the physical store after a search.

* Consistent Traffic Source

We are sure that your business will be looking forward to create a regular traffic flow to ensure your sales as well as visibility. Irrespective of having a good flow, there are times when traffic my plummet or get spiky due to which your business may suffer. Search engine marketing comes to the rescue here and you can try and fill in those gaps. If you are already using PPC to drive traffic, you can up the budget to ensure that your business is smooth and steady.

User intent analytics

Search engine marketing brings in good data that deals with user intent, which in turn, can be levearged in your SEO to make it effective.

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* Importance of analytics

All business processes use date to measure. This could be anything from profitability to interest rates and the crucial element here is data. Search engine marketing is a process that requires thorough monitoring of such data and analyze it find glitches or to measure success rates. Since, SEM is a PPC activity, and involves click controlled paments, you should make sure that you are not leaking hard-earned moolah and that is only possible though analytics.

* Measurable metics

A good analytics team, like ours, can provide crucial data pertaining to converting keywords, user insights, user intent, traffic patterns, geographical data, conversion rates, engagement statistics and much more. All this is achieved using the data presented from the PPC dashboard and analysing it using artificial intelligence. The AI tool we use in developed in-house and allows us to tweak with domain specific inputs.

* Decision making

The data that we collect and analyse will help tweak your SEM efforts for best results. On the bigger end, this data can also help make major business decisions. It will also help other areas of digital marketing like social media marketing, or search engine optimization process, in a way to tweak your posts, content and also advertising. We can help you do that easily.

* Campaign management

We are a bespoke marketing agency and thus we do not follow generic patterns ion analysis. The analytics are used and decisions taken after serious consideration of what your business intends to achieve in a said period. Domain intelligence is coupled with your data to glean the best analytics. Do you think this is critical to you marketing?

Elements to Keep in Mind

Before you start spending...

SEM is a direct spend and thus needs preparation and management on a regular basis. Tweaking strategy and budgeting experiments works well.

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* Define your strategy

Before you do anything else, you should understand your audience and ensure that you know everything that his there to know about them – demographics, tastes, needs etc. The next step is to relate how your service or product will best fit their needs. Now, identify the competition and your market share or position. Before you build a campaign ensure you have your goals in mind – traffic, sales or whichever metrics you need to check ROI with.

* Keyword research

This is the most important phase before you begin spending. Identify the right keywords by understand how your prospects would search for you. Understanding their search jargon is highly critical for success. Interact with customers to understand them better and isolate key phrases. You can use keyword research tools to research effectiveness.

* Website content

Make your website search engine friendly and ensure that the content is optimised for the key phrases you have chosen above. Ensure that the content is crisp and clear with our being Shakespearean. Tagging your landing pages and images is equally important to SEM as well as SEO.

* Bidding and relevance

Bid according to your budgets and to get best results with relevant keywords. Do not overbid. Make sure that you set the metrics before you deploy the campaign – monthly and daily budgets, geo-targeting, ad copies as per PPC [Adwords guidelines].

Now measure and manage on a daily basis.

Competition data

Running an SEM campaign gives you a lot of competition data like keywords used, bids etc, which can be critical to strategize other marketing efforts.

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* Google Ads data

Isolate your key phrases as well as some new ones and choose the profitable ones. Now, run them through the Google Auction Insights and you will get details on which of your competitors participate in the auction, the average ad position and the impression shares of your competitors. With a little thought an analysis, you can find the ROI as well as the expected results. Planning a new camping will not be a major task now.

* Leverage Bing Ads

After the Google Auction Insights, run the same set of keywords through the Bind Ads Campaign Planner. You will see more relevant data that gives you insights into industry benchmarks, competitor’s activity and their ad coverage and position, for those keywords. The analysis may be identical, but the data is very useful to plan more effective campaigns.

* Choose your platform

Choosing a platform is more domain and audience profile dependent, similar to the geographical or demographical filters you may create. However, choosing the right platform is critical, for example, an ad about a game app is more relevant on mobiles than on desktops, so the bid will be lesser for desktops. This could be an advantage if you can plan a strategy.

* Implement and test

Once you are done with competitor analysis for SEM, build your strategy with your insights and experience and create an actionable plan. Take your time, getting your search engine marketing right also depends on other factors that your competition may be implementing, paid or not.

Killing the competition can get interesting.

PPC is about experimenting

PPC is an ever-changing process and experimenting is recommended. With AI, we create thousands of ads and analyze results before deploying.

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* New features

Google Adwords keeps introducing new features to better your campaigns. Keep watching and learning since it is the key to be one up over the competition. Focus on optimising audiences and adding new ad extensions. Many new additions have come this year in addition to a few being in beta – Promotion extensions, Lead form extensions, Gallery ads, Image extension, Associate audiences on campaign level and so on.

* PPC is varied

Keep and eye out all the time for nee paid advertising platforms, Google is not the end game, depending on geographies and your audience profiles, you can consider trying Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn audiences, Pinterest Ads, Snapchat ads and WhatsApp marketing. With PPC, try and be omnipresent for your audience.

* Customize for mobile phones

More often than not, mobile PPC ads are ignored. In most domains, mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic and not being there is a sin. Instead of wasting paid budgets, you can as well optimise for the mobile and improve leads and conversions. Many domains have seen over 75% clicks originating from mobile phones, don’t be left out.

* Use scripts

You can have scripts added to your Google Ads account. Make sure that you learn this, since it can reduce a lot of repetitive tasks you may have to do on a daily basis. You can find a lot of free scripts and templates across the internet and tweaking them to your use is not rocket science.

Keep experimenting, it is about change.

Other PPC platforms

All sizes don’t fit one, so ensure that your ads are diversified enough to be displayed on various platforms that can save you money as well as effort.

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* AdRoll

One of the most preferred retargeting networks for PPC advertisers, AdRoll enhances the spread by leveraging networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google, and helps conversion. AdRoll has a huge ad exchange program and it can help place your ads on thousands of websites. AdRoll is known for its capabilities of reaching almost every retargetable visitor. Retargeting is of course, critical to PPC success.

* RevContent

Content advertising is the strength of RevContent. RevContent displays relevant content ads on its own network and relevance helps improve CTR as well as conversion rates.  Presently, RevContent gets over 260 billion clicks which sounds like crazy traffic and obviously content based ads attract relevant traffic, thus bettering conversions.

* Advertise(.com)

Contextual advertising, social advertising and video advertising are the strength of Advertise. This is a good platform to get tons of traffic that does not cost you a lot. Advertise is one of the oldest PPC networks and comes with a stellar reputation. If you are looking at low cost, low competition PPC, Advertise is your best best.

* AdBlade

Though lesser known of the PPC networks, AdBlade is a great option with a reach of over 300 million. AdBlade is probably the only network that offers targeting premium websites. AdBlade chas been in the market since 2008 and works with many brands, agencies and direct response advertisers. Very inexpensive and effective, AdBlade can help you reach millions of visitors, quickly.

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