search engine marketing

SEM – The spend to glory

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


SEM works best!

Using search engine marketing to execute a PPC strategy is a requirement based decision. Allocation of spend should be based on niche data analysis and expected results. SMM, buy no means is an ongoing solution for lead generation.

Serch engine marketing for branding!

The king of search, Google says, SEM improves brand awareness by over 80%.  Clicks or no clicks, your brand appears in the top fold of keyword related search results when you maximize the bid. SMM is the only conversion-focussed digital marketing tool, and is not the only reason to invest in search engine marketing.

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

SEM also makes you money in addition to creating awareness and providing a great branding spread.

Why search engine marketing?

Immediate results

Compared to other marketing processes like SEO or SMM which could take a long time to show results, SEM is ready to deliver from day one.

Get visitors instantly

* Branding

According to Google, using search engine marketing or PPC ads through Google Adwords improves brand awareness by 80%. Search engine marketing is bracketed as a bottom-funnel marketing channel, however, your brand’s visibility, 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 clicks. The fact that keywords are organic and display ads depend on them, makes it all the more relevant for brand recognition.

* Instant Results

Digital marketing channels like search engine optimization are long-term marketing strategies while search engine marketing brings in immediate results. It gets 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. Clicks and sales are live now and this is the fastest marketing strategy that begets results.

* More Qualified Leads

Inbound traffic is mixed, but search engine marketing brings in the right targeted traffic. Google ensures that the ads are displayed on relevant searches and not strewn across the virtual space. Custom audiences can be defined easily and you can find the right visitors who are qualified to buy. Usage of negative keywords ensures filters help in choosing 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 a click is very high. People want their queries answered quickly and that further encourages clicks. Unlike other advertising mediums where people tend to avoid advertisements, in case of search engine marketing it is reverse, because they serve the right purpose and 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.

Clicks & data matter

* Fastest way to the top

PPC Ads take up prime real estate on search engine result pages. Opting for PPC ensures your place right there, at the top. You will have to take care of the quality score (QS) and ensure that your bid is high enough to appear right on top. Being at the top converts to more clicks and thus, 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. 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 results for the spend, because of the amazing ROI that search engine marketing offers.

* Readymade customers

The best advantage 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 from other means. Use advanced targeting options to kill it, efficiently.

No account size limitation

Search engine marketing can start with the smallest budget and has the capability to bring wonderful results when managed well.

Why Search Engine Marketing?

* Smallest budgets

The critical consideration while opting for search engine marketing is the cost. Many small businesses may be of the opinion that the spend may not be good ROI. Google says, every dollar invested in Adwords has brought in twice in revenue. So, over a period, there is a 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, and in fact it works wonders for local searches.

* Small Businesses

For small business or startups, SEM is a boon since it can help kickstart a business. All it needs is a planned spend, budget and proper monitoring. A small business may not have a big budget, however, they should invest in to pump it up, periodically. This will help them create some quick business, in addition to much-needed branding and awareness in the online space.

* Local Marketing

Many visitors look to fulfilling needs in 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 to create regular traffic flow to ensure sales as well as visibility. Irrespective of having a good traffic flow, there are times when traffic may plummet or get spiky ending in loss of business. Search engine marketing comes to the rescue here and you can 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.

Analyse and tweak

 and * Importance of analytics

All business processes use data 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 analysis to find glitches or to measure success rates. Since, SEM is a PPC activity, and involves click controlled payments, you should make sure that you are not leaking hard-earned $$$ and that is possible by analysing the analytics.

* Measurable metrics

A good analytics team, like ours, can provide crucial data dealing with converting keywords, user insights, user intent, traffic patterns, geographical data, conversion rates, engagement statistics and much more. All this is achieved using the data coming from your PPC dashboard and analysing it using artificial intelligence. The AI tool we use, is 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 for best results. On the top end, this data can also help make major business decisions and  will help other areas of digital marketing like social media marketing, or search engine optimization, in a way to tweak your posts, content and advertising. We can help you do that easily.

* Campaign management

Being a bespoke marketing agency, we do not follow generic analysis trends. Specific data is used to get specific outcomes. Analytics are used to take decisions after serious consideration of what your business intends to achieve. Every process is bespoke, tailored to your business. Do you think Domain intelligence is coupled with your data to glean the best analytics is critical to your marketing?

Elements to Keep in Mind

Before you start spending...

SEM is a direct spend and thus needs proper planning and management regularly. Tweaking and experimenting works well after analysis.

The SEM strategy

* Define your strategy

Before you begin to plan, you should understand your audience and ensure that you know everything – demographics, tastes, needs etc. The next step, is to relate how your service or product will best fit their needs. Next, identify the competition and your market share or position. Before you build a campaign, ensure you have specific goals in mind – traffic, sales or other metrics you want to check ROI with.

* Keyword research

This is the most important phase before you start spending. Identify the right keywords by understanding how your prospects would search for you. Understanding their search jargon is highly critical to success. Interact with customers, understand them, and isolate key phrases. You can use keyword research tools to boost 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 to get best results with relevant keywords. Do not overbid. Make sure that you set the metrics before deploying the campaign – monthly and daily budgets, geo-targeting and ad copies as per guidelines [Adwords/PPC]. Now measure and manage on a daily basis.

Competition data

Running an SEM campaign open up insights into competition data like keywords used, bids etc, which can be critical to strategize other marketing efforts.

Useful data

* Google Ads data

Isolate your key phrases, add some new phrases and choose the profitable ones. Now, run them through Google Auction Insights and you will get insights on which of your competitors participate in the auction, the average ad position and the impression shares of your competitors. With a little thought and analysis, you can predict the ROI as well as the results. Planning a new campaign will not be a challenge anymore.

* Leverage Bing Ads

After the Google Auction Insights, run the same set of keywords through the Bing Ads Campaign Planner. You will see some more data that will give 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 PPC platform is more domain and audience profile dependent, similar to the geographical or demographical filters you may create. However, choosing the right SEM 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 in strategy planning.

* 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 just got interesting.

PPC is about experimenting

PPC is an ever-changing process and experimenting is the key. Using AI, we can create thousands of ads and analyze results before deploying.

Be cutting edge

* New features

Google keeps introducing new features to better your Adwords campaigns. Keep abreast, since it is the key to be one up on your competition. Focus on optimising audiences and adding new ad extensions. Many recent additions have been integrated in addition to a few in beta – Promotion extensions, Lead form extensions, Gallery ads, Image extension, Associate audiences and so on.

* PPC is varied

Keep and eye out all the time for new 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 to be omnipresent for your audience.

* Customize for mobile phones

Mobile PPC ads get ignored, often. In most niches, 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 add scripts to your Google Ads account. Learn this, it will reduce a lot of daily repetitive tasks. You can find a lot of free scripts and templates across the internet and tweaking them to your use is no rocket science. Keep experimenting, it is about change.

Other PPC platforms

One size doesn’t fit all, so ensure that your ads are diversified enough, to be displayed on various platforms that can save you money as well as effort.

More PPC platforms

* AdRoll

One of the most preferred retargeting networks for PPC advertisers, AdRoll comes with enhanced spread because it leverages networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google, to help conversions. AdRoll has a huge ad exchange program that 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 that  helps improve CTR and conversion rates.  Presently, RevContent gets over 260 billion clicks which sounds like crazy traffic and obvious, content based ads attract relevant traffic, thus bettering conversions.

* Advertise(.com)

Contextual advertising, social advertising and video advertising are the strengths of Advertise. This is a good platform to get tons of traffic and does not cost you the planet. 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  300+ million. AdBlade is probably the only network that offers targeting premium websites. AdBlade started in 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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