Top Tips for Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Businesses will often take a multi-pronged approach to their online marketing. Amongst the most important marketing channels are search engines. Search engines are a powerful tool when it comes to directing web traffic to your website.

Many online users will look up information through search engines and will mostly only visit the top sites that are generated. So ensuring your site appears on the first few pages of Google search is an effective way to boost brand visibility, drive traffic, and boost sales.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) allows businesses to establish their presence on top results pages without the long wait and effort required of search engine optimization (SEO). However, some strategy is still needed to ensure you get the best value for money when investing in these ads.

For businesses getting to grips with how SEM works, here are some useful tips to get you started on the right foot.

1. Understand Your Target Market

Having a good understanding of your target market will help you tailor your ads so they elicit a more positive response. You need to learn how your product or service serves as a solution to this audience and how what will spark their interest when they see your ad. You also need to tailor your ad to appeal to the target audience’s age and interests.

Ensure that your keyword choices are highly relevant and most likely to ensure click-through. Adequate research and analysis are required for this. Also, choose a search engine platform that is most likely to be used by your audience. Different search engines attract different audiences, with Google and Bing being the biggest platforms. Consider if this is where most of your potential customers tend to seek out businesses like yours before making this investment. Your research may indicate that other marketing channels offer a better return.

2. Start Small

Starting small with just a few campaigns is a good way to test how well this strategy will work for your business and learn the mechanics of the process. Being overly aggressive and running too many campaigns can cause you to become confused and lose sight of what you are trying to achieve. Start with just two or three campaigns to see what kind of results you get and adjust your next campaigns accordingly.

3. Budget and Adjust

Numbers are very important in marketing. As you invest in a certain channel, you need to keep checking to see if you are making an adequate return. In SEM this means setting a budget, establishing what return on investment is reasonable, and setting a time frame for this. Keep in mind that marketing is a long-term investment. Most campaigns will take a long while to get the desired results.

But having deadlines can be useful in gauging how effective campaigns are and when you need to make adjustments to improve them for better results. These reviews should be regularly done as the marketing landscape is constantly changing. You can often see evidence of this when it comes to bidding and the quality score of your ads. Keep monitoring metrics to see how you can improve on your ads to make them more relevant to your audience.

4. Scope Out the Competition

As you start discovering how SEM can work for you and the results you can get, it is vital to keep an eye on what the competition is doing. More so when they are ranking better than your business. Keep an eye on how well they rank relative to you and what sets them apart.

Seek to outdo rather than match them. To prevail, you will need to make your brand appear more unique rather than just as good. Try to figure out what they are doing that makes them perform better and see how you can surpass this.

Regular review of their performance versus your own will have to be a regular effort. This is because they too will be keeping an eye on you and trying to also ensure they remain on top. From adjusting bids to adding new keywords and negative keywords, there are many strategies you can apply and adjust to ensure you maintain good results.

5. Be Consistent

Ensure that the path you lead online users on is relevant and coherent. It should effectively answer their questions or be the solution to their problem. Be sure that what you display on your ad is related to what the online user will find on the landing page they click through to. If it is not related, this will lead to dissatisfaction and will certainly not lead to conversion, making it a wasted effort and expense.

Even as you seek to develop different campaigns, you must ensure they correlate with whatever product or service your business offers. This is the best way to ensure you are spending money on ads that your target audience will see the relevance in and be more likely to result in a sale. Being consistent may still mean having to make adjustments from time to time.

6. Optimize Your Landing Page

This is where your target audience will first get to see what your business is about when they click through on your ad. First impressions will count for much here. It is the point that will often make or break a deal. So, as said, your message must be consistent with what was displayed in the ad. Ensure that your landing page quickly conveys the most relevant information. It should quickly answer the online user’s question by telling them what you offer.

Keeping it short allows them to quickly decide if you are what they are interested in. Breaking up the content by using lists is a good way to guide them quickly to what they need. Keep the page design clean and simple. This has been proven to help improve chances of conversion. Have clearly displayed call-to-action buttons and contact links. Either action will encourage further travel down the conversion funnel.