The ABC of Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing : The world of digital marketing is a highly competitive one, with businesses all struggling to have a piece of the proverbial pie. The large number of internet users worldwide provides a potential ready market for the businesses, and they scramble for this opportunity.
There are different ways an advertiser can market their products online such as through Search engine marketing and SEO Marketing.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of using advertisements that are paid for to market one’s business or product.
The advertisement appears on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This online marketing strategy is quite effective for the advertiser.
Internet users have been seen to browse through the internet in search of products and goods, a high number of them actually making online purchases.
This makes it vital for the advertiser to get their product to the internet and have it reach the consumer, which is where SEM comes in.
SEM therefore is aimed at bringing traffic to your website and possibly converting this traffic to actual sales.
You want to drive as much traffic as possible to your website for higher profits, thus your aim in SEM would be to appear at or near the top of the search results page.
How Search Engine Marketing Works
The internet user types out a search query of their choice on the search engine, depending on what they are looking for.
The words they key in are the main determining factor of your ad appearing. They are referred to as ‘Keywords’.
The search results page shows them the possible pages that match their query, using the keywords used.
This is where your ad comes in as it will appear on the Search Engine Results Page for viewing of the user, if the keywords match your own.
Going back to when the searcher types out a query, remember that there are so many websites with information similar to what the searcher wants.
All these are competing to be the ones that the searcher chooses, or for him or her to notice them and go the extra step of clicking their page.
SEM, together with other factors is what enables you to appear on that search page. It is what may propel your site to page 3 or 4, and if you are very ambitious, it may appear on the first page.
How wonderful would this be? Think of all the exposure you would get with this position.
Organic SEM versus Paid SEM
Organic SEM refers to the kind of marketing where you get to improve your ranking on search engines naturally and drive more traffic to your site such as through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The ads appear on the search results by virtue of the relevance of their content and use of keywords, with no payments made. Other forms of organic SEM include the use of social media and SEO video.
Paid SEM on the other hand is what can be used especially when you are just starting out before you have good organic ranking.
It includes Pay per Click (PPC) advertising which is the most known kind. Google usually sells keywords to the highest bidder for such PPC ads.
Apart from PPC, there is also banner ads and Facebook and YouTube ads, all of which need to be paid for.
Depending on your interests, goals and demographics of your target market such as age or location, you can choose to have a mixture of these SRM strategies, or choose one of them. Find the most profitable way for your campaign.
Search Engine Marketing Keywords
Keywords are very important for successful SEM. You will need to find relevant keywords that are able to attract more potential clients to your site. So how do you go about this keyword business?
• Find the right keywords. There are several free tools on the internet that you can use to find keywords.
You can simply enter a word on the tool that relates to your business and the tools generate related keyword ideas that can be used for search engine campaigns.
• Get more information on the keywords such as the level of competitiveness for each and the search volume as well. The tools can also give this information.
• Take note of the negative keywords. These are the words to avoid when running your campaign. These are the words that have a very low chance of leading to conversions.
Some key words are known for their ability to result in conversions for instance ‘Discount’, ‘Free shipping’, ‘Buy’ and others which you can find through use of the tools.
• Make a list of possible keywords that could work well for your niche, and choose from them.
• Frequently test these keywords to see which work best.
Search Engine Marketing Auctions
SEM involves a series of biddings by the advertisers as they compete for top positions on the search engine results page.
The Bidding Process
1. The advertisers first identify keywords that they would like to place their bids on so as to get into the ad auction.
2. They then specify an amount that they are willing to bid on the chosen keywords.
3. Google then determines whether the keyword bid on match what the searcher has keyed in as a query, and upon matching, your ad proceeds to the ad auction.
All this happens in the time it takes for a searcher to enter their query to Google.
Of course, only the chosen ads appear on the different searches. The ads that do appear are determined by several factors, one being the maximum bid. The ads that appear on the SERP are in this case the winners in the auction.
Maximum bid – The maximum amount of money that specified by you as the advertiser, that you are willing to pay for the keyword or a click.
SEM Quality Score
Other than the maximum bid placed, the quality score of your ad also plays an important role in determining whether your ad spears on the SERP or not.
Higher quality scores may have your ad appearing on the SERP even with a lower maximum bid than your competitors.
Quality score is measured by how valuable and relevant your ad is to the searchers. Google wants to give its users only the best experience thus they will take your ad through a test to determine how relevant your ad is.
This eliminates the belief that a successful campaign requires an insanely large budget.
Contrary to this, the quality score of your ads actually matters more than what you are able to pay for it.
So, if you are working on a smaller budget, have your ad score highly on this, and win the auctions.
Once you have set up your SEM marketing campaigns, remember to refresh your content, and making improvements to your web design to make it more attractive.
Also start to build links with other people from blogs to other websites, YouTube channels and on social media as well to improve your search engine rankings and your reach.
If you have yet to get into SEM, this is the time to start out and exceed your marketing limits.