What is SEM? A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Marketing
PPC expands to Pay Per Click. Unlike organic traffic, this is a method of driving paid traffic to your website. What happens here is, every time an internet user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays a certain amount to the search engine. It can be said that advertisers buy visitors.
Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a form of PPC. It is the process of promoting a business in the form of paid advertisements which get displayed on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Advertisers pitch certain keywords relevant to their product/service which users commonly search. Their advertisements get displayed alongside the links relevant to the search queries. And every time the ad is clicked you have to make a payment in return.
One of the biggest advantages of SEM is that it allows your ads to be viewed by people who are already motivated towards sales. So conversions are easy and most probable.
Importance of SEM
With proper SEM strategies, the surge of traffic can be supersonic. You will find it exaggerated until you try it out. SEM is super-effective due to a lot of reasons. Some of them are:-
People mostly search for products/services online before making a purchase. So SEM is a wonderful way of marketing your brand. They might stumble upon yours. Every penny that is invested in marketing is worth it as you will pay only in exchange for a visitor.
In addition to that, gaining more visitors implies your website getting a higher rank. So it automatically does well in organic search results. Users who see those advertisements have voluntarily searched about them. This indicates that they want to know more about similar products/services and have come with an intention of making a purchase.
The outcomes of SEM are impressive and fast as your ads are shown to people only when they look for it. Unlike other platforms, they don’t interfere with the tasks of the users.
Google Ads is a platform that facilitates SEM. It allows businesses to design ads which eventually appear as search engine results. Google Ads work within the Pay-Per-click framework. Advertisers bid on certain keywords for the placement of ads. As soon as a search query is entered, Google dives into the ad pool and picks out only the most relevant ones to be displayed on the SERP. The relevance is assessed based on the quality of content, the keyword density and how much they have bid for the keywords.
The ads basically go through an auction where the possibility of an ad getting displayed is calculated by multiplying the CPC bid( Cost per click. It is the amount an advertiser vows to pay for every click) and the Quality score( Discussed in the last section the article) .
Working with Google Ads ensures better results as Google is the most popular search engine. So your ads get exposed to a lot of people. But the frequency of your ads appearing depends on the choice of your keywords. So keep the following things in mind:-
- Make a list of the relevant keywords, use tight keyword groups and add proper text to your ads.
- Optimize your landing pages with engaging content and introduce a call to action button.
- Google ranks your ads based on its relevance. This is called quality score. A higher quality score gives you more clicks at lesser expenditure.
- Make your ads creative and attractive so that people feel an urge to click on them.
What is Keyword Research and How it Works?
The keyword research lays the foundation stone of your Search Engine Marketing endeavors. The keywords you use will decide your success. Therefore an extensive research is required to list out the relevant keywords. Remember, this has to be done again and again to keep your list fresh so that you can cater to the current needs of your customers. Make sure that your keyword list is:-
Find out keywords related to what services you offer. This will drive quality traffic. Relevant keywords will enhance click-through rate, effective cost per click and consequently higher profits.
Focus on long tail keywords. They are less common but more specific in nature and improve the quality of traffic. Since they don’t witness heavy competition they won’t cost you much.
Your keyword list cannot be constant. It must evolve and be adaptive to the change in requirements of your customers and the trend.
How to Manage your PPC Campaigns?
Once you finish creating your PPC campaign, do not fold your hands and rest. This is where the actual work begins. You need to continuously check how your ads are performing and make necessary changes to get better results. You can make the following adjustments to optimize your ads:-
- Make your ads rich in keywords so that it reaches more people looking for similar products.
- Introduce negative keywords in the form of non-converting terms. This makes your campaign more significant and helps you cut down on unnecessary expenditure.
- Split ad groups. Create smaller groups of ads tailored for a specific audience. This increases click-through rate and quality score.
- Look for keywords which are expensive but do not perform well. Stop bidding on them.
- Keep refining your content and the CTA buttons of your landing pages. This will increase conversion rates. Driving all the traffic to a single page isn’t a good idea.
Keywords and Account Structure
To succeed in Search engine Marketing, it is essential to group keywords and maintain an ideal account structure. The most favourably structured account constitutes these five elements:-
- Ad Campaigns
- Ad Groups
- Ad Text
- Landing Pages
Ad campaigns should be directed towards similar products and services. Ad groups categorize your ads further making them more specific and relevant. Each ad group focuses on a particular subcategory of products/services in your ad campaign.
This attracts more people, results in increased Click Through Rates, Lower Cost Per Click and obviously better results . This process is time consuming in the beginning but once it’s set up, you will start getting the benefits easily.
How does SEM Work?
We have more or less discussed this. Still let’s bring together all the points and make it easily understandable.
Search Engines take the help of complex algorithms to pick out the relevant ads from the ad pool. When a user enters a keyword that matches with the one in your ad, then there is a possibility of that getting displayed on the Search results Page based on its relevance.
But now let’s step into the shoes of the advertiser and see what needs to be done while organizing an ad campaign.
- Research relevant keywords related to your products/services and make a list.
- Choose where your ads need to be displayed, whether the top or the side of the screen.
- Texts based ad needs to be created to be displayed on the results page.
- Bid on an amount that you would like to pay per click.
Ads which contain only text can be easily produced.
A headline, text, CTA button and URL for the hyperlink are all that needs to be introduced.
All About The Ad Auction
A lot of people think that a majestic budget will guarantee them success. But there are a lot of factors which search engines take into consideration to decide whether they would display an ad or not. In short the ads are scrutinized. This process is termed as ad auction.
Read further to find out how it is carried out.
Working of the ad Auction
Advertisers bid on keywords which users enter as their search query. When a search is initiated, search engines check if your keywords match with them. Of course there are other factors like the amount you have decided to pay which is also taken into consideration. But keywords can actually make you win. If you are successfully chosen by the search engine, then your ad gets displayed on the results page . If someone clicks on it, you have to pay the amount promised.
How to win the Ad Auction?
This is one of the most asked questions. So here is how you can win.
Search engines take into consideration a combination of factors but there are two factors which top the list. One is, the maximum bid you have made. That is the amount you have promised to pay for every click. The next is quality score. This is the indication of your ad’s quality which is calculated based on certain metrics. These metrics are calculated during an ad auction and the result is known as ad rank.
How Important Quality Score Is?
We just now discussed that quality score is one of the most important metrics. If you have a higher quality score, then you can get more clicks for lower costs. It has also been found out that if your quality score is impressive, then you can win the ad auction despite having a lower maximum bid. So buckle up to have a good Quality Score.
If you haven’t missed any section of this article, then you must have gained decent knowledge about SEM and how you can leverage this wonderful opportunity to see your business flourishing. At the start you might feel that a lot needs to be done. But once you set it up, you can’t help thanking this process.
Work hard on collecting keywords, be on your toes every time and don’t pinch your pocket too hard. You don’t have to empty your bank accounts for this. If you manage to get a good quality score, which you can easily by being a bit meticulous, then the returns will be hefty.
Believe me, if you are a business owner and have not yet started with SEM , then you are missing out on a lot of things. Hope you are already convinced to make a start.