Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - Sometimes referred to as SEM, PPC or paid search marketing, is a form of Internet marketing that involves businesses paying for their online advertisements displayed on the SERPs. Bidding on keywords that are related to their services and what users are already looking for when they search online, advertisers can effectively reach their target customers because their ads will be appearing alongside search engine results for those particular queries.
Pay-per-click ads, or simply known as ads or PPC ads, come in different formats. There are small, text-based advertisements and there’s also product-based ads wherein consumers can see valuable information they need in one glance such as the prices and so on.
SEM, however, should not be confused with SEO or search engine optimization. While the former involves paying Google to show their online ads in the search engine results pages, the latter does not and businesses earn a spot in the organic search results through their well-crafted content that’s related to the keyword users are searching for. Both are still fundamental in any online marketing strategy as both drives traffic and conversions to your website.
Additional reading: What is SEM and How Can It Benefit Your Business Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): What It Is And Its Benefits To Businesses Today
“If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.”
- Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
This is one famous quote from a famous technology leader that aptly applies to our situation this 2020. Who would have ever thought that in just a matter of months, the whole world will transform? The current situation has forced us to live our lives online now. From home-schooling to working from home, people are forced to stay indoors and socialise with their family and friends in the virtual world. On the other hand, many online shopping websites saw a steady traffic increase as more and more people turn to shopping online for their necessities.
So, what does this mean then to businesses, both now and in the long-term?
It means that now is the best time ever to invest in search engine marketing services. This may be something you’re not interested in before the pandemic. However, online has now become more essential than ever for businesses aiming to build their brands, increase their credibility and manage their reputation.
Why Should Businesses Advertise on Google AdWords?
One of the tools or advertising platforms for businesses intending to include paid online advertising in their strategies is Google Ads. Most of the time, people are using Google when they need information on products or services online. Hence, it’s only logical to invest in something that can potentially send numerous people to your website because it’s what they’re looking for. It has been effective in making companies successful, especially when SEM campaigns are executed properly.
If you still don’t have a Google Ads account set up, then you’re missing out on all the opportunities it could bring to your business. Put your ads in front of customers who are already searching for your products and services because they are ready to purchase. This is why many employ paid search marketing because it’s effective in growing your business.
Benefits of Search Engine Marketing to Small and Big Businesses
Indeed, both small and big businesses will benefit from including SEM in their online marketing strategies. Although SEO may help in driving traffic at the top of the funnel, SEM will be driving conversions at the bottom of the funnel, which covers both funnel sides.
1. It helps in promoting the visibility of the brand.
Advertisers can expose their brand names in the headline, display URL or description of the Google ads. These ads highly contribute to making users more aware of the brand as they appear alongside the top Google search results for their search queries. Even a small business has the chance of building an online presence through their ads showing up once people search for keywords that are related to their industry. SEM campaigns are known for helping brands become more visible quicker than SEO.
2. It helps you reach new customers and drive potential leads.
One area that a search engine marketing or PPC campaign can help with is your business reaching new customers. Because you’ll be using keywords that your potential users are already searching for, your ad or ads will only be showing to people who will be interested in what you offer and are likely to click on your ad. Other criteria that will affect the ad’s effectiveness are the geographic location, demographic as well as the time and days of the week they are active online. Because you pay for each ad click, you will not be spending a lot since there’s a lower chance of disinterested individuals clicking on the ad.
3. It delivers measurable results.
One other positive benefit of paid search marketing is that it delivers quick and straightforward results. Not only is it easier to set up with your brand quickly appearing in the search engine results pages, but it can help in bringing new site visitors and leads a lot quicker than SEO. Using the Google Ads platform, it will be easy to analyse the campaign’s progress as you can quickly see what keywords your visitors are entering, what ads they are clicking as well as the cost of each click. Knowing the keywords and based on the results, you can make bid changes and pinpoint where you’re losing conversions to make campaign improvements.
Challenges of SEM Campaigns
Are there challenges that your business will face when you choose to or start implementing SEM campaigns to expose your brand to the online world?
Yes, there will be especially due to the high competition. In such a cutthroat environment, it’s impossible to not encounter a company in the same industry employing the same tactic. However, with the help of a reliable SEM-focused company, you’ll know that your business is in the right hands as you start seeing more conversions and traffic. Another challenge is that there’s an increase in the average price per click that you’ll be paying. Therefore, it’s necessary to discuss with your partner agency on only using keywords that will deliver the results you desire.
Many businesses were initially turned off by the idea of spending money advertising on Google Ads. But this is only the case if you’re unfamiliar with how this platform works. Work with an SEM agency that has proven their worth in increasing the visibility of various company brands online and you’ll be reaping the long-term benefits of including it in your online marketing strategies.