We all use search engines like Google, Bing, and YouTube when looking for information or certain products, and even without thinking, we all know that a company who wants to be found must appear in the search results early on, either in the organic search or by their adverts.
In search engine marketing, businesses advertise through paid listings on search engine results pages (also known as SERPs). Advertisers bid on online auctions for keywords that users enter when looking for certain products or services, and the winning advertisers get the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries.
PPC, or pay-per-click, ads come in a variety of formats. Some are small, text-based ads, some product listing ads (PLAs or Shopping ads) that are more visual, and some are product-based advertisements that allow consumers to see important information, such as price and reviews, on the first glance.
The greatest advantage of search engine marketing is that it allows advertisers to place their ads in front of customers who are ready to buy. Search engine marketing is the only advertising medium that can deliver results like this, making it one of the most effective and powerful methods of growing business.
Improving SEM by yourself
SEM is a marketing area where even marketers tend to turn to the help of specialized professionals, often known as PPC Specialists. This is due to the fact that knowing all the current trends and tricks of the world of SEM often takes plenty of research, and for this reason the specialised PPC experts tend to have an upper hand when it comes to optimizing the adverts. For this reason, buying the services of a PPC Specialist can be extremely handy.
However, if your budget is tight or you want to give SEM a try yourself, test these tips to get started with.
- Do keyword research and keyword strategy
Doing keyword research and creating a comprehensive keyword management strategy for your search engine marketing campaigns is the first step when starting SEM. In the simplest format, you need to determine what are the keywords relevant to your business and the keywords that are relevant for your customer. Even the companies who execute the SEM activities themselves often purchase this stage of the process from professionals, but it can be done in-house by using tools like Free Keyword Tool by WordStream.
Always keep in mind that people seldom use full, difficult sentences but instead tend to go for simple keyword combinations such as “car wash Luxembourg” or “rescue dog Europe”.
- Start small
While it can be tempting to go all in and advertise every single product you have, it is best to start with a couple of campaigns and expand once you have learnt from your first campaigns. When still learning the mechanics of SEM, running too many campaigns easily leads to not having time to study and optimize the campaigns properly.
- Think about customers in different stages of the customer’s journey
As always, a customer’s journey is a great place to start when thinking of the different campaigns and contents. People in different stages of the journey look for different things in the search engine. A person in the purchase stage might simply google “adopt a rescue dog europe” while a person in the awareness stage uses more wide keywords, such as “buy a dog”. Remember to include the different stages in your research strategy.
- Read data and learn from it
In digital marketing, data is widely available and to make the best of it, one should invest time in studying it and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Don’t just abandon your campaigns for months but check them daily and see how they perform.