Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a paid advertising program on search engines like Google and Yahoo. This advertising program allows you to get started quickly with any budget and gives you real-time results. Google Adwords is such a large market that about 95% of its revenue comes from advertising. According to the 2014 State of B2B Procurement study from the Acquity Group,
94% of business buyers do online research before making a decision, most done via search engine. Click To Tweet
SEM is unique because of the real-time results. Think of traditional marketing as putting your company ad in the newspaper. While the newspaper can tell you the estimated readers and demographics you can’t be sure they are 100% accurate, or that 100% of the circulation will read the paper that day or the section in which your ad appears. Not only are they not as accurate you can’t guarantee that all of the readers are going to be interested in your product or be influenced to buy.
The nice thing about using SEM is your ability to target your ideal customer and to see if they click, where they click and what they do after they click. Ads are shown to a user based on what they are searching for. If you are selling sunglasses, when someone goes to a search engine and searches for sunglasses your ad may appear. This is why a company or brand can use search engine marketing to its advantage and convert a prospect into a customer.
There can be hesitations about starting search ads if someone isn’t familiar with how the systems work, but there is tons of information out there to assist you. Below I have put together 5 tips to help you get started:
What makes search engine marketing so great? Find out here: Click To Tweet
1. Define Your Conversion Point
Start with your goal, it’s most likely to build your business so we can start with that. Next think about your ideal customer. Where do you see your current customers converting the most? Is it on a landing page with a lead form or do they purchase directly through your site? These actions are called conversions. Conversions help you measure the success of your campaign.
Tip: If you don’t directly sell online then create a landing page where a prospect can fill out a form so you can gather their information.
2. Establish Your Campaign
Adwords campaigns are a set of ad groups that share a budget, location targeting and a few other settings. The campaigns help organize different types of products that you offer. Let’s say you are a clothing retailer, examples of campaigns would be: men’s clothing, women’s clothing, men’s shoes, women’s shoes, bathing suits and so on. Everything should be broken down into different categories.
Tip: Draw it out if you think it will help!
3. Determine Your Ad Groups
An ad group is the set of keywords or phrases describing your product or service. They help determine when and where your ad appears, along with the ads and bids you manage together. Using ad groups and strategic keywords, you can target your ideal customer. Back to our example men’s shoes, break apart the different brands that you carry. Like, men’s Puma shoes, men’s Nike shoes, men’s Adidas shoes, etc.
Tip: Create a diagram in Google sheets or in excel to keep everything organized!
4. Bid on Keywords
Each of your keywords will have a cost-per-click or CPC bid amount. These bids specify the maximum amount you’re willing to pay each time someone clicks your ad or max CPC. Keep in mind that you might not need to pay the full max. CPC amount for each click, but it can happen. Example: Men’s puma tennis shoes, Nike basketball shoes, Adidas running shoes.
Tip: Use SEMrush to see what your competitors are bidding on and target their keywords as well.
5. Set Your Budget
AdWords makes it easy to advertise within your budget by allowing you to set an average daily spend for each campaign. Be sure that this daily budget reflects how much you intend to spend for the entire duration of the campaign.
Tip: Set your monthly budget and then divide it by the number of days in the month. Once you start your ads Google will alert you if your budget is too small.
If you decide that you want to bring SEM into your strategy, but don’t have the time, reach out to a professional. If you are looking for a marketing company to help you, be sure to ask for their proof points or better yet, see if they are certified in Google Adwords. We use services like AdRoll, SharpSpring, and Wordstream to help leverage our ad spend even more!
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