Search engine marketing, also known as SEM in digital marketing, is an excellent way to mark yourself out in the sea of content that populates the internet marketplace today. In a world where the most valuable currency is attention, SEM in digital marketing offers brands and businesses operating online to trade in it and grab some eyeballs.
Boosting your reach is increasingly becoming more difficult as online spaces across channels become more saturated. This is where SEM in digital marketing can be a game changer when done right.
What is SEM in Digital Marketing?
Simply put, SEM in digital marketing is a kind of paid advertising framework that allows you to stand out at the top of the page on search engine result pages or SERPs. You bid on keywords offered by search engines like Google. When users search for those keywords, your ad gets shown to them. When they click on the ad, you pay a small fee.
A study showed that 35% of online shoppers began their search on Google. When you use SEM in digital marketing, you can boost the visibility of your website and products precisely because of the versatility of SEM, where ads can range from simple text to product listings that allow you to showcase your product visually.
The greatest advantage of using SEM in digital marketing is that it gets your product or website to users precisely at the moment your users are looking for it. No other form of marketing, digital or otherwise, can do this.
Think of social media ads or billboards; they rely on users remembering your ad when they’re ready to purchase. But with SEM in digital marketing, you are presented to potential purchasers when they’re ready to make the buy!
The First Step: Keywords
Keywords are the cornerstone of how SEM in digital marketing works. They are how a search engine determines what users are looking for and presents relevant results accordingly. One of the most important aspects of getting SEM in digital marketing right is to figure out which keywords you should bid on.
To begin with, this involves conducting a thorough review of the keywords that pertain to your business. In other words, what would your customers search for to find you?
There are a number of online tools that can help you conduct your keyword research.
Along with keywords that are good for your brand, keyword research is also useful in finding keywords to reject or exclude from your campaigns. This usually involves keywords that might be relevant to your business but won’t necessarily help you make a sale.
For example, if you’re a bakery, someone looking for cake recipes won’t be looking to buy from you, and the keyword can be excluded. In SEM digital marketing, this is called search intent.
Welcome: Your Landing Page
You can create ads for multiple products and pages when you run SEM in digital marketing campaigns. It’s crucial that you ensure your landing pages are clear, well-designed, and have a clear CTA or call to action. This can be an Add to Cart or Buy button or a clear space to sign up for your newsletter.
Additionally, you also want to ensure your content for SEM in digital marketing is formatted properly for easy readability and is the right length. Too long and people get bored; too short and you can’t give them the information they are looking for.
The Ad Auction
This is where all the behind-the-scenes magic happens in SEM in digital marketing. One of the most unique features of SEM in digital marketing is that an effective campaign can also be built on a small budget.
While a big budget is great for when your campaign is built on competitive keywords, the ad auction gives anyone in SEM in digital marketing a fair chance at getting their ad seen by winning the auction.
If you imagine people in a room bidding on a fancy painting, you’re not too far off the mark! Every time a user does a search, an ad auction takes place on the search engine. Many factors play into winning an ad auction, including search intent, which we explained a bit earlier.
Essentially, your search engine must be convinced that the user is actually looking for what your ad is about. Until that happens, you can’t win the auction.
Of course, your product may be the perfect fit for the user’s search, but if your ad itself isn’t well constructed or doesn’t have a good reputation for good user experience, it impacts your chances too.
Your Quality Score
This is where your Quality Score in SEM in digital marketing comes in. A good score means you can get great ad placements for very cheap rates. Why? Simple: Google wants to give its users what they are looking for.
The Quality Score in SEM in digital marketing takes into account your previous ads, the structure of your ads and its relevance, as well as your account structure on its platform.
If you’re lost, worry not. Google’s Ads Performance Grader is a great tool that assesses your account and gives you actionable advice on how you can improve your SEM in the digital marketing framework.
SEM in digital marketing is a great way to boost your reach on search engines. However, it’s also a complex system to navigate, especially if you’re not familiar with it. This is where a reputable digital marketing firm like AdLift can help. They bring an experienced team of professionals with experience in SEM in digital marketing to help you get the most out of your budget. Once set up and tweaked occasionally, SEM in digital marketing can have immense long-term payoffs in your online presence.