When navigating the online marketplace, SEM is a crucial tool for business success. If you want to reach your audience, you need to be able to use SEM strategies effectively.
In this article, we’ll go over:
- The definition of SEM
- How to develop a SEM strategy
- The one SEM tip you need to succeed
What is SEM?
Search engine marketing, or SEM, differs from search engine optimization (SEO). SEM allows you to place your advertisements in prime locations on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Where SEO uses metadata to take conform to the requirements of search engine algorithms, SEM is a more direct way of ensuring your content reaches consumers who are actively looking for your keywords.
What are the advantages of SEM vs. SEO?
Here’s the deal:
While SEO is valuable and you should continue to optimize your content using link building and metadata, SEM can drastically increase your ability to find and connect with your target consumers.
Like any tool, SEM requires a skillful strategy to make the most of the advantages it can provide you.
Creating a Search Engine Marketing Strategy That Works
When you create a strategy, take some initial steps to allow you to evaluate your current practices and see where there is room for improvement.
Start with these tips.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals For Search Engine Marketing
A S.M.A.R.T. goal is one that is:
- Relevant, and
Setting these types of goals will help you keep an objective in mind that is realistic for you and your business. For instance, consider why you are creating a search engine marketing strategy in the first place and what you are hoping to achieve.
Are you seeking:
More website clicks?
More views on your social media posts?
Each of these goals could be considered very broad. However, setting a measurable metric on them allows you to track your progress towards your goals throughout the process.
You could say, “I want to increase sales by 5% this year, have 1,000 clicks this month, and 5,000 views per day.”
This is a S.M.A.R.T. goal because it has a measurable aspect, a specific timeframe, and is relevant to your business. Perhaps your goal is related to improving your website and making it more user-friendly. This is a goal you can achieve by taking the necessary steps and making adjustments.
You will find that having simple goals like this will help you measure your progress and continue to set the bar higher for your business. No matter how many goals you have, we recommend narrowing them down into S.M.A.R.T. goals such as these so you can keep track of them and have specific metrics in mind.
2. Consider Your SEM Keywords
If you’re maintaining a social media or digital marketing presence without researching keywords relevant to your brand or field, you are missing out on a whole world of opportunity!
Keywords are simple reference points used to find specific information. Often, they are search terms consumers use to find information about certain topics. By including keywords in your social media and blog posts, you can increase your brand’s visibility to people who are actively looking for information related to your business.
Using a tool such as Google Keyword Planner can help you narrow down the top searched keywords. In addition, it will indicate how much you should plan to spend for your designated advertising budget. You can save these keywords and utilize them throughout your social media posts and digital marketing presence. Then, refresh them every so often as you see fit.
If you are using search engine marketing tips for learning how to advertise on Google, this keyword planner is a great place to start because it can guide you through the best tips and tricks to successfully advertise your business.
3. Find Your Demographic and Build Your Audience Organically
Every business has a target demographic with whom they engage, connect, and sell their products to throughout the life of their business.
The important part about a target audience is that it allows you to narrow your focus. You can speak to the needs of your ideal consumers who are most likely interested in your products and services. These are the dedicated individuals who will engage with your social media posts, visit your website when you release new products, and tell their friends and family about your business.
Find your target audience by identifying your current customer base. Who buys your products? What needs do your products fill? Answering these questions can help you determine who your audience is.
It is also important to create specific audience targets. For instance, a teenager looking to buy from a clothing store online will be searching for different products than a 50-year-old. Researching and understanding the data behind how to promote your products to specific people that make up your audience will, in turn, allow you to increase your sales.
With Google ads advertising or Bing Search Ads, you can gain insight about your audience and what advertising styles are more successful than others. These tools can provide data on who has clicked on your ads, like demographics as well as what websites they visit most frequently.
Also, word-of-mouth has evolved with social media over the last decade. Many people share posts or tag their friends and family to let them know about products or services they recommend. Organic growth often takes time, so try not to be discouraged if you don’t see an increase in the numbers overnight. Even a small improvement is improvement!
4. Consider Google PPC Advertising
If your goal is to increase your sales and business revenue, pay-per-click or PPC advertising is a great way to do so.
What this does is display your ads on top of the Google or Bing search results after people search for specific keywords or topics relevant to your business. You are required to pay for each click you obtain from this type of advertising technique, so you want to make sure you are optimizing accordingly.
Once Google goes through the designated spend you allotted for cost-per-click advertising, they will stop showing your advertisement until you allocate more spend to it. Because your ad is being shown to the prime users through targeting and timing, your money is being put to work quickly and efficiently and you can expect a higher return on investment.
The best way to optimize with PPC advertising is to ensure you are using the correct keywords and phrases. You need to utilize the best audience targeting tactics to find customers who are the right fit for your business demographic.
Organically earning visits to your website are always an option, but this method takes time and can make it more difficult if you are striving for a specific click goal. On the other hand, PPC advertisements are tested consistently to find out what works and locate the precise moment when the advertisement should be displayed to a specific user.
5. Know the Difference between SEM and SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is about increasing your odds of appearing in organic searches related to your products or services, whereas search engine marketing (SEM) involves finding ways to increase the traffic from search results, as well as encouraging users to turn their clicks on your ads into purchases.
By targeting users from a specific area who are in search of a specific product and showing them an advertisement displaying your products and services, you can increase the chances that they will make a purchase.
When you designate a portion of your advertising budget to search engine marketing, imagine it as if you are renting a space for your business in the virtual world. It is essentially like buying a billboard with all the information a potential buyer needs to make a purchase from you.
Depending on the budget you dedicate to it, as well as the optimizations you make, your visibility will vary. With tools such as Google AdWords or Bing Search Ads, you can pay for your “section” in the search results, and only pay for each click your search result receives.
6. Create Social Media Content You Can Promote through PPC Advertising
We cannot stress enough how important it is to prioritize content when developing a strategy for search engine marketing. When you develop your marketing strategy, think about creating the right types of content appealing to consumers on their social media platforms. This is where you can expand the reach of your content and truly engage with your target audience.
When promoting your content through social media marketing, it’s important to consider what types of ads will your target audience click on.
Some of the options include:
If you choose to use Facebook, be aware of what Facebook Ads is designed for: raising brand awareness, increasing engagement with your audience, or gaining new customers. You can take advantage of these objectives with carefully constructed ad content.
For example, make your ads blend in with the kind of content your target audience regularly sees on their timeline. Current and potential customers will engage with this content as part of their regular Facebook experience. Consider using video ads to promote your brand’s expertise in its field or debut new products. Users can share these videos with their friends and followers, boosting your visibility.
Try several types of Facebook ads and use Facebook’s ad monitoring tools to discover how many users are clicking on your ads or interacting with your brand in other ways. You can set up special tracking numbers to count how many people contact your business based on a Facebook ad. If your goal is to gain customers or increase engagement, this method can help you determine what kinds of ads are most effective.
LinkedIn Sponsored Posts
LinkedIn Sponsored Posts work hand-in-hand with organic content posted on your brand’s LinkedIn page. You can boost your most popular posts by turning them into sponsored content, ensuring greater visibility among your target audience.
This platform requires significant time and effort be spent building an organic following on your LinkedIn business page before you engage in paid advertising. You need your dedicated followers to show potential new customers your business’s value to the marketplace.
After you have spent time developing an informative LinkedIn company page and attracting followers, you can begin evaluating what content you would like to turn into sponsored posts. You can start by choosing the posts with the most views, but as you develop a strategy, decide what your marketing goals are for this platform. Begin developing content specifically for sponsored posts, based on your goals.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn has tools you can use to monitor how many people clicked on your ads. LinkedIn has a campaign manager tool allowing you to run multiple ad campaigns and measure the effectiveness of each one separately. Additionally, you can run direct sponsored content designed to reach out to new audiences without overwhelming your current followers with ads.
The most important part about choosing a search engine marketing strategy is to find what works best for your brand. With the right content, you can reach your audience on their social media platform of choice. Utilizing social media’s pay per click advertising can boost your brand’s visibility and customer engagement.
The Best SEM Strategy Tip? Remembering Your “Why”
As you go through the steps to improve your search engine marketing and online marketing, it’s important to remember why you started your business and what goals you hope to achieve along the way.
Taking the steps outlined above can help you create an effective search engine marketing strategy but remember the value that you are creating for your customers and the needs you are filling with your business’s products and services.
It’s important to keep your values in mind because if you do something just because you think you should, your brand’s voice can get lost.
So, what’s the “why” behind your search engine marketing strategy?
Have you found a way to connect with your audience using search engine marketing? Do you have any additional tips we may have missed? Please share in the comments below!