Search engines are either a small business’s best friend or its downfall, and that relationship is entirely up to you. You can choose to use Google and other search engines to your advantage or to let the tech giants crush you like a bug.
If you’d prefer the former, then you’re in luck. With search engine marketing, you can start growing your business today. Let’s talk about some of the best search engine marketing tips to start using in your digital marketing strategy.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is often confused with search engine optimization (SEO). However, the two are different. SEO is trying to optimize your website’s content to be picked up on the organic search results on Google and similar search engines.
Search engine marketing is utilizing paid advertisements on the search engine results page (SERP) in order to skip the line on organic searches. This is often used in tandem with an SEO strategy, along with other digital marketing techniques.
Most traffic goes to the top 3 organic searches, but if you use the right SEM strategy, you can still skip the line ahead of those results and be the first thing that users see, especially on mobile devices, which show fewer results at a time and account for 56% of web traffic.
A major benefit of SEM is that you only have to pay for the number of clicks you receive, so this can be a very affordable marketing tactic that can get you the boost that you need for your website.
Best Search Engine Marketing Tips
Now that you know what SEM is and why it’s so valuable for your company, you may be wondering how to get started. Well, of course, you can register for a Google Ads account, but that’s only the beginning of the process. Here are some tips to be successful in your strategy.
- Perform Competitor Research
Competitor research is a critical part of SEM, as well as any other marketing strategy, and it needs to be conducted consistently and effectively for the best results. This includes analyzing their strategy, the keywords they are ranking for, and the volume of their campaigns.
You can use online tools like SEMrush to get some valuable information, but you should also look into their strategies yourself and pay attention to how they are ranking when you make specific and relevant searches.
- Use the Right Keywords
This may be why SEM and SEO are so often confused, as they both heavily rely on keyword research. Just like with your SEO strategy, you want to make sure that your ad is appearing on the right searches.
Well, Google’s algorithm isn’t magic, so it relies on your ability to match the right keywords with what users are searching. There are thousands of online tools for this, and you can even start your research just by brainstorming and typing your ideas into Google.
When you start seeing related suggestions, compare the top performers in Google Trends and see which keywords perform the best. From there, you can pop them into any keyword research tool that you like.
If you’re targeting the wrong keywords, your clicks and conversion rates will suffer because of it.
- Personalize Your Ads
SEM ads are most effective when they are used to target specific demographics, users, geographic, and behavioral targets. Google will allow you to target these as closely as possible, so do your best to personalize the message in your ads to the right audience.
- Improve Your Landing Pages
Have a landing page for every new ad campaign, and make sure they are stellar. You want each landing page for each ad campaign to be on-message, easy to navigate, have a professional look, and avoid any confusion among users who land on it. This will go a long way to improve your campaign’s conversion rates and maximize your ad’s efficiency.
- Improve Your Meta Description and Title Tag
Your title tag and meta description will likely appear in the text of the search ad, so optimize them for readability, keyword usage, and message. Make sure that neither of them is too long and that they are easy to read. Your meta description shouldn’t be too long, as you’ll only have a couple of lines to entice the reader.
- Research Your Agency
It’s important that you find the right PPC agency to help you with your case. Read their testimonies and reviews, both on and off their website, to gauge the effectiveness of their services.
If they don’t have experience with your specific field, that isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. SEM requires the same process across all industries, and there won’t be a conflict of interest if the agency isn’t helping two competitors at the same time.
The right agency should be able to perform all of the steps on this list and more in order to maximize the effectiveness of your ad campaign. They should sit down with you, discuss your goals, and work with you to stay on message and grow your business.
Don’t Stop Improving
Now that you know some of the best search engine marketing tips, it’s important to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect SEM campaign. The more that you remain consistent and the more that you work to continue improving your ads, the more effective and lucrative they will be. Stay up to date with our latest marketing news and start your ad campaign today!