Search engines are buzzing with potential customers. So how do you reach these online customers and make quick sales? You learn the best ways to do search engine marketing (SEM). Unlike content marketing, SEM can have an immediate impact on your sales, but it does involve spending money for digital ads. Learning the basics of SEM can help you decide if you want to add this method to your marketing toolbox.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Have you noticed those ads that appear next to search results? Basically, those ads represent the final step of an SEM campaign. These digital ads are also known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads so you might say that SEM and PPC are one in the same. And while these ads may look simple, creating one involves understanding all the elements of SEM. The main goal of this type of marketing is to create appealing ads that inspire people to click the main link to an online sales page or video. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s best not to rush into SEM. It’s way too easy to throw good money down the drain on ads that don’t convert into sales. Easing into these marketing waters is the best way to go.
Before you can dive into search engine marketing, you need to create an account with a platform that supports paid digital advertising. Popular ad platforms include Google AdWords and Bing Ads. It’s no coincidence these platforms also happen to be associated with major search engines. By joining one, or both, of these platforms, you gain access to all the tools needed to create and run PPC ads. But be aware these platforms require users to provide upfront credit card information for future ad payments.
How to Create SEM Ads
The process of creating SEM ads is straightforward. It involves coming up with a catchy headline and hyper-focused body copy. Learning how to write good ads that attract potential customers is all part of the learning process.
Keywords are the Key to Clicks
Keywords are words or word phrases that people commonly use to find what they’re looking for on search engines. Say you’re looking for a pretty scarf to give as a gift. You might use phrases such as “pretty scarves” or “scarves for women.” The same type of keywords that work well for organic traffic can be used for your SEM ads. That’s great, except you’re going to need a ton more keywords to plug into your campaigns. Why? Because these ads thrive on keywords. The more the merrier.
Thankfully, you don’t have to strain your brain trying to figure out relevant keywords that relate to your products. This is the job of a keyword tool. SEM platforms usually offer built-in keyword tools. You simply plug in a word or phrase and the tool produces lots of potentially lucrative keywords. Choose the best ones to include in your display ads. The bulk of these keywords are going to be used for bidding on ad placements.
While compiling a list of keywords, consider including local keywords. These keywords can help local customers find your ads. One way to do this is to include the names of cities and towns in your area. An example keyword would be something like “Delhi flowered scarves.”
Tracking Ads and Spending
You don’t need to spend large sums of money for ads in the beginning. The key to successful SEM is to keep an eye on ad spending versus sales. Constantly checking QuickBooks generated sales reports is an easy way to see how your ad campaigns are panning out. Remember, you can always adjust your ad spending depending on your return on investment. Search engine marketing may be right for your business if you’re seeking ways to make faster online sales.