It’s common for many online business owners to focus on search engine optimization (SEO) in an effort to generate organic traffic to their websites. However, it’s also important to integrate the right search engine marketing (SEM) strategy into your tactics too.
SEO is primarily focused on ensuring your site is optimized for specific keywords or search terms that potential visitors might type into a search engine to find you. By comparison, SEM is the practice of marketing a business using strategically-placed paid advertisements that show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) or on social media sites.
If your business relies on various forms of internet marketing to generate leads and sales, it’s important to understand the differences between SEO and SEM. It’s also a good idea to check out the trends and tips to ensure you’re staying on top of changes as they evolve.
Here are some SEM trends to incorporate into your online marketing strategy.
Mobile devices now generate more traffic than desktop or laptop computer searches. With everyone using a smartphone or mobile device to search for online information, business owners need to incorporate mobile optimization strategies to generate leads and boost conversion rates.
Ensure that your business website is mobile responsive. Providing a good user experience to your site’s visitors on any device they might be using is key to your SEM efforts.
It’s common for many business owners to focus on using their own company name or brand name as their primary keyword. Yet customers who haven’t dealt with your business yet won’t know to type your brand name into a search engine to find you.
In order to maximize your SEM results, it’s important to choose the right keywords that will increase the likelihood of prospective customers clicking the link on your pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Research the types of keywords people are likely to type in to find your business and base your search engine marketing efforts around those.
You’ll notice higher click-through rates and reduced costs per click overall if you’re careful about the keywords you choose.
Use the Ad Auctions
Lots of people view the paid ads on the top and side of search engine results pages, but many business owners assume that only people willing to pay huge amounts of money per click show up at the top. They assume that businesses with large advertising budgets pay for those prime locations, so they don’t even try to compete.
In reality, you are able to win the ad auction in Google Adwords to get your paid ads in those prime placements without breaking your budget. The key is to ensure your ads get a great Quality Score exceeding that of your competitors.
Your Quality Score is a metric given based on the quality of your overall ad. When determining ad placement in search results, Google considers your maximum bid and then works out your ad’s Quality Score to come up with your overall ad rank.
Other factors that can affect your success in the ad auction process include your click-through-rate (CTR) and the relevance of your keywords as they relate to the ad group. The landing page you direct clicks to is also a crucial factor in determining your ad ranking, so ensure it’s well-optimized for your chosen ad keywords too.
If your business offers users the ability to download an app, be sure it is optimized within the app store. There are literally thousands of apps out there for users to choose from, so be sure yours is optimized well to increase visibility.
Incorporate Social Media
Many internet markets are taking advantage of social media to extend their reach and boost their search engine visibility. Search engines now rank your social media profiles in SERPs, so it pays to ensure your profiles show up on the first page.
Aside from increasing the likelihood of prospective customers finding your business, you also boost brand awareness by having multiple sites leveraged for maximum visibility.
As more business owners begin to realize the benefits of allowing customers to purchase online, incorporating additional sales funnels offers the opportunity to increase revenue.
Many social media sites now offer the option of adding a ‘Buy Now’ button to your profile. Facebook and Pinterest both offer this option, which ultimately helps you increase your conversion rates.
Using a combination of strategies to boost your business’s visibility could be the key to keeping up with constant changes in the field of SEM. Combining social media tools and advertising options, along with carefully-considered PPC ad campaigns should keep your business at the forefront of people’s attention. The result should be a streamlined sales funnel that draws customers in from a range of options.
Cameron Davis has worked in the marketing industry for years, and even remembers the days before the web was mainstream! His articles offer up some invaluable marketing lessons.