If you choose highly relevant keywords, you will win auctions for very well-placed ads at a lower price than your competitors, even if they choose a higher maximum bid. That’s because your Quality Score is higher, meaning you’ve understood the end-user better than your competition.
What Is Search Engine Marketing & How Does It Work?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is an online marketing strategy that aims to increase the online visibility of a website in the search engine results pages (SERPs). SEM intersects with search engine optimization (SEO), as it can include strategies like rewriting the content of a website and its architecture to achieve higher rankings. However, search engine marketing generally refers to paid search or pay-per-click (PPC).
SEO and SEM should be fundamental parts of your online marketing strategy because the algorithms that power search engines are becoming more sophisticated by the day. That means a well-thought-out paid search advertising strategy has become an absolute necessity if you want to ensure high rankings in the searches relevant to your business.
In search engine marketing, advertisers pay for impressions that result in visitors, hence the name pay-per-click. Search engine marketing aims to reach users when they most need the information you have to offer, which makes PPC advertising ideally less intrusive.
All in all, a well-constructed SEM strategy can also boost your website’s SEO by attracting high-quality traffic. This proves to search engines like Google that your website is an authoritative source, which can in turn boost rankings.
Why Is Good Keyword Research Important for Paid Search?
Such a prominent position is likely to yield results, but to make the most of your paid ads you need to know your audience and create content that is relevant to them. SEM can’t work efficiently without some prep work. In fact, the idea behind good search marketing is to reach users at exactly the right time: when they are ready to buy.
Finding the Right Keywords
This is where the intersection of SEM and SEO reveals itself: keywords are the heart of search engine marketing. We cannot stress enough how important good keyword research is for the success of your paid ads strategy. If you want to own the SERPs, a good SEM strategy complements an already strong SEO strategy.
If you know which keywords are relevant to your business, you can directly scan through your master list and identify those you wish to target with the paid ads you are creating. Still looking for the right keywords? Head over to our Keyword Magic Tool to get started.
Remember: A broad match is a “keyword option that allows your ad to show when someone searches for that keyword, variations of it, as well as other related topics” according to Google guidelines. Related keywords in Semrush are synonyms, or terms semantically related to the main keywords that you’re researching.
Remember to take full advantage of the filters available and choose keywords to exclude. Also, take note of the “CPC $” column to get an idea of what the cost-per-click will be. Now you have a strong basis for any search engine marketing campaign.
Users sometimes enter search queries with very clear intent. Those who need information of a commercial nature are way more likely to make a purchase at the end of their search, compared to those just “scrolling” the internet for content.
Now imagine you’re the person searching. If you type in the first two phrases on Google, you probably don’t want to be sold anything but are just looking for information. Only the last search query has any kind of commercial intent and could be a great opportunity for you to advertise your sunflower seeds and terracotta pots!
One more reason why you want to bid on search terms with a commercial intent is that not every ad will appear in each search. In fact, Google operates with an auction that takes various factors into account to determine which ads are served to which user. Among them, the relevance of the ad for the user plays a huge role.
SEM vs. SEO
Both SEO and SEM should be fundamental parts of your online marketing strategy. SEO is a powerful way to drive evergreen traffic at the top of the funnel, while search engine advertisements are a highly cost-effective way to drive conversions at the bottom of the funnel.
Keywords are the foundation of search engine marketing. As users enter keywords (as part of search queries) into search engines to find what they’re looking for, it should come as little surprise that keywords form the basis of search engine marketing as an advertising strategy.
SEM Keyword Research
First, you need to identify keywords that are relevant to your business and that prospective customers are likely to use when searching for your products and services. One way to accomplish this is by using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool.
In addition to helping you find keywords you should be bidding on, thorough keyword research can also help you identify negative keywords – search terms that you should exclude from your campaigns. Negative keywords aren’t terms with negative connotations, but rather irrelevant terms that are highly unlikely to result in conversions. For example, if you sell ice cream, you might want to exclude the keyword “ice cream recipes”, as users searching for ice cream recipes are unlikely to be in the market for your product.
This concept is known as search intent, or the likelihood that a prospect will complete a purchase or other desired action after searching for a given term. Some keywords are considered to have high commercial intent, or a strong indication that the searcher wants to buy something. Examples of high commercial intent keywords include:
Best SEM tools
1. HubSpot’s Ad Tracking Software
You’re not paying for ads for the fun of it; you’re paying for ads because you want to generate leads and drive revenue for your business. The HubSpot Ads tool helps you go beyond traffic and click metrics to analyze exactly how ads are influencing contacts where they are in the buyer’s journey. This will help you understand which ads actually work, justify SEM as a channel, and integrate your advertising in with the rest of your marketing efforts.
SEMRush allows you to conduct extensive keyword research, keyword rank tracking, site audits, traffic analysis, and more. SEMRush is a fantastic tool for finding opportunities to rank for long-tail keywords organically, but additionally, you can use the tool for various SEM efforts. For instance, you can use SEMRush to figure out where your competitors are concentrating their marketing efforts, and analyze their regional presence, to figure out how much money you want to put behind certain keywords.
Additionally, SEMRush enables you to discover your main paid search competitors, figure out which keywords they’re bidding on, and study the composition of their ads. This is vital information when you’re cultivating your own paid strategy and are unsure how to out-rank other businesses on the SERPs.
3. Google Trends
Google Trends allows you to track search volume for a particular keyword across a specific region, language, or time frame — which can enable you to identify which search terms are trending, and which ones aren’t. Since you don’t want to put money behind a keyword that’s decreasing in popularity, this is an incredibly useful tool for your SEM efforts.
Additionally, particularly if you work for an ecommerce business, the ability to gauge interest in your product or service in a certain geographical area is undoubtedly powerful for ensuring you tailor your paid efforts to specific locations, saving you money in the long-run.
One of the most helpful features of Keywordtool.Io is its ability to tap into Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, Twitter, and the App Store, so that you’re able to segment your keyword research through various channels and better target your efforts. Additionally, the tool takes your base keyword and provides you with variations of words and phrases, which allows you to cultivate a more extensive list of possible keywords you might want to include in a paid ad.
Using Google Autocomplete to provide relevant keywords for you, the free version of Keywordtool.Io lets you generate up to 750 long-tail keywords and keyword suggestions for every search term. Plus, you can use the tool to analyze search trends on Google, to ensure your desired keywords are increasing in popularity and will continue to serve you well over the long-term.
5. Google Ads Keyword Planner
Since Google is likely where you want your ads to appear, it makes sense to consider using Google Ads Keyword Planner to research relevant keywords for your business, and keep track of how searches for certain keywords change over time. The Keyword Planner will help you narrow down a list of possible keywords to ensure you’re choosing the most effective ones for your business.
Additionally, Keyword Planner will give you suggested bid estimates for each keyword, so you can determine which keywords work with your advertising budget. Best of all, once you’ve found your ideal keywords and are ready to launch an ad campaign, you can do it all from within the tool.
Ever wish you could see which keywords your competitors are buying on Google, or check out which ad tests they’ve run? With SpyFu, you’re able to do just that — simply search a domain, and you’ll see every keyword that business has bought on Adwords, every organic keyword for which they’ve ranked, and every ad variation they’ve had in the last 12 years. Plus, you can monitor your own paid and SEO rankings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
What is Email Marketing?
A digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and customers. The email content may be advertisements, industry or company news, or solicitation of sales.
SEM Glossary of Terms
Anvil is often asked to explain search engine marketing (SEM) strategies, tactics and terms. The following search engine marketing glossary of terms was compiled and edited by Anvil and includes a variety of sources named at the bottom of this page.
What is A/B Testing?
A method of testing by which a baseline control sample is compared to a variety of single-variable test samples. This method has been recently adopted from direct marketing within the interactive space to test tactics such as banner ads, emails, and landing pages.
What is Conversion Optimization?
The art and science of maximizing the percentage of website visitors that become customers or leads through quantitative testing. For more information, read Anvil’s conversion optimization article or download our Conversion Optimization Cheat Sheet.
What is Marketing Automation?
The use of technology to generate, nurture, score, and qualify leads using customized, multi-touch marketing communications tailored individually for each contact. For more information, download our Marketing Automation Cheat Sheet.
What is Multivariate Testing?
A process by which more than one component may be tested in a live environment. It can be thought of, in simple terms, as numerous split tests or A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. See A/B testing definition for more information.
Types of SEM
Here’s the point where the meaning of the term “search marketing” becomes a conundrum again. Referring to SEM as a whole lot of search promoting ways, we can divide it into organic search activities (SEO), paid activities, and local search, or marketing your business locally.
Meaning SEM as paid activities only, it’s possible to talk about different types of ads used by search engines. Let’s discuss the types the most popular platform – Google Ads – offers its users. Here are some of them:
This type is the most popular and easiest to craft. Text ads include headlines, body copy, and links to your website. Depending on the cost of the ad and the search engine, they may appear above, to the right of, or below organic listings.
Google Shopping Ads
This type of ad is based on the same principles of using keywords as the previous one. The difference is the visual part – Google shopping ads include pictures and prices. This format is perfect for selling products.
This format boils down to letting Google automatically adapt your ads to different searchers’ behavior patterns. All you need to do is type several headlines and descriptions for your campaign; the ad platform will test all of the possible combinations and show searchers the top-performing ads.
Local Service Ads
This option was made for local businesses, such as coffee shops, plumbers, real estate agents, and so on. Local service ads allow you to advertise only in a certain area and receive leads directly from potential customers.
How to Use SEM
- Create a strategy. Start by setting short and long-term goals for your SEM and align them with your business needs. For instance, if you want to gain more revenue, decide how many new customers you need to acquire to achieve this result. Then, define the amount of traffic you need and the budget you have. It will help you understand what campaigns, and with which frequency, you should use to meet your goals.
- Collect a list of keywords. Before rolling out a paid campaign, generate a list of keywords associated with your business. You can copy keywords from competitors, generate them with online tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, or brainstorm with your colleagues. You are free to use more specific or general keywords and combinations of both. The main rule here is to only go for relevant words.
- Add organic search promotion. Paid and organic search engine promotion activities work better together. Produced correctly, they reinforce each other and bring greater results. So, remember to add or tailor SEO to your SEM. To start search engine optimization from scratch, follow the tips from our guide on building an SEO strategy.
- Experiment with different types of ads. Different types of ads may be more or less effective for certain businesses. To find the best option for you, try various ad formats, such as text or shopping ads. Test several ad platforms; chances are that underestimated paid submissions with Yahoo will be more effective for you than popular Google ads.
- Check your campaign regularly. To evaluate the effectiveness of your search engine marketing campaigns, remember to keep track of their results. Check them once or twice a week to be able to make changes in case something goes wrong. Record all of the data and look for trends.
Voice search optimization
33% of adult audiences reported using voice search monthly at the beginning of 2019. Half of all searchers have used voice input in 2020. Voice search shopping is predicted to be a $40 billion market in two years. To stay ahead, you need to apply voice search optimization to your search engine marketing.
Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done – options for voice search optimization are quite limited. However, you can adjust your search ads right now. First of all, include more long-tail keywords – it will help your ads appear in more search results.
Investments in search advertising are predicted to reach over $151 million in 2020 with annual growth of around 6%. For marketers with limited budgets, this means colossal competition and, probably, a drop in conversion rates. Thus, you’ll need to become even more creative to win the race.
SEM automation will help you get rid of routine tasks and find more time for planning strategies and activities. Consider using the Google Adwords automation features, such as smart campaigns, automated bidding, automated rules, and more.
In 2019, 52% of internet traffic worldwide was generated on mobile devices. Probably, your potential customers see your ads on mobile screens rather than desktops. Track the amount of traffic from different devices and try to adjust your search engine marketing to the most prevalent type.
Optimize your ads and content connected with them for mobile to get more customers. For instance, Google mobile users would love to see ads with shorter headlines – 12-15 characters in comparison with 15-20 characters for desktop devices.
Remember to optimize the landing page for your ad leads too. Try to reduce the loading time to less than one second and make your webpage convenient for mobile users. You may also go for bigger buttons, lighter images, simpler design, and so on.
Alternate ad platforms
Google is considered to be the most popular platform for search ads – it makes up more than 70% of the market. However, the share of this giant has been falling for the previous three years, while other market players gain market share.
Take a closer look at other platforms, in particular Amazon. Not only this service is growing year after year, but it also has interesting features, especially for those who sell goods. The bottom line is Amazon ads have higher conversion rates; people may discover your brand on Google, but they come to Amazon with the intent to purchase. It makes Amazon ads the perfect channel to interact with your prospects in the lower stages of the marketing funnel.
Knowing more about SEM strategies, you may think it’s time to call it a day. However, there is always some space for improving your performance. To take it to the next level, consider adopting some industry best practices.
Overview on Keywords
SEM Keyword Research
Before embarking on an SEM campaign, you need to finalize the keywords that will form the foundation for the campaigns. Your keyword management strategy should include thorough research on keywords. For this, you should type in a term related to your business in some Keyword Search Tool.
For example, if you sell fast food, it is wise to not include ‘ fast food recipes’ as a keyword for your campaign. It is quite obvious that those who are seeking fast food recipes do not intend to buy them.
We have mentioned commercial intent in an earlier section of this article. Commercial or search intent refers to the likelihood of the online searcher making a purchase. Keywords with high commercial content include buy, free shipping, discount, coupon, etc.
Search Engine Marketing is a strategy to increase the visibility of a website or business content using advertising and search optimization techniques. Search Engine Marketing activities include marketing campaigns using competitive keywords, devising ads for different scenarios, and tracking key metrics.
SEM promotes high website traffic by creating or rewriting ads with relevant and competitive keywords. This becomes a visibly arduous task. SEM tools help you to carry out these activities efficiently. These include
An efficient SEM toolset will assist you to manage core areas of a marketing campaign like competitive research, keyword research, Ad copy, landing pages, and reporting and help you to achieve a better ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why is it important to use Search Engine Marketing?
The various types of Search Engineering Marketing help you to generate better website traffic as well as increase brand awareness. A higher ranking of your product or service offering will increase the likelihood of revisits to your website or social mentions and can result in conversions to actual sales.
Q2. Is there any difference between local SEO and organic SEO?
Q3. Who is an SEM consultant?
Search engine marketing
Если вы будете использовать уникальные метатеги описания для каждой страницы, это поможет и пользователям, и Google, особенно в случаях, когда в результатах поиска показывается несколько страниц вашего сайта (например, по запросу с оператором site: ). Если на вашем сайте тысячи или миллионы страниц, то едва ли целесообразно размещать метатеги описания вручную. В таком случае их можно создать автоматически с учетом контента каждой страницы.
Введение в поисковую оптимизацию
Это руководство предназначено для владельцев сайтов, веб-мастеров и тех, кто монетизирует контент в интернете или продвигает его с помощью Google Поиска. Изложенная здесь информация также может пригодиться предпринимателям, которые расширяют свой бизнес, владельцам нескольких сайтов, специалистам по оптимизации и просто тем, кому интересно, как работают поисковые системы. Кроме того, эта статья будет полезна пользователям, которым нужна дополнительная информация о том, какие методы поисковой оптимизации рекомендуют наши специалисты. Рекомендации, приведенные в этом руководстве, не гарантируют высокий рейтинг вашего сайта в Google. Однако, следуя им, вы можете упростить для робота Google процедуру сканирования, индексации и обработки веб-контента.
Для поисковой оптимизации зачастую достаточно внести небольшие изменения в некоторые разделы сайта. Каждое такое изменение в отдельности может показаться незначительным, но в комплексе они могут заметно повысить удобство пользования сайтом и его положение в результатах поиска. Вероятно, вы знакомы со многими темами в этом руководстве, поскольку они имеют непосредственное отношение к веб-дизайну, но могли ранее не уделять им должного внимания.
Чтобы сделать сайт удобным для посетителей, а также улучшить его позицию в результатах поиска, его нужно оптимизировать. Поисковая оптимизация помогает поисковым системам правильно интерпретировать ваш контент и представлять его пользователям. Ваш сайт может быть меньше нашего сайта example.com, который мы используем для примеров, или намного больше него, но принципы оптимизации, изложенные ниже, применимы к веб-ресурсам любого масштаба и типа. Следуя нашим рекомендациям, вы можете улучшить свой сайт. Если вы хотите задать вопрос, оставить отзыв или рассказать свою историю успеха, посетите справочный форум Центра Google Поиска.
С чего начать
- Индекс. Google хранит информацию обо всех просканированных страницах в индексе. Каждая запись в индексе содержит информацию о контенте и расположении (URL) соответствующей страницы. Проиндексировать – загрузить страницу, обработать контент на ней и добавить ее в индекс. Пример: робот Googlebot сегодня проиндексировал несколько страниц на моем сайте.
- Сканирование – поиск новых и измененных веб-страниц. Google находит URL, переходя по ссылкам, считывая информацию из файлов Sitemap, а также другими способами. Google сканирует интернет, чтобы найти новые веб-страницы, и при необходимости индексирует их.
- Поисковый робот – специальная программа, которая сканирует (просматривает) страницы в интернете и индексирует их.
- Робот Googlebot – общее название поискового робота Google. Пример: Робот Googlebot постоянно сканирует интернет.
- Поисковая оптимизация – процесс, который призван сделать структуру сайта и его контент доступнее и понятнее для поисковых систем. Также вам может встречаться аббревиатура SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Например, SEO-специалист – это специалист по поисковой оптимизации.
Есть ли ваш сайт в Google?
Узнайте, включен ли ваш сайт в индекс Google
Что делать, если вашего сайта нет в Google
Как добавить сайт в Google
Наша поисковая система полностью автоматизирована, и роботы постоянно сканируют интернет, добавляя в индекс новые страницы. Обычно вам достаточно просто опубликовать свой сайт, и со временем он попадет в наш индекс. Именно так в индексе оказались почти все сайты, которые представлены в Google Поиске. Подробнее о том, как Google обнаруживает веб-страницы, сканирует их и подбирает результаты поиска…
В Search Console есть инструменты, позволяющие добавлять контент в Google и проверять, как он выглядит в результатах поиска. Также вам могут приходить из Search Console уведомления об ошибках, найденных на вашем сайте. Вы можете зарегистрироваться в Search Console по этой ссылке.
Нужен ли вам специалист по поисковой оптимизации
Такой специалист способен улучшить позиции вашего сайта в поисковых системах. В этом руководстве достаточно информации о том, как самостоятельно оптимизировать сайт, но вы можете привлечь специалиста, чтобы он проверил ваши страницы.
Обращение к специалисту по поисковой оптимизации – важный шаг, который позволяет улучшить сайт и сэкономить время. Обязательно проанализируйте все потенциальные преимущества, а также возможные риски плохой поисковой оптимизации. Многие специалисты по оптимизации, агентства и консультанты предоставляют владельцам сайтов полезные услуги, включая перечисленные ниже.
Прежде чем приступать к выбору специалиста по поисковой оптимизации, полезно самостоятельно разобраться в том, как устроены поисковые системы. Рекомендуем полностью прочитать это руководство и ознакомиться со следующими ресурсами:
Если вы решили воспользоваться услугой поисковой оптимизации, не откладывайте этот шаг. Особенно полезно сделать это перед созданием нового сайта или изменением дизайна старого. Так вы сможете наилучшим образом адаптировать сайт к требованиям поисковой системы. Однако хороший специалист может улучшить и существующий сайт.
Desktop vs mobile vs tablet searches
Up until mid-2019, mobile and desktop searches were mostly neck and neck, with mobile just edging into the lead every few months. However, the most recent stats put mobile ahead with 54.86% of searches, while desktop falls to 42.65%, and desktop 2.49%.desk
As we can see, there have been changes in behavior at key points this year – notably April 2020 which saw a huge number of technological, economic and social changes as Coronavirus was declared a national pandemic.
If you’re looking for a marketing plan to refocus your marketing activities and improve your performance, take a look at our free digital marketing plan template for Smart Insights Free Members to start your digital marketing optimization journey.
Smart Search Engine Marketing Strategies
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
No strategy is as effective as PPC ads. PPC is focussed on promoting your site through paid ads which are based on targeting keywords. There are two important players in PPC advertising, Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing. Let’s have a look at these two in detail.
Google Adwords helps a customer to market their products or services in Google search engine. Adwords uses text ads that will be displayed when people search for keywords that are related to your business or product.
Next, to Google, the search engine which gets a maximum number of searches per day is Yahoo. You need to sign up on Yahoo search marketing platform to advertise your product in Yahoo!/Bing network. The greatest advantage of using this network is the merger between Yahoo! and Bing Search.
Site design is an important aspect of Search Engine Marketing strategies. Use the best website developer in the market to create a beautiful website for your business. The website is always the first impression that makes the visitors stay on your site and view the details. Focus more on quality content.
Sales copy of the products
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is the best way to get clicks through Search Engine Marketing strategies. Grabbing the attention of the customers is essential. What you want to do is oversell a product or talk more about the features of the product. Make sure that your PPC ads and sales copy gain customer interest. Do not underestimate the power of a product sales copy.
Reverse image search
Determining your key demographics
Monitor Competitor’s backlinks
Find out your top competitors. Keep track of competitor’s backlinks. This will help you in getting ideas for quality links. Once you find their target keywords enter them into your backlink tool and get a list of backlinks for your site.
Remember the customer
Getting the highest rank in search engines should not be your only motive in Search Engine Marketing strategies. Always think about a site from the customer perspective. If you forget about the customer then you cannot convert your leads into sales. Search engines do not buy your products ultimately it is the customers who are going to click on your advertisement and buy your products.
Infographics are the most powerful link building in Search Engine Marketing strategies. It deals with visual content marketing. Creating infographics costs a bit but you can also make your own infographics. Here are a few points listed below which will help you in creating effective infographics.
Be available online
Reverse Guest Posting
This is just the opposite of guest posting. Guest posting is finding a third party to write good contents for your site. Whereas reverse guest posting is finding good bloggers and authority to write contents for your business and maintain a good relationship with them.
Get frequent feedbacks
This is one of the easiest ways of getting backlinks for your site. There are a lot of websites where feedbacks are accepted and backlinks are created. What you need to do is get registered in the site, submit your website and write a small description about your product or service.
Check out whether any customer has mentioned about your brand or business. Get to know what the customers think about your business. Any mentions about your brand or business or product online is one method of getting links for your site.