Search engine marketing, or SEM marketing for short, has become an increasingly popular digital marketing strategy. It is a paid marketing strategy that allows you to show up in specially highlighted ads on search engines when a particular keyword is searched for by a user. If you’re not using SEM marketing in your digital marketing strategy, you are missing out!
As of November 2022, a study shows that Google has 99.7% of the market share in search engine use. In simpler words, a lot of people use Google to search for things! Imagine if you could leverage this incredibly populated online space to get a little attention for your brand. Enter: SEM marketing.
The Secrets: Tips to Master SEM Marketing
SEM marketing can seem intimidating. After all, from afar, it looks technical and complicated. However, if this is causing you to give it a wide berth, it may be time for a rethink. SEM marketing can be easy to implement once you take some time to learn its ins and outs — and some tips and tricks of the trade.
1. Check in On Your Campaigns Regularly
Ideally, this should be done on a daily basis initially. Once you have your SEM campaign up and running, you can reduce this to once every few days or even weekly. While SEM marketing is popularly — and incorrectly — seen as a sink for your hard-earned money, it can be very profitable if you can master how to get the right keywords for your business and good bid amounts that fall within your budget.
When you keep a finger on the pulse of your SEM marketing campaign, you will be able to get a sense of any developing problems over time. Your bird’s eye view can also give you the advantage of picking up on trends early and capitalizing on them. Most importantly, however, regular check-ins allow you to correct course quickly and easily and can help you protect yourself from overspending on your campaign.
2. Take Your Time with Your SEM Marketing Campaign
As stated earlier, SEM marketing platforms can seem complicated and intimidating, especially when you first get started on them. Don’t be afraid to take your time to learn how a platform works. Experiment a little, and when you’re ready, jump in and start implementing your SEM marketing campaign.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Budget
One of the primary principles of SEM marketing is that the best keywords will inevitably be the most expensive. Do ensure you budget for your target keywords, but don’t overstretch yourself. Set your budget for the campaign, and don’t be afraid to conduct some keyword research to find hidden gem keywords that may help you get that extra boost of visibility on search engines.
4. Don’t Forget About Negative Keywords
In the world of SEM marketing, negative keywords are those keywords that you don’t want to appear in a search for. For instance, let’s say you run a bakery that specializes in chocolate chip cookies. The best in the locality! Now, you don’t want to show up in a search for “chocolate chip cookie recipe.” However, “chocolate chip cookies bakery” and “best cookies in the city” are much better fits for your business.
Negative keywords allow you to avoid irrelevant keywords in your niche that do not apply to your business. This allows you to focus your SEM marketing efforts on only those keywords that are directly relevant to you.
5. Sitelinks Are Your Friends
Sitelinks are extra links that show up if you are lucky enough to make it to first or second place on Google. You can use this feature to link to a sales page, a newsletter sign-up page, or even a map link to your physical business location. This little bit of extra information has the potential to greatly boost your reach.
6. Don’t Forget Local Extensions
Local extensions work a lot like site links in SEM marketing. They allow you to include contact information like a phone number, an address, an email, etc., in your ad. These make great calls to action and are great for people who are immediately looking for an answer to their search.
7. The Time of The Day Is More Important Than You Think
This is an often ignored aspect of SEM marketing. Many SEM marketing platforms allow you to choose specific times in the day when your ad will be displayed on the search engine. You can also specify what part of your budget you want to spend advertising in a particular time slot. Let’s say you run a cute little restaurant that serves a great dinner menu and is particularly good for first dates.
If through customer research, you know that people are most likely to search for restaurants near them from 2 pm to 7 pm, you can put this information in your SEM marketing platform and capitalize on the best time slot for your advertising.
8. Check Everything and Test as You Go
SEM marketing has an unfair reputation for being finicky. While it is undoubtedly true that it has a wide range of metrics and elements you can play around with, this is more of an asset than a liability. Take the time to get to know the platform, and don’t be afraid to test what works, whether it’s ad copy, timings, site links, or keywords. Keep checking in on your data and make changes as you go to ensure that your SEM marketing campaign can give you the maximum returns on your investment.
SEM marketing is, in many ways, like a digital billboard. The added benefit it offers you is data-driven insights into what’s working in your campaign — and what’s not. An experienced and reputed SEM marketing agency like AdLift can help you navigate the tricky platforms of SEM marketing and leverage your money to get the most out of what is undoubtedly the most versatile and profitable marketing space in the world today.