You are no doubt well aware of the high pressure advertisers and marketing teams are under when launching a new campaign, especially when it comes to the problematic tasks of achieving KPIs and expected results. Among other common concerns, your main worries are probably that time is limited and team resources must be used wisely.
Instead of losing valuable time and opportunities focusing on manual tasks, you need to discover where to focus your energy so as to improve the performance of your business and increase your ROI. In this post, learn how to perform Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategically and analytically in order to increase your business’s online visibility and grow profits.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
As you may know, Search Engine Marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your business online in an increasingly competitive marketplace. SEM strategies are related to anything that you do to optimize your site’s ranking in search engines such as Google, and in turn, increase the traffic to your site.
SEM is all about gaining visibility on search engines when users search for terms that relate to your business. A well-positioned SEM strategy will increase your Quality Score, escalate traffic to your website, and convert visitors into leads.
To be successful in your Search Marketing Strategy, there are 5 key points you must include when setting out to create an SEM plan:
1. Create a detailed search strategy
There are many ways to increase your website’s visibility, but the two main strategies are SEO and PPC.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): takes more time to see results, but because it involves optimizing organic content and making improvements to your own website instead of paying for ad space, it is a cost-effective way to slowly but surely generate quality traffic and reach new customers.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) : is the quickest and most-effective search strategy to implement, focusing on promoting your site through targeted keywords in paid ads.
Whether you are choosing one, the other, or both, it is essential to define your both target audience and KPIs. To start, ask yourself these questions: What are my customers searching for? What are their characteristics, demographics, habits, etc.? After studying and understanding your target audience, you can then ask yourself: Which method is best for reaching my target? How much can I improve the results of my campaigns?
Luckily, there are many SEM tools to get you closer to answering those questions and building out your SEM plan. Keyword analysis and optimization tools like OrbitalAds help you discover the new keywords and optimize and automate campaigns. Campaign management tools such as ADchieve let you manage multi accounts using workflows and algorithms. Web Analytics tools like Supermetrics assist you in focusing on KPIs, data control, and reporting. There are many more search tools you can use.
2. Generate an extensive list of keywords
Keywords are the foundation of Search Marketing, so it’s important to conduct comprehensive research as part of your keyword management strategy.
Identify keywords that are relevant to your business and that prospective customers are likely to search for, as these will form the basis of your SEM actions. Don’t hesitate to use a keyword optimization tool to discover new keywords and find related keyword suggestion ideas for new campaigns. Make sure to test and re-test your campaigns in order to observe trends, experiment with ideas, and see the results. Only through frequent testing and optimization can you observe changing search trends for keywords, search volume, competition, etc.
In the case of search ads campaigns, a final, yet crucial aspect of organizing and optimizing keywords is your account structure. Logical keyword grouping and organized campaigns can help you achieve higher click-through rates, lower cost-per-click, and a higher return-on-investment. A suggested account structure for achieving optimal results is:
3. Optimize your website and pages for keywords and content
Your website or landing page is your first chance at making a good first impression on site visitors. The content you include on these pages will help visitors decide whether to stay on your site and continue reading or leave immediately. Above all, it is about curating high-quality content that will interest potential customers.
Some best practices for content optimization include:
- Write and organize your content so that it is rich in keywords (without engaging in keyword stuffing). Make sure to include relevant keywords in headings and CTAs.
- Make sure your content and messaging is in line with what you’re saying in your ad campaigns. Your offer or solution should be clear from the very beginning. Highlight the benefits of your product/service instead of its features.
- Eliminate any technologies that prevent search engines from reading your content such as Flash Content. For landing pages, eliminate distractions such as pop-ups and navigation.
- Update your web design according to new branding or changing trends. It should be fresh, simple, present the information clearly, and use white spaces and multimedia.
- Register your site on important search directories that play a vital role in determining search engine rankings.
4. Generate inbound links for higher domain authority
Did you know that search engines reward you when reputable sites link to yours? Basically, search engines infer that your website must be valuable and therefore you will rank higher in search results. Include link building in your Search Marketing strategy to generate traffic and increase domain authority.
The benefits you will get from inbound link building is directly related to the quality rather than the quantity of the links. It is better to have a few high-quality links than tons of poor-quality ones. You want to focus on attracting high-quality links from popular industry authorities, recognized directories, related blogs, and reputable companies or organizations.
Without any inbound links to your website, you have a lower chance of ranking highly in search engine results. But if you develop a comprehensive inbound link strategy, though guest blogging, partnerships, or simply creating quality or viral content, you will effectively traffic to your site.
5. Start testing paid search campaigns
Paid search campaigns allow you to advertise your ads on search engines results pages such as Google, YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo. By using this model, you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad; money aside, these types of campaigns give you better measurement and control over your content and audience. Using PPC campaigns presents an incredible opportunity for you to promote your business to a relevant audience that is actively searching with intent to research and eventually purchase.
To begin using Paid Search, you will need to:
- Conduct an extensive keyword research and audience study, to maximize the results of your content and budget.
- Set up your paid ad account on a platform like Google Ads.
- Develop targeted landing pages for each campaign.
- Create your own ads with quality copy, images, and multimedia.
- Implement pixels and tracking to record and measure results.
- Combine with paid social campaigns on relevant social media networks to reach a wider audience and increase awareness.
- As we’ve mentioned before, test and re-test to optimize results!
Use these 5 key points to devise and implement your own highly-effective Search Engine Marketing strategy. Each point will help you increase your business’s online visibility, increase leads and therefore customers, and grow profits, all while optimizing time and resources for your team. You’ll be surpassing even the most challenging KPIs in no time. As you gain more experience with SEM, you will find even more ways to optimize and automate tasks and campaigns. Look out world, here you come!
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