Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the most cost-effective strategies for improving your site’s traffic. With global search queries generating 30% of web visitors, it has become an essential component of a holistic company strategy.
To elevate your online presence, include SEM in your plan. The possibilities are endless with a search engine marketing consultant on your side.
Discover how this technique can be the game-changer you need for your organization.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
SEM is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid sand unpaid efforts.
Search engine marketing consultants use SEO and paid search in tandem for all search engine strategies. Keep in mind that this technique doesn’t include display ads, but display ads can also be used in partnership with paid search ads to create retargeted marketing campaigns.
These are the elements of an effective SEM campaign:
Keyword Selection: With the right keywords, you can capture quality audiences. Doing so can raise your return on investment (ROI) and drop your cost per click (CPC). Some keywords may be better suited for SEO content; others better for paid search ads. For new businesses, we often recommend tackling high-intent keywords with both SEO & paid search campaigns to get both immediate and long-term results.
SEO Blogs: SEO blogs are generally limited to targeting 2-3 related keywords, so you typically need more blogs than paid search campaigns to capture the same audience. It also takes longer to rank blog content organically, and the exact timing is heavily dependent on the keywords and competition. We recommend businesses begin SEO blog efforts as soon as possible, but expect it to take 12-18 months to see an ROI on these efforts.
Paid Search Campaigns: 94% of US search traffic comes from Google, so Google Ads is the recommended platform for paid search campaigns. Depending on your industry, Local Services Ads may also be an option, which requires less landing page and ad copy creation, but does require insurance verification and a background check. In general, Google has done a decent job making paid search a fairly simple process with optimized bidding for ad auctions based on your goal and quality score, as well as responsive ads that test 15 headlines and 4 ad descriptions for the most compelling copy. But when you consider pairing a paid search campaign with a lead capturing system and optimizing for conversions rather than just clicks, we recommend working with SEM consultants who can design custom landing pages for the ads on your website and set up conversion tracking properly.
How to Create a Search Engine Marketing Campaign?
Different sources suggest various steps. However, you’ll find these common ones in most SEM strategies:
Step 1: Know Your Audience
First, define your target audience or market. Next, identify their needs or pain points. Afterward, highlight how your product or service can address them.
Step 2: Set Goals
The next step is to set your goals. Make sure they’re SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. For instance, don’t just say improve website traffic. Instead, aim to increase unique audiences, such as traffic from your specific city, by 10 percent in three months. Or aim to increase the number of keywords you're ranking in the top 10 for by 10 percent each month.
Step 3: Choose the Right Keywords
Your keyword research can make or break your SEO and paid search ad campaigns. You can use various strategies for this. Conduct brainstorm sessions with subject matter experts, ask your sales or customer service teams for help with the pain points they hear from customers, or use tools to identify commonly searched terms.
Our digital marketing consultants utilize the Semrush Keyword Magic, Keyword Gap, and Ad History tools to build you a customized list of high-intent keywords.
Step 4: Create Campaigns
For SEO, this means writing blog content that is optimized for specific keywords. Depending on your budget and how quickly you want to grow your business, this may mean daily or weekly blog posts. Our SEO marketing consultants can advise you on frequency and manage content writing, editing, and publishing for you with our SEO content services.
For paid search, this means creating a landing page and ad copy optimized for specific keywords. Then you build the campaign in Google Ads with your daily budget, target market, list of keywords, 15 headlines, and 4 descriptions.
For Local Services Ads, this means setting up your Google Business Profile, establishing a monthly budget, and completing your insurance verification and background check.
Step 5: Measure Your Success
Lastly, each week or month you want to check how well your website is performing for your target keywords. Review the goals you set and measure your key performance indicators (KPIs) against them.
Step 6: Conversion Optimization on Your Site
Effective SEM campaigns boost traffic to your website. However, it’s your website content, speed and design that will make people stay. Provide visitors with valuable information and a great user experience to complement your SEM efforts.
What Are the Advantages of an SEM Campaign?
So, you’ve learned the definition of SEM and its elements. Now, it’s time to discover the advantages of using SEM tactics.
Answer Potential Client Questions
Whether you're showing up in the top 3 paid ads or the top 10 organic results, being on the first page of a search engine results page means you're in a prime spot to answer the query or question at the precise moment users are searching for it.
Increase Your Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Using paid search and SEO together increases your click-through rate (CTR) because you're able to target more keywords and reach a larger audience. High-cost, high-volume keywords can be moved from paid search to organic search. Though it may take longer for your site to rank for highly competitive keywords, your budget won’t suffer trying to bid for them.
Experiment & Learn Quickly
Because you can do A/B testing of paid search ad copy, you get information quickly on what appeals to potential clients and what doesn't. You can then implement this feedback into your organic posts, meta titles and meta descriptions.
Also, by testing keywords with paid search first, you can experiment with your keyword strategy before committing to long-term SEO tactics that require more time and patience to see growth.
Overall, there are many benefits of search engine marketing for businesses. By utilizing the strategies we’ve listed, you can increase brand awareness and click-through rate across more channels by investing in organic and paid search together.
Develop a Search Engine Marketing Plan Now
No matter your company's age or size, creating a search engine marketing strategy is ideal. After all, you don’t need massive budgets to run such campaigns. With a reliable search engine marketing consultant, even small budgets can have quick and lasting SEM results.
Are you ready to boost your site’s traffic, conversions, and sales? Our SEM consultants can help.
At Dirty Marketing Group, we help green industry business owners elevate their online presence. We’ve helped dozens of landscapers and lawn care professionals unlock their full earning potential.
Are you ready to achieve your goals for the year? Book a free consultation now to start your journey toward growth.