1. SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
What is SEM?
“Search engine marketing” refers to paid search marketing, a system where businesses pay Google to show their ads in the search results.
Do not confused SEM with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a process aimed at improving website visibility. Essentially, SEO is about fulfilling users’ search needs by creating relevant content.
In short, both aim to show your website on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), SEM is by paid ads and SEO is organic returns which don’t cost you when people click on your website. But SEO requires a long time and effort to rank your website to the “golden” page(#1) of Google.
2. Search Engines
There are many search engines available in the market. Google and Bing Search by Microsoft and Yahoo are among the leaders. In recent years, there is also rise in other search engines like DuckDuckGo, Yandex Ads and Baidu (China market).
Most often overlooked search engines are like Youtube Ads, Amazon Search Ads, and Apple Ads (targeting Apps in Apple Store).
Which search engine is the best? Depends on your product or service and hence, your target audience. Generally, consumer e-commerce products would lean on Google and Bing. Let’s say a new Hip-Hop artist trying to gain awareness, Youtube Ad is definitely the top choice.
3. Search Query and Keyword
Search query is what the searcher type into the search box of the search engine.
When you create your ads, you tell the search engine to show your ads when certain keyword(s) is matched with the search query.
The match type can be exact, phrase or broad. Exact match as the name implies, only when the search query is matching exactly with the keyword you supplied to the search engine, then only your ad would show up. Broad, on the other hand, as long as the keyword relates to your searcher’s intent.
4. Ads Auction Bidding
Imagine you have a florist business, there are probably hundreds of florists in the area. Let’s say half of them have ads running, which ads would Google decides to show to a searcher keyed in the search term- “rose bouquet near me”?
There are a few factors playing in here but the obvious ones would be, the matching keywords, the location proximity, the ad copy relevancy and the bidding you set on the targeted keyword. These are, of course, not an exhaustive list of all the signals Google used to decide but they are the obvious to tackle.
Naturally, that brought us to this last point – optimization.
For the best ROI, it requires constant testing and optimization. Given there are many playing factors, the testing is almost endless and it is easy for one to get lost in the process. It’s no joke when we say you need to strategize your campaign and ad testing. It’s so easy to fall into the infinity loop and ends up asking-“What am I doing again?”
This is what sets the pay-per-click (PPC) experts-ran ad campaigns apart from those who just set and forget. An effective and improving ROI of ad campaigns need continuous effort in keywords, targeting, monitoring trends and bidding adjustments.
Just DO It
We strongly encourage anyone who wishes to start SEM for their business to – JUST DO IT. Create an account, create some campaigns and let it run on some budget to get familiar with the platform. That’s how you could learn about it the quickest way.
If you ever need help to optimize your campaigns, we are here to help. Just reach out to us.
Or, if you’re too busy with your business and just need someone to manage your SEM or PPC, you know you are most welcome to contact us. The Blue Chick is waiting!