What is Search Engine Marketing ?
Search engine marketing is a very broad term that refers to a number of other different activities, such as:
- Search engine optimization
- Search retargeting
- Submitting sites to internet directories
- Managing paid listings in different search engines (primarily pay per click, or PPC)
- Describing the development of many different online marketing strategies
- Social media marketing
Search Engine Marketing consists of many tools, techniques (like Search Engine Optimization) and strategies aimed at optimizing search engine advertising, seeking to appear among the top positions, get lower costs per click (CPC) and maximize conversions derived from ads. The most well known and used SEM platform is Google Ads, but there are other solutions, such as Bing Ads or Baidu Ads for example.
Things to consider in SEM:
- Keywords: are the terms that users enter in the search engines and that cause a particular ad or search result to be shown in search results. They do not have to be single words, in fact, it is normal to use groups of words or phrases, such as “buy Nike shoes” or “what is the best electric skateboard” (these types of keywords called “long tail keywords”).
- Text ad: is the standard ad type that is shown in search engines, although today we have many more options, such as shopping ads etc. It usually includes a title, a visible URL that can be customized according to your requirement and a short detailed description.
- Ad group: In Google Ads, an ad group consists of several ads that appear with the same keywords. In this way, we can see which are the most effective ads.
- Campaign: in Google Ads, the campaign is like the “umbrella” under which we organize different ad groups having similar goals. For example, if we have an online store of college supplies, one campaign could include ad groups on textbooks, another on backpacks and a third on drawing material.
- Page destination or landing page: the website to which the user is directed after having clicked on an advertisement. To achieve good results with search engine marketing, this web page must be optimized to get conversions or for users to perform a certain action (for example, completing a form to download an ebook).
The keywords, the ad shown and the landing page should always be aligned to ensure a good user experience.
- Search Network: is the places where your ads can appear. The most common is to work with search ads on the top and right of the results page, but we can also show them on other sites such as YouTube, Google Maps or Pintrest etc.
- Impressions: The number of times an ad was shown or A number of impressions are a number of times that an advertisement has been shown (through Google AdWords or other forms of PPC advertising) or a web page has been listed on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page, by using search engine optimization techniques).
- Clicks: number of times an ad has been clicked or a website link form search engine result has been clicked.
- CTR: percentage of clicks on total impressions (Click Through Rate).
- CPC: average cost per ad click (Cost Per Click).
- Quality Score: Score awarded by Google to ads and keywords which influences your cost per click (CPC). This score is determined based on the relevance of the ad, the percentage of clicks obtained and user experience of the landing page.
The objective of this system is that higher quality ads, higher positions but have a lower cost per click.
- Generate highly qualified traffic. Generating traffic organically (traffic generating from search engines) can be a very long and time consuming process, in which the results are only seen in the long term. Search engine marketing allows us to accelerate it and get users to our website from the beginning with ease.
- Generate visibility. Appearing in the top positions of Google and other different search engines, even if the user does not click, makes our brand go associated with a specific need.
- Generate conversions. In the end, the ultimate goal of Google Ads and other SEM tools is to improve our business results. To do this, we will create optimized landing pages that put users on the path to conversion.
- Get the most out of your budget, whatever it may be. One of the great advantages of search engine marketing is that it is a suitable solution for companies of all sizes because the minimum investment is very affordable.
- Get measurable results: Search engine marketing solutions such as Google Ads provide us with great large number of metrics on campaigns and allow us to know what is happening at all times. In this way, it is very easy to correct the course to get much better results.
The search engine marketing or SEM has great potential to help companies achieve their goals quickly and effectively. To get the most out of it, the ideal is to have experts who have extensive experience positioning brands in Google.
Some Recommended Books for Learning SEM:
These are some good recommended books for beginners and advance users which can help you learn SEM in depth.
1: Introduction to Search Engine Marketing and AdWords: A Guide for Absolute Beginners 1st ed. Edition
What You’ll Learn:
- Take a behind-the-scenes tour of AdWords, including how to create an account
- Create and launch a campaign as well as ads, including keyword tools
- Monitor a campaign, including time frame, clicks and CTR, and reporting
- Implement various campaign strategies, including support email and dealing with errors
- Use Ad extensions as well as site links
2: Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Website (3rd Edition) (IBM Press)
What You’ll Learn:
- Focus relentlessly on business value, not tactics
- Overcome the obstacles that make search engine marketing so challenging
- Get into your searcher’s mind, and discover how her behavior may change based on situation or device
- Understand what happens technically when a user searches—and make the most of that knowledge
- Create a focused program that can earn the support it will need to succeed
- Clarify your goals and link them to specific measurements
- Craft search terms and copy that attracts your best prospects and customers
- Optimize content by getting writers and tech people working together
- Address the critical challenges of quality in both paid and organic search
- Avoid overly clever tricks that can destroy your effectiveness
- Identify and resolve problems as soon as they emerge
- Redesign day-to-day operating procedures to optimize search performance