Have you been actively monitoring your site’s ranking performance and have constantly improving your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy but it still doesn’t pay off? How many times have you Googled your targeted keywords and still cannot find your company on the first page of Search Engine Results Page (SERPs)?
With the rampant SEO updates by Google, it may really be a little challenging to keep a steady ranking on SERPs. There may be times when you are executing the same strategy for months, and your site is doing really well, but suddenly your popularity drops in an instant. Although there may be other factors that affects your rankings, it can clearly be caused by the changes in Google’s algorithm.
True enough, great technical knowledge and in-depth keyword research can greatly help you reach the first spot – but it takes time. So, if you want to be on top in just a snap, you have an option to invest on a campaign that will skip a few steps from the traditional SEO strategy. It’s called the Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
We’ll have a closer look on the difference between SEO and SEM and why you should choose to go for an SEM campaign.
SEO vs SEM
To better understand these two seemingly related form of online strategy, let’s begin with the basic: definition.
Search Engine Optimization is generally focused on improving your website, using different strategies, to increase your ranking through organic search. SEO makes sure that you are utilizing the keywords properly and you are strategically placing it in your contents. It also includes link building, using powerful Meta descriptions, and establishing strong site branding.
Search Engine Marketing, on the other hand, is like securing your space on the top of SERPs by means of paid advertising. It’s, essentially, an act of paying the search engine so your ads will show every time a user search for your targeted keywords.
Basically, SEO gives you results through organic ranking while SEM gives you the spot through paid Ad slots.
So, why do you need an SEM campaign?
If you might think that SEO is enough to reach your target market, then you might need to think again. SEO alone is sure to be effective and it’s proven to convert leads and sales. There’s no doubt that you still need to make sure that your website is optimized according to the best SEO practices so you have a solid foundation to rank organically. But, SEM can speed up your process in building a solid brand and client base.
SEM will put you in front of your brand’s active users who are actively searching for the products and services that you offer. An effective SEM campaign can help you secure a spot on top of every SERPs, which can easily turn into conversions and sales.
SEM and Keywords
Just like SEO, keywords are the most essential part of SEM. The campaigns that you will run will start by identifying the keywords that you will use, through this you’ll know which ads show up on those specific searches. Which only means one thing: you need to do in-depth keyword research. To run an effective and successful search engine marketing campaign, you have to make sure that you’re always where your target audience is – through the use of exact terms and targeted keywords.
You have to keep in mind that your keywords can make or break your SEM campaign. Through the help of several keyword research tools such as AdWords, you can aim for the right keywords that have higher volume and lower competition. This way, your ad will get better rankings with lower cost-per-click (CPC). Aside from that, you can also get detailed information about the estimated CPC for each specific keyword using tools like AdWords. This gives you an additional leverage in business planning for your campaign’s cost and budget.
How does SEM work?
More than choosing the right keywords, SEM also relies on an effective bidding strategy. That’s right. All SEM marketing platforms work on a bidding system. Same as how a normal bidding goes, advertisers will place their bid on a certain keyword and audience; whoever has the highest bidding will get the highest ranking.
But, don’t be overwhelmed by the idea that you need to pay a lot to outbid the others. You can choose to pay even a single cent higher than the lowest competitor to outbid them For instance, you bid SGD 5.00 on a certain keyword and the next lowest competitor bids SGD 3.74, you’ll only have to pay for SGD 3.75.
It may sound competitive to bid extensively on every relevant keyword but you have to make sure that you will balance between ranking higher and paying too much for clicks. You still need to keep the smart strategy to rank high with less cost.
Now, you might think that paying more for a spot gives you an edge to rank high. Well, that may not necessarily be true. Search engines such as Google still calculate the score and ranking of ads based on quality and relevance. Most SEM platforms still analyse the strength of your landing page and the relevance of the keywords you selected to the content of your website.
Is SEM worth the investment?
It pays to be the first. Surely, it’s still more rewarding to be on top of SERPs by means of organic search. But, if you want to have a better business returns, SEM is a great investment. Paid ads gives you an enormous advantage when it comes to reaching your target audience. Less effort and more chances of bigger conversions.
Let’s put your business on top and reach your potential customers faster and better with quality Search Engine Marketing campaigns.