(SEM) advertising, also known as search engine marketing, has become one of the most significant ways to generate website traffic. As a marketing channel, SEM compliments search engine optimization (SEO) really well and helps you get to the top of search engines.
There was a time when digital marketers used the term SEM advertising to describe all things online marketing – be it search engine optimization or search engine marketing. But in the recent years, SEM has come to mean a very specific type of online advertising, which is paid advertising used within search engines.
If you want to learn more about SEM, this article has everything you’d need to master the basics.
Here, we are going to explain why you need paid search advertising (SEM) and how it is an excellent way to increase your ROI.
14 reasons why your business needs SEM advertising
#1 Double your investment
The #1 reason you are in the business – why anybody’s in the business – is to make money. And while search engines like Baidu and Bing offer nice opportunities for you to bring in more money with search ads, Google most definitely offers more bang for your buck.
According to the Economic Impact Report published by Google, on average, advertisers on the Google Ads platform make $2 for every $1 spent.
Which means you can actually double your investment into the program. If you know what you’re doing.
Yes, SEM advertising certainly makes it possible for you to expect such amazing returns, but at the same time you have to know how to achieve these results or work with a marketing agency who does.
At the end of the day, search engine marketing offers businesses the potential to make more money from their online marketing campaigns. And you can reap the promised benefits if you or your team knows how to launch a successful ad campaign.
#2 Boost your conversions
Even though making money is generally the primary goal of a marketing campaign, you shouldn’t ignore other types of conversions. When it comes to conversions, every single one counts, like newsletter signups and new subscribers.
Since paid ads are mostly linked to conversion-focused landing pages that drive website traffic through the sales funnel, SEM can be a really important conversion driver. Organic search results are rarely linked to landing pages, but paid ads are.
Considering this, search engine optimization can support your brand awareness campaigns as well as top-of-funnel efforts, while paid ads (SEM advertising) can be used to achieve specific goal and end-of-funnel conversions.
#3 Accessible even to small accounts
When it comes to paid advertising, one thing that most businesses feel queasy around is the cost. Most brands and agency clients think that SEM advertising costs will far outweigh its benefits, which is not true.
As we mentioned in #1, Google shows that if managed efficiently, paid ads can double your investment, no matter how small you start.
Also, it doesn’t take much capital to run ads. You can begin with as little as $5.00!
The results that you will get for your budget can differ though. We have done a lot of work to bring fantastic SEM results to even the lowest ad spend budgets.
Since SEM is available to even limited budgets, several small businesses and multi-location businesses are benefiting from it by spreading their budget amongst numerous location-based ad campaigns.
#4 Great results for local marketing efforts
SEM advertising has proven to be an effective tool for increasing website traffic and getting more conversions on even a small budget. That’s why it goes without saying that SEM is almost as important for local marketers as SEO.
When people search online for local services like “car washing services near me” or “plumbers in Georgia”, it is local SEM experts who make those queries connect with businesses and ads listed in search engines.
In 2016, Google released a digital ad package called Local 3 Pack, which gives local ads the top three spots in search results for search terms that are location-based, like city or the “near me” phrase.
You’d be glad to know that the local marketers have an incredible advantage when it comes to SEM results in Google. According to a survey done by Search Engine Watch, local searches lead 75% of the users to offline stores to finalize that purchase within 24 hours!
#5 See results immediately
As you might know, search engine optimization (SEO) and other forms of digital marketing strategies tend to be the “long-term game”. No matter how hard you work and how good your SEO campaign is, it generally takes 6+ months to generate substantial traffic to your website.
On the other hand, SEM starts delivering impressive results almost immediately.
It takes minutes (no kidding) to create ads. And even though an ad has to go through an approval process before it can appear in the search results, it almost never takes longer than 1 day. So on an average, the time between ad creation and its launch is around 1 business day. That’s all.
Yes, we are aware that it’s more than that, but campaign maintenance and optimization are just part of running an SEM advertising campaign.
Our point is that the opportunity for getting more clicks and more sales is alive as soon your ad is launched – within 1 business day! This alone makes search advertising one of the fastest-to-launch online traffic strategies out there.
#6 Get traffic consistently
What is the one thing that you need to increase your visibility and sales online? Consistent web traffic.
But you also need a strategy to plan and budget your traffic. And sometimes, no matter how well you plan, sudden drops and spikes in traffic can still occur.
That’s where search advertising comes in. SEM ads can be used to create steady traffic for specific keywords and help you control the website traffic at any point in time.
As Google found, incremental ad clicks make up for 89% of site traffic generated by SEM ads but aren’t replaced by organic clicks when ads are not running. It means that search ads will drive traffic to your website even when search engine optimization and other marketing strategies fluctuate.
#7 Attract more qualified leads
Of course, we are not talking about generating just any kind of traffic. One of the biggest advantages of SEM advertising is the ability to drive in the traffic that’s right for your business.
With organic search results, you cannot always influence who sees those results, but with search advertising you can determine a custom audience that will be far more likely to see and engage with your ads than the average users.
SEM allows you to target specific locations and demographic as well as site visitors at any stage in your sales funnel. It means that the traffic you get from paid ads is more likely to be ready to buy than the traffic created from organic SEO.
#8 SEM advertising gets you on top fast
Simply put, your ad has better odds of appearing at the top of a search engine results page if your quality score is good and keyword bid is high enough.
As you very well know, the key is to appear on the first page among the top results, if you want to get maximum clicks. Search engine marketing wouldn’t do you much good if users can’t see your ads on the first or even second page of the search results. CTR tends to drop drastically when your ad slips to page 2 of search results.
Search advertising can get you on the first page of the search results more effortlessly than SEO would. And that’s where all the clicks are!
#9 SEM is more practical
What does that even mean? Well. Search engine marketing tends to make you more visible really quickly, and as we said in #8, most of the users never go beyond the page 1 of search results.
And that makes sense. When users type in a query, they obviously want an answer as fast as possible. So they click on the top results/ads indiscriminately.
According to a recent study published by Search Engine Watch, 55% of users could not differentiate between paid ads and organic results when shown a screenshot of Google SERPs.
People may go out of their way to avoid ads when it comes to YouTube or TV. But that’s clearly not the case in search engines. More often than not people don’t even recognize the top results as ads!
#10 SEM advertising helps you understand your audience
Want to determine your searcher’s intent? Or analyze your traffic? SEM can help you do that and much more.
The data from your PPC ad campaigns can be analyzed and then used to identify patterns in search phrases. You can see the progress of your ads, which ads are getting more clicks, which ads are converting the most, and other important trends.
Determining the user’s intent through paid channels and then incorporating that data into organic SEO is a common marketing strategy. Also, search intent is really helpful for optimizing your landing pages and call-to-action buttons (CTAs). You can determine the keywords users are searching for in the SEM platform you are using.
#11 It gives you a peek into competitors’ data
Yes! SEM not only gives you valuable customer insights, it also helps you see what your competition is up to.
You can check out your rivals’ ads and analyze their targeted keywords to increase the effectiveness of your own online campaigns. You can even rank higher than your competitors for the same search phrases!
With the help of competitive analysis tools you can track high-performing keywords and discover other valuable data that will translate into successful search marketing campaigns. That way you can also generate high-quality traffic and increase your sales.
These tools can be expensive for a small business, but for a marketing company that is able to spread the costs out, it’s worth it. We have a few tools we use to make sure our marketers put your business in front of your competition.
#12 It can broaden your horizons
If you think SEM advertising is only about paid ads on a search engine, think again.
Thanks to SEM, you can create and launch various kinds of ads, depending on your audience, budget, and marketing objectives.
Here, take a look:
Display ads: These are banner ads at the top, sides or bottom of a web page or search engine results
Call tracking ads: These ads are used to target (or retarget) users who have called a particular number usually displayed on a search ad
Retargeting ads: These ads are displayed to users based on their previous internet actions
Google shopping ads: A particular favorite among retailers, these shopping ads help drive traffic to online as well as offline stores
Google Ads (PPC program offered by Google) and Bing (PPC program offered by Microsoft).
If you are not sure which option would be best for you, call us up! Let us help you create an SEM advertising campaign that fits your marketing goals perfectly.
#13 It goes well with mobile marketing
Think about it – we frequently use our mobile phones to run quick searches while on-the-go. That’s why mobile search ads have become so effective in engaging with customers and driving them to your site (mobile version) or app.
As the recent trends show, 2019 is going to be all about providing improved mobile ads and user experience. And search engine marketing can successfully help you create and launch more relevant ads based on user intent.
Since more and more people are using mobile devices to browse the internet and make purchases, it only makes sense to capitalize on mobile marketing – something SEM can help you with.
But keep in mind that when creating ads for mobile marketing, keywords are the most important element to focus on. Make sure that your ad context is optimized for mobile searches. This is because searchers tend to use various phrases and keywords when browsing from their smartphones. Also, your chosen keywords will tell search engines like Google which searches should your ads appear to users.
Remember, we are talking about generating and increasing your revenue here. Expanding your marketing strategies to include mobile users is definitely a step up in the right direction.
#14 It lends your marketing campaigns excellent flexibility
Outside of display ads, SEM advertising is one channel that gives you the greatest flexibility. You can customize your ads according to what your campaign needs.
From audience types and location to ad budgets, you can control every little detail that goes into creating a successful SEM campaign.
We know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for businesses – or customers – so of course, the same goes for marketing strategies too. SEM advertising offers you that flexibility with numerous options for campaign targeting, making it very easy to generate quality traffic and increase your revenue.
So why use SEM advertising?
Because it works! The above-mentioned reasons should be enough to convince you how incredible SEM is. It offers the opportunity to get instant results, and conversions, which ultimately means more revenue and a higher ROI.
In addition to help you appear at the top of SERPs, SEM advertising provides you with a lot of flexible options for your campaigns. And it is great for mobile users and local marketing strategies. If you need help in designing successful search ad campaigns for long-term results, give us a call. Let’s convert your website visitors into paying customers today!