Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising.
SEM is composed of two main components: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA).
SEO is the process of optimizing a website to increase its rank on the SERPs for certain targeted keywords. The main aim of SEO is to improve the visibility and organic search results of a website to attract more visitors from online searches.
SEA, on the other hand, refers to the paid placement of ads on the SERPs. The main aim of SEA is to increase the visibility of a website by paying for ads that appear on the SERPs.
The goal of SEM is to increase the visibility and traffic of a website to generate more leads and revenue. To achieve this, businesses need to follow certain best practices. In this article, we will discuss 10 ways businesses can improve their SEM strategies.
SEM Practice #1: Optimize Website Content
One of the most important aspects of SEM is optimizing website content. This means that businesses need to ensure that their websites are optimized for both search engines and users. The first step in doing this is to identify the target keywords that you want your website to rank for. Once you have identified the target keywords, you need to include them in the title, meta tags, header tags, and body of your website content.
In addition to including the target keywords, you also need to make sure that your website content is informative, well-written, and relevant to the products or services that you offer.
SEM Practice #2: Use the Correct Keywords
Another important aspect of SEM is using the correct keywords. This means that businesses need to target the right keywords to improve their visibility on the SERPs. The first step in doing this is to identify the needs of your target audience. Once you have identified the needs of your target audience, you need to research and find the keywords that they are searching for.
After you have identified the target keywords, you need to include them in your website content, meta tags, and title tags. In addition to this, you also need to use them in your SEA campaigns.
There are several tools you can use to find the right keywords for your campaign, but some of the most popular ones are Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends. And even if you know to use the tool, keep in mind these tips:
1. Gather long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific and tend to have less competition than short-tail keywords. They usually consist of three or more words.
2. Use a mixture of broad and narrow keywords: Broad keywords are general terms that are more likely to be used by people who are just beginning their search. Narrow keywords, on the other hand, are more specific and tend to be used by people who have a better idea of what they are looking for.
3. Use keyword variants: Keyword variants are different forms of a keyword. For instance, the keyword “dog” can have the following variants: “dogs,” “doggie,” and “puppy.”
4. Use negative keywords: Negative keywords are those terms that you do not want your ad to show up for. For instance, if you are a pet store that sells dogs, you would not want your ad to show up for the keyword “cat.”
5. Target local keywords: If your business is targeting a local audience, then you need to include local keywords in your campaigns. For instance, if you are a pizzeria in New York City, you would want to include the keyword “pizza New York City” in your campaigns.
Remember that high competition keywords are not necessarily bad. They can be quite beneficial as they tend to have a high search volume. However, you need to make sure that you are using them correctly to avoid wasting your money on ads that no one will ever see.
SEM Practice #3: Develop a Strong Social Media Presence
Another important aspect of SEM is developing a strong social media presence. This means that businesses need to have an active presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The first step in doing this is to create social media accounts for your business. Once you have created the social media accounts, you need to populate them with relevant and engaging content. In addition to this, you also need to interact with your followers regularly.
There are some tricks you can use to improve your social media presence, such as using hashtags, sharing informative and interesting content, and using engaging visuals. However, the most important thing is to be active on social media and to interact with your followers regularly.
SEM Practice #4: Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Optimizing a website for mobile seems like obvious advice in 2022, but some companies still don’t do it. This means that their website is not accessible to mobile users, which can hurt their SEM efforts.
Think about it – If your website is not accessible to mobile users, they will likely leave your site and go to a competitor’s site that is optimized for mobile. In addition to this, Google is now penalizing websites that are not optimized for mobile. This means that if your website is not optimized for mobile, it will likely rank lower in the search results.
So, if you want to improve your SEM efforts, you need to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile. This means that your website should be responsive and should load quickly on mobile devices.
SEM Practice #5: Use Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are a great way to improve your SEM efforts as they can help you improve your click-through rate (CTR). Ad extensions are essentially additional information that you can add to your ad, such as your phone number, address, website URL, etc.
Adding ad extensions to your ad can be beneficial as it can help you provide more information to potential customers. In addition to this, ad extensions can also help you improve your CTR, which can lead to more traffic and conversions. To add these extensions, simply go to your Google Ads account and click on the “Ad Extensions” tab. From there, you can add the extensions that you want to your ad.
SEM Practice #6: Use Targeted Landing Pages
Targeted landing pages are pages that are specifically designed for a certain campaign or ad. For instance, if you are running a campaign for a new product, you would want to create a landing page that is specifically designed for that product. The goal of creating a targeted landing page is to improve your conversion rate as it can help you provide a more relevant and targeted experience for potential customers.
To create a targeted landing page, you need to first identify the goal of the page. Once you have done this, you need to design the page so that it is relevant to the campaign or ad. In addition to this, you also need to make sure that the page is easy to navigate and contains a clear call-to-action (CTA).
A targeted landing page is like a diamond in the rough; it is well worth the effort to create one as it can be a powerful tool in your SEM efforts.
SEM Practice #7: Bid on Competitor’s Keywords
Bidding on competitors’ keywords is a great way to improve your SEM efforts as it can help you get more traffic to your website. When you bid on a competitor’s keywords, your ad will appear in the search results when someone searches for that keyword.
For example, let’s say that you sell shoes and you bid on the keyword “Nike shoes.” When someone searches for “Nike shoes,” your ad will appear in the search results. Bidding on competitors’ keywords can be beneficial as it can help you get more traffic to your website. In addition to this, it can also help you build brand awareness as potential customers will see your ad when they search for your competitor’s product.
SEM Practice #8: Use Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are a great way to improve your SEM efforts as they can help you filter out irrelevant traffic. Negative keywords are essentially keywords that you don’t want your ad to show up for.
For example, let’s say that you sell shoes and you add the negative keyword “free.” This means that your ad will not show up when someone searches for “free shoes.” Adding negative keywords to your campaign can be beneficial as it can help you filter out irrelevant traffic and save money.
To add negative keywords to your campaign, simply go to your Google Ads account and click on the “Keywords” tab. From there, you can add the negative keywords that you want to your campaign.
SEM Practice #9: Use Sitelinks
Sitelinks are a great way to improve your SEM efforts as they can help you improve your CTR. Sitelinks are essentially additional links that you can add to your ad. These links can be used to link to specific pages on your website, such as your product page, your contact page, etc.
Adding site links to your ad can be beneficial as it can help you provide more information to potential customers. In addition to this, sitelinks can also help you improve your CTR, which can lead to more traffic and conversions. To add site links to your ad, simply go to the “Ad Extensions” tab in your AdWords account and click on “Sitelinks.” From there, you can add the site links that you want to appear on your ad.
SEM Practice #10: Test, Test, Test!
The only way to know what works and what doesn’t work is to test. When it comes to SEM, you need to constantly test different things to see what works best for your business. This could include testing different ad copy, testing different keywords, testing different landing pages, etc.
The best way to test is to create a control group and a test group. The control group is the group that you do not change anything for. The test group is the group where you make changes. Once you have made the changes, you can then compare the results of the two groups to see what works best.
However if you are following these, there is no need to worry about not improving your SEM. These are just some of the ways that you can improve your Search Engine Marketing efforts. If you implement these tips, you should see a significant improvement in your traffic, leads, and conversions.
While it might seem overwhelming, SEM is a necessary part of doing business online. By following these top 10 tips, businesses can increase their web traffic, leads, and revenue. These tips include optimizing website content, using the correct keywords, developing a strong social media presence, and more! So what are you waiting for? Start implementing these tips today and see how your business grows!
If you need help getting started, 12 Channels can assist you with all your digital marketing needs! Contact us today to learn more.