Effective search engine marketing (SEM or Search PPC) relies on a strong strategic approach and creative execution through relevant copywriting and visuals for not only the ads themselves, but the destination pages as well. Great search ads address the pain points and common needs of your customers by promoting relevant solutions for their search to earn their traffic.
What it stands for: Search Engine Marketing.
What it means: bidding for top placements on search engine results for relevant keywords and key phrases related to your products or services. These placements are typically the top three spots in the search results, top spot in the map cluster, inclusion in google shopping, as well as the last three spots at the end of the search results.
Another more generalized term for this type of digital advertising is “pay-per-click advertising,” which is a term that can also be shared with social media marketing. Pay-per-click advertising is exactly what it sounds like. As your search ads are clicked, you pay a bid cost related to the competitive volume of the keyword as well as the quality of your ad and destination page.
Organic SEO remains the best long-term strategy and return on investment for digital marketing, accounting for around 53% of a typical website’s traffic, but growth using organic optimization tactics takes some time to ramp up and gain traction.
SEM (pay-per-click advertising) is a targeted approach to gaining short-term traffic that’s pre-qualified. When a modest budget is paired with SEO, these services perfectly complement each other and typically make up 68% of a website’s combined overall traffic according to Search Engine Journal.
Let’s talk more about the “pre-qualified” nature of search engine marketing. Unlike SEO, in which a website may rank for “soft-sell” complimentary terms that are easier to rank for than their more direct high-volume keyword cousins (i.e. “fresh chocolate 3-layer cake” vs. “cake”), SEM allows you to bid into a top search result for highly competitive keywords for a cost. In doing so, you are driving more qualified traffic that is likely further in their buying journey than someone simply interested in a related article or topic.
Here’s what most agencies, especially bargain bulk plan selling agencies, get wrong about PPC advertising and search engine marketing (SEM) in general: they treat it like you can set it and forget it. There also tends to be a rushed approach that doesn’t factor in any true marketing strategy for relevant and cost-efficient audience targeting. This is their profit model, not yours.
There are a number of performance AND cost inefficiencies related to a rushed, scattershot approach to SEM. Keyword planning, audience segmentation, bid strategy, and quality score each affect the literal cost of the click. If those strategic insights are not established prior to launching an ad campaign, then your ad dollars are being thrown away.
Further, what is often overlooked is that with a bit of creativity and a whole lot of testing and effort, you can continuously improve your PPC performance over time, minimizing upfront cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impressions while delivering your ads to qualified leads that are ready to convert. Conversion percentage is the only metric that matters, not impressions, clicks, or even cost-per-click.
The secret to all of this is that it’s only worth embarking down this journey of pay-per-click advertising if the destination for the ad can actually convert the traffic that is being sent to it. Without a value-based message, inspiring visuals, motivating content, and a clear call-to-action all the traffic in the world won’t make a difference to actually growing your business’ revenue.
One of the most common scenarios our digital marketing team faces when taking over a client's sem campaign(s) is having to reign in broad targeting and improve efficiencies in bid spending to boost conversions. By utilizing a variety of manual configurations within Google Ads, we're able to narrow the targeting, improve the relevancy of keywords, and optimize bidding to result in more relevant traffic and a higher conversion rate.
This saves our clients money by increasing high quality conversions (e.g. purchases, phone calls, email clicks, and form submissions) without having to increase their ad spend. From there, any increase in ad spend will be money better spent boosting an optimized campaign.
Highly relevant click-through-rate (CTR) growth, affordable cost-per-click (CPC) savings, and increased conversion rates are what we do for our clients. Match this with in-depth reporting and you are armed with not only an efficient advertising strategy, but also the knowledge to pivot or capitalize on the success.
We start with strategy and research. The overall success of any search engine marketing campaign depends heavily on the up front work put into optimized keyword research, demographic targeting, regional targeting, and campaign creative that speaks to the audience resulting in the only result worth anything to a business… conversions.
Your PPC campaign starts with thorough keyword research which identifies which queries will be most valuable for your business. This research includes a mix of low-hanging fruit, moderately competitive and highly-desirable keywords to ensure that you maintain a steady revenue stream as we ramp up our efforts.
If you’ve ever paid attention to the paid ads on Google search, then you know firsthand that most of them are exactly the same. Your competition has found what works moderately well, set a static bid and let the ad run.
When everyone else is doing the same thing, that means we have the opportunity to excel. This is where your differentiated positioning shines in the market. We’ll design effective ads with your positioned messaging and differentiated claims that stand out, attract clicks and are so hyper-relevant to the searcher’s needs that it minimizes your upfront cost-per-click. And then we’ll test these ads against each other to continuously improve them.
As you may know, the cost for a click with a PPC ad is decided in real time. Advertisers “bid” in a simultaneous virtual auction that takes into account everything from your budget to the relevance of your ad to the quality of your landing page. We manage your bids to ensure that you stay within your budget while getting effective placements. We also continuously improve your ads and landing pages to drive your costs down and conversions up.
As we’ve mentioned, more important than clicks or impressions is conversions. Our team at Luminus writes and designs spectacular, sharply targeted landing pages that speak directly to your customers’ needs in a concise, effective manner that boosts your conversions over time.
Conversion rate optimization is the practice of analyzing user behavior and then continuously testing and tweaking your web presence to maximize your conversions. Our talented digital creative team can assess, design, and write updates to pages that work to improve user metrics such as bounce rate, time on page, and conversions themselves.
We think it’s vital that you understand everything that’s happening with your PPC search engine marketing campaign. Our reporting doesn’t just list clicks, impressions and conversions: we break down what works, what doesn’t and where your budget is being spent every single month so that you’re empowered to make intelligent decisions on the future of your campaign. Beyond the statistics, we include actual summaries of what is happening with each aspect of your campaigns in a way that actually makes sense to you, the client including our recommendations moving forward.
Whether it’s your first time jumping into digital marketing or you’re taking another crack at it now that you’re more prepared, there’s still a lot to be considered to ensure your initiatives are successful. Strategizing …Read More
An optimized landing page design is an incredibly valuable tool in the inbound marketing and sales toolbox. Unfortunately, it’s all too common to see website pages that are labeled as “landing pages” underperforming. It leaves …Read More
From the outside looking in, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can appear complicated and mystical in nature. However, there are a few high-level SEM performance metrics that, with a little understanding, tell a much simpler story …Read More
If you want measurable SEM results that drive high-quality leads for your business, give us a call at (716) 332-1640 x2 or email us using the form below!