The ever-evolving landscape of Digital Marketing has changed the way businesses conduct their operations and sales. I am sure you'd agree that even if you are looking out to get more exposure for your business and ultimately fetch great ROIs.
Search Engine Marketing is "Easier said than done." The reasons are many - it needs a customized approach. It demands a lot of patience and a proactive approach, and you need a team of experts to analyze your marketing strategies and the most crucial decision-making abilities.
The point is wooing Google or Bing to place you on the top requires some efforts and charm.
These are just the primary factors that would comprehend the success of your Search Engine Marketing efforts. But, a few things are fundamentally imbibed into SEM's roots - strategies that'll always work - the timeless ones.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of Digital Marketing/Internet Marketing strategy used to advertise and promote your website or online business by increasing their visibility on Search Engines (Google and Bing) i.e., SERPs through paid promotions.
There are multiple benefits associated with SEM, which primarily includes:
- Can do Niche-based targeting
- Easy to implement
- You can gain quick results
- Raise Brand awareness
- Target and Reach your Potential Audience easily
- Increase Website Traffic Easily
- Test and Measure your Strategies and Ad Campaigns
Based on our years of experience and expertise, we have compiled 6 Search Engine Marketing Strategies that you should try right away and reap the benefits!
1. Know Your Customers
Customer is God - this is not some cliche line coming from a traditional marketing guy. It is the universal truth that drives the businesses - both online and offline.
Whether it is a product or a service that you are selling, if you pick a wrong audience no matter how good it is, it will be in vain. Most online marketers would directly jump on knowing the products or the services first instead of the audience they are targeting.
When it comes to effective marketing, there are two approaches - product based marketing and customer-based marketing. Product-based marketing is usually the ones that are preferred by retailers, supermarket chains, or say, FMCG companies.
These businesses have an extensive range of products, i.e., the number can run anywhere between a few hundred. Their focus would be to showcase all the products they manufacture and where one could get them. Their marketing focuses on the mass where volumes matter. Offering customized solutions to such a massive audience is not feasible.
On the other hand, when it comes to Search Engine Marketing, the idea is to develop a bond between your customer and your product's value. It would mean targeting their pain areas and providing a solution to their specific needs. It would only work when you have a clear understanding of your "Ideal Buyer."
You have to curate a buyer persona that would include details about interests, where he lives, purchasing patterns and behaviors, browsing devices, which mobile they use, etc. The more information you entail - the better you'd be able to serve them.
2. Play the Content Game Wisely
Pick any successful digital marketer or do a comparative study on why these people stand out or why their Search Engine Marketing Strategy always works. You'll find a typical trail, i.e., Quality Content. Content is the King - a timeless quote, an evergreen strategy.
Research states that "More than 50% of marketers said they would prefer to create more content."
Search Engine determines rank on two significant factors,
- By creating Quality Content
- Publishing on a Consistent-basis
Digital nomads often confuse this with increasing the frequency of content by a mad-level. Posting an in-depth and insightful content 4-5 times a month would boost your SEM rankings rather than ten blogs, which doesn’t educate readers.
Good content can fall in any category from in-depth blogs, white papers, video content, social media posts, or even podcasts. Just make sure what aligns with your target audience’s taste.
One pro-tip to curate quality content - You need to figure out the HOWs (the strategic part) and OUTLINEs of your content (the planning part) before creating them. Ultimately, creating content that you have command over. This way, you’ll also never run out of topics.
One other thing to keep in mind is aligning your content marketing strategies with your business objectives. Say, you are a leading outsourcing platform where you provide remote execution teams on-demand - your focus should be on creating content that talks about the benefits, comparisons, management problems, and Remote Teams' future.
Thus, every message you put out will have the same tone and relevance. Be it writing copies for extended and responsive Google Ads, Facebook/Instagram ads to landing pages. This way, you increase your chances to rank on top when someone searches for hiring Remote Execution Teams.
Try including Long tail keywords in your ad copies, landing pages, blogs, service pages, emailers, and so on.
Using just the standard set of keywords in your content won't suffice as high competition keywords would be challenging to rank. But do not stuff it with keywords.
These are the things that would matter to Search Engines and its marketing - delivering quality and relevance. It would help you build brand authority in the eyes of Search Engines.
3. Creating Spot-on Ad copies
If someone who eats, sleeps, and drinks marketing would know the importance of creating killer ad copies.
If you are someone who fell in love with Cocacola's "Sharing Happiness" campaign or someone who couldn't stop sharing and praising Nike's Video, "You Can't Stop Us" with your buddies - it was the magic of those subtle words and visuals that stole your heart away.
When you are looking to garner some real clicks and a great CTR for your Search Ads, you need to work on creating the most engaging ad copies for your campaigns. Reaching on top of the Search Engines is quite a task, but prompting your target audience to click the ad and landing on your page is one hell of a ride.
Pitching an excellent ad copy would mean showcasing your USPs in subtle yet unique ways possible. Writing enticing and relevant ad copies can help you not only bag some great clients but also help you retain business in the long-run.
Do some competitive analysis before drafting your set of ad copies.
4. Do SEO, the right way
Most business owners are under this notion that doing just a basic SEO of their website is more than enough. But it's not!
Search Engine Optimization tactics are more about a long-term approach and promising results to gain visibility in SERPs. When it comes to doing effective Search Engine Marketing, Digital Marketers often prefer to use multiple channels, tools, and tricks to push it for a holistic outcome.
From developing an extensive range of keyword libraries, doing on-page SEO, optimizing the page load speeds, curating quality content, and essentially tracking your website's SEO performance will not only help you appear in the search results but will sustain the competition as well as algorithm changes. Unlike paid search/SEM, SEO is a time-consuming process, say months to appear on Search Results but is indeed a promising one.
Users are likely to click SEO results more than the SEM results where a small icon which states' Ad' is used explicitly to declare that it is a paid ad. Users tend to trust more on organic results than on paid results, and it is obvious.
5. Define the Decision Journey
Search Engine Marketing is about growth hacking. It means you cannot just stop or feel good when you get better clicks or impressions. It would be best if you looked beyond the clicks, i.e., how many users are landing on your page, spending some time over there, making a decision (try product trial, buy your eBook, buy your digital course, or anything else). Your growth marketing tactics should always revolve around customer's behavior. Because that's the ultimate goal, right?
So, from showing relevant Google Ads, Social Media Ads, or TV commercials - you have to ensure that you understand your target audience well, feed them content into bits and pieces, and spare them the time to decide whether or not to take action.
Remember, don't push your consumer to buy your products and make decisions quickly - it will kill the essence of your relationship with them. And on top of that, you'll seem desperate, and they might lose interest in you.
Research from Bing experts states five distinct traits that run in every online customer.
Initial Search - Customers will do a background check of the product you are selling through various online platforms, primarily Search Engines.
Smart Research - Today's consumers are smart buyers. Even if they're making their first or fifth purchase, they'll explore buying guides to ensure they don't miss out on a golden opportunity.
Compare Products - They'll explore at least a handful of services or products where factors like ratings, reviews, price, and features influence them.
Final Call - Of course, that's how they'll be able to decide whether to buy your product or theirs. Meanwhile, they'll also check for any offers or discounts or even explore local stores to make the final call.
Feedback - Once they make a purchase, they'll share their valuable feedback, reach out for maintenance-related queries, or even buy additional products.
6. Use multiple channels
You might feel confused about why I suggest approaching your customers using multiple channels to strengthen your Search Marketing efforts. The thing is when you kickstart your Search campaigns; you are actually on a journey of exploring where your customers are, what they are searching for, and how they are doing so. Search Engine Marketing might sound more of Google Display Ads or Bing Ads, but there's much more to it.
Say, a person searching for the best sneakers might also end up at influencers or official accounts of company's selling the best sneakers on Instagram or even Facebook.
Combining the organic search techniques with paid search efforts can boost your efforts and increase your business profitability. There are multiple ways to achieve them, including Search and TV commercials, Social Media Ads, Paid Search Engine Ads on Google and Bing, and so on.
It is believed that customers who end up clicking on paid search or social media ads are most likely to buy your product. So, try to expand your ad budget, curate a customized bidding strategy, and get more impressions, clicks, and sales.
TV commercials might sound costly to you, but imagine the volume and reach for your customer base. A study by Bing Ads says that the Superbowl - one of the most significant commercial events, has helped brands increase their search volumes massively. Search ads combined with TV ads can push passive viewers to active searchers of your products.
Also, when you run both Search and Display ads simultaneously, you can see the spike in impression by 45%, thereby increasing the conversion rates by as much as 52%.
Down the line, there are numerous tried and tested methodologies for Search Engine Marketing. But it differs from business to business and goals to goals. A business objective for a growing start-up might be to generate more business and drive more clients. Similarly, for a digital agency, the intent to do SEM might be brand positioning and brand awareness. And consecutively for a B2C or say FMCG, outreaching end consumers to get more sales.
You’ll always be in the quest to do Search Engine Marketing the right way, but let me tell you there are no predefined sets of rules or theories. Unless you start doing it, you won’t figure out what’s working for you and what’s not. All you can count on is following the basics say playing the A-game with keywords, writing relevant and creative ad copies, getting your SEO in place, and last but not the least - keeping a close eye on your campaign’s performance. The more you track, the more you have a chance to optimize and increase your reach, sales, and profitability.
Search Engine Marketing is not a one-shot thing, and it is going to take time and patience of yours. Suppose you stick around to the basics and execute them accordingly. In that case, you will witness significant results because no business could grow unless and until their digital marketing strategy is on track. Gone are the days when conventional marketing to outreach your audience helped reap sales. Customers of today are smart, and they'll find you and reach you through multiple channels. All you need to do is find out which one works out the best and is aligned with your business.