Search Engine Marketing (SEM): What It Is & Reasons to Invest In It
Article by Gladys Tan and Vivian Yeong
Graphics Design by Jericho Ramos
We understand the excitement of building a new website. A dazzling design. Check. Calls-to-action in the right place. Check. However, it goes live and website visits are low. These visits don’t come automatically – you need Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM helps to advertise your website, making it more visible to your target audience.
This article will explain what exactly is SEM, why you should invest in SEM and how to incorporate SEM seamlessly into your business marketing plan.
Search Engine Marketing — An Overview
Search Engine Marketing or SEM, also known as pay-per-click advertising, is paying to increase your website’s visibility on Google search and Google Display Network. The ads will come in 2 forms: search ads and display ads.
Search ads ensure your website shows up on the first page of the search results. Getting there organically is incredibly hard, especially in a competitive industry. Hence, paid search advertising is a more efficient way of occupying that coveted space on the first page.
Display ads refer to banner ads you often see across different websites. These ads have high visibility as they appear when people are browsing online, watching YouTube videos, checking their emails, or even while playing mobile games. The Google Display Network reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide, across millions of websites including news pages and blogs, and Google platforms like Gmail and YouTube.
7 Reasons You Need to Invest in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) For Your Website
1. Search Engine Marketing is fast and easy to set up
As compared to other forms of marketing such as physical ads, ads on radio or TV, which can take months to go live, the simplest search ads can take just minutes to create.
2. You get immediate results from SEM
The approval process for ads typically takes one day before they appear on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Once your ads are launched, it’s highly likely that clicks and sales will increase tremendously. Compared to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – a long-term strategy of generating web traffic, Search Engine Marketing has the potential to deliver immediate results.
3. SEM ads are highly target-oriented
Search ads only appear to customers who are searching for the relevant service or product. With a purchase intent, conversion rates can increase after people have seen the ads. Same goes for display ads – these ads remind customers what they have seen recently and retarget them, pushing them to convert into paying customers.
4. SEM is one of the most affordable marketing methods
Traditional ads on radio and TV can amount to thousands of dollars, excluding booking fees. Conversely, an effective SEM campaign can cost only hundreds of dollars, allowing you to compete with big players on the same platform.
5. You can see clear measurable results with SEM
When you advertise through Search Engine Marketing, you know exactly how many conversions your budget has produced. Other marketing channels such as billboards don’t show the exact outreach of the product or service advertised. SEM has powerful reporting tools that display your traffic sources, conversion rate, ROI and other important metrics that can better inform your future decisions.
6. SEM allows you to easily scale up and/or down
Traditional ads on TV or radio are bound by contractual terms which you can’t just change on a whim. On the other hand, you can simply turn off your campaign before going on a holiday and restart it later. In addition, you can even set your ads to reach overseas markets as and when you feel that your business is ready. It will be a massive amount of work and money if you were to run TV or Radio ads in another country, but for Search Engine Marketing, all it takes is the tweaking of a few settings on Google Ads.
7. No minimum fees required
Unlike traditional advertising channels that charge a minimum fee, you get charged only when someone clicks your ad. Google does not set a minimum spend on your ad budget, so you’re free to set a budget that you’re comfortable with – even if that means as low as $5 per day. The best part? You benefit from getting thousands of impressions for free, even if your click rate is low.
How can I use SEM in my marketing plan?
To integrate SEM into your marketing strategy, first plan out a 3-month budget which includes the cost of advertising, a good design for your website and copywriting. You will see an increase in sales revenue at the end of 3 months due to the increased visibility of your site that brings in new customers. With the revenue earned in these 3 months, you can continue to invest in SEM for the next 3 months and repeat the cycle.
A successful SEM campaign will see continuous growth in your revenue, providing a bigger budget for larger SEM efforts. It allows you to remain at the top of your game, beating aggressive competitors for the same advertising spots and executing business expansion plans such as new product launches or targeting new markets.
For Verz, we started off with only $700 for a 1-month SEM campaign, but with the revenue earned from successful ad conversions, we have since scaled up our SEM campaign size.
It’s a common misconception among companies, especially start-ups, that they can pause SEM efforts after they have ranked high for SEO. While that might work in the short-term, the search engine’s dynamic algorithmic movement might push your ranking lower the next month. The most effective way to maintain high website visibility is to have a long-term marketing strategy involving both SEM and SEO to always have the upper hand in search rankings.
Succeed at Search Engine Marketing with Verz Design
Setting up a Google Ads account and creating a live ad may seem easy to do by yourself. Yet, it takes time, expertise and experience to deliver successful campaigns to make your investment worthwhile. An ad campaign requires regular monitoring and adjustments due to aggressive competition.
If that sounds like a tough and difficult process, we assure you, it is, which is why we highly encourage you to get a professional on board to help you.
As a trusted Google Partner, Verz Design definitely has the expertise and experience in this. Get in touch by calling us at 6841 1680 or drop an email to [email protected] for a free consultation today!