Search Engine Marketing | How to Get Started with Paid Marketing

Consumers have the highest purchase intent when searching the internet, with 71% of buyer journeys beginning on search engines. Every time someone searches, advertisers compete for the opportunity to display ads and only the winners appear on the search result page. This process is known as search engine marketing, creating paid advertising campaigns that appear in the search engine results. Despite their similar names, search engine optimization is much different. Search engine optimization is when marketers optimize their website and content to appear on the search results organically or for no additional charge.

Search engine marketing enables advertisers to promote their product as a customer is looking for it. Whereas, in other ads, such as tv commercials or print, you target all consumers, even those who may not be interested in your product. Paid ads offer several ways to promote your products on search engine results pages. With a search engine campaign that is well constructed, you can reach customers looking for a solution to their problem instantly. In addition, advertisers can track their success, control their budget and grow their revenue. So how do you get started? 

The Process

  1. Choose your SEM channel
  2. Estimate a monthly budget
  3. Set up landing pages for where you will send SEM trafficking
  4. Set up conversion tracking to track results
  5. Choose target keywords for the campaign
  6. Create ads & launch a campaign
  7. Track results and optimize consistently

The Top Search Engine in the U.S.

  1. Google ads
  2. Youtube ads
  3. Bing ads
  4. Amazon ads 
  5. Yahoo ads 
  6. Pinterest ads 
  7. Microsoft ads
  8. eBay ads

What should you consider when choosing keywords?

Do some research and know the terms frequently used while searching, as these words are critical to your ad campaign’s success. Relevance to your product or service is most important when choosing keywords. Therefore, start with frequency using terms that are the most searched. If you’re just getting started, look for keywords with less competition. For example, instead of “strawberries in New York,” use more exact words to describe the product, “organic strawberries in Orange County, NY.” Another essential tip is not to use keywords irrelevant to your search because this will hurt your ad metrics in the long run. For example, if someone comes to your site looking for raspberries and you only sell strawberries, they will click off your site. More keywords do not automatically equal effective results. Therefore, don’t add extra keywords or unnecessary variations; this is known as keyword stuffing and is against search engine guidelines.

How can my small business persevere over big companies?

    To decide which ad wins, search engines look at two different factors: 
  1. The bid
  2. The quality

 The bid is the highest amount the advertiser is willing to pay for a click on an ad. If a customer clicks, the advertiser is charged less or equal to the bid but never over. If the ad shows on the page but no one clicks, the advertiser does not receive an invoice. To compete, you need to have a clear picture of your performance compared to others in your industry. Bid average varies industry by industry and is affected by the relevance of the keywords to the company.

Search engines reward ads and keywords with strong relevance to the search, meaning you don’t need to have the highest bid to win the auction. Relevant ads can win a higher spot on the search results page even with a lower advertising budget. Conversely, ads may not be displayed, no matter how high the bid, if it is not relevant. This process is why paid search ads are so highly effective—and yet so competitive.

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