Search engine marketing, or SEM, is one of the most effective ways to grow your business in an increasingly competitive marketplace. With millions of businesses out there all vying for the same eyeballs, it’s never been more important to advertise online, and search engine marketing is the most effective way to promote your products and grow your business.
Search Engine Marketing – An Overview
Search engine marketing is the practice of marketing a business using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (or SERPs). Advertisers bid on keywords that users of services such as Google and Bing might enter when looking for certain products or services, which gives the advertiser the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries.
These ads, often known by the term pay-per-click ads, come in a variety of formats. Some are small, text-based ads, whereas others, such as product listing ads (PLAs, also known as Shopping ads) are more visual, product-based advertisements that allow consumers to see important information at-a-glance, such as price and reviews.
Search engine marketing’s greatest strength is that it offers advertisers the opportunity to put their ads in front of motivated customers who are ready to buy at the precise moment they’re ready to make a purchase. No other advertising medium can do this, which is why search engine marketing is so effective and such an amazingly powerful way to grow your business.
Keywords: The Foundation of Search Engine Marketing
Keywords are the foundation of search engine marketing. As users enter keywords (as part of search queries) into search engines to find what they’re looking for, it should come as little surprise that keywords form the basis of search engine marketing as an advertising strategy.
Before you can choose which keywords to use in your search engine marketing campaigns, you need to conduct comprehensive research as part of your keyword management strategy.
First, you need to identify keywords that are relevant to your business and that prospective customers are likely to use when searching for your products and services. One way to accomplish this is by using Web-Site-Apps Free Keyword Tool.
Simply enter a keyword that’s relevant to your business or service, and see related keyword suggestion ideas that can form the basis of various search engine marketing campaigns.
In addition to helping you find keywords you should be bidding on, thorough keyword research can also help you identify negative keywords – search terms that you should exclude from your campaigns. Negative keywords aren’t terms with negative connotations, but rather irrelevant terms that are highly unlikely to result in conversions. For example, if you sell ice cream, you might want to exclude the keyword “ice cream recipes”, as users searching for ice cream recipes are unlikely to be in the market for your product.
Keywords and Account Structure
Another crucial aspect of keywords that is essential for the success of a search engine marketing campaign is account structure.
Logical keyword grouping and account structure can help you achieve higher click-through rates, lower costs-per-click, and generally stronger overall performance, and keyword research can help you think about how to best structure your account.
AdWords and Bing Ads accounts should be structured in the following way for optimal results:
The Search Engine Marketing Ad Auction
One of the most enduring misconceptions about search engine marketing is that whomever has the largest advertising budget wins. Although a larger advertising budget can certainly be advantageous, especially when targeting highly competitive keywords, but it’s far from a requirement for success with search engine marketing. This is because all ads go through a process known as the ad auction before appearing alongside search results. For the purposes of this explanation, we’ll be focusing on the ad auction in Google AdWords.
How the Ad Auction Works
The ad auction process takes place every single time someone enters a search query into Google. To be entered into the ad auction, advertisers identify keywords they want to bid on, and state how much they are willing to spend (per click) to have their ads appear alongside results relating to those keywords. If Google determines that the keywords you have bid on are contained within a user’s search query, your ads are entered into the ad auction.
How Ads ‘Win’ the Ad Auction
Not every single ad will appear on every single search. This is because the ad auction takes a variety of factors into account when determining the placement of ads on the SERP, and because not every keyword has sufficient commercial intent to justify displaying ads next to results. However, the two main factors that Google evaluates as part of the ad auction process are your maximum bid and the Quality Score of your ads.
Maximum bid is the maximum amount you have specified you are willing to pay for a click. Quality Score is a metric based on the overall quality of your advertisement. Google calculates these metrics during the ad auction to determine placement of advertisements. The result of this calculation is known as ad rank.
Succeed at Search Engine Marketing with Web-Site-App
At Web-Site-App, we eat, sleep, and breathe search engine marketing. Whether you’re a newcomer to paid search marketing or a seasoned professional, we want to provide you with everything you need to succeed at search engine marketing.
Our integrated PPC management platform, Web-Site-App Advisor, makes managing your search engine marketing campaigns easy and efficient, leaving you more time to focus on what really matters – growing your business.