When it comes to the end-goal of marketing online, there’s not much of a difference from the end-goal of its offline counterpart. Both types of marketing have the same desired outcome: to target the appropriate market. Unlike traditional marketing, however, online marketing eradicates the need for brochures, magazines, mail, or even TV ads. And thanks to the amazing intelligence of modern search engine algorithms, potential consumers can find your business, and learn more with a single click.
Through search engine marketing (SEM), businesses have the advantage of reaching out directly to their precise market, in a quicker and easier fashion than ever available before. SEM or PPC marketing is uniquely effective in this regard, if done correctly. On the converse, SEM can be extremely frustrating and ineffective if not done correctly.
Ultimately, SEM is not just about marketing and random keywords, it’s speaking to your EXACT audience, and being the answer to what they are searching for, in the right moment. Here are some SEM/PPC fundamentals:
Understanding the Nitty-Gritty of SEM
There’s no such thing as a singular definition for keyword popularity; the most commonly used metrics, however, lie in the cost-per-click and monthly search volume. The former (otherwise known as CPC), as the name implies, is the cost that search engines pay per click on regular advertising models. The latter, on the other hand, refers to the number of times online users search for a particular keyword on specific search engines.
Unfortunately, not all keywords will work for you; some will bring customers, others will not. The best keywords are not always the ones with the highest search volume. When it comes to SEM success, it’s all about conversion rates and balanced search volumes.
Nailing down the right keyword mix is essential -- especially if you want to see those PPC ads ranking highly, for a cost per click that allows you to see a solid ROI.
SEO/ SEM: A Good Fit for your Business
For many years now, search engines like Google have been one of the top focal channels for businesses of all sizes, shapes, and colors to market their services and products online. It truly doesn’t matter if you’re a big box retailer, or a small service-based business with a small town as your service area -- if you want to grow your brand, on-line presence building through SEO, SEM, and other important channels is integral to your success.
Afterall, you can have the glossiest website in the world, but without an audience, and the right audience, that flashy site will simply not benefit your business in any tangible way. But the opposite is also true – glossy website plus lots of targeted traffic, for your exact target audience, and success can come fast.
Many business owners make the onerous decision to just attempt to handle SEM/PPC themselves. They find out quickly the frustration that brings, not to mention that damage to their business bank account balance! If you do decide to “go it alone”, as they say, your best best is to cap your daily budgets at a very small level, and watch spend like a hawk. Unfortunately, the catch 22 here is that you need your campaigns to be sufficiently funded in order to have a chance at success. In other words, if you are not an SEM expert, and are a business owner wanting to dip your toes in, it’s critical that you keep your budgets low to avoid burning through your hard-earned marketing funds, while you mess around with campaigns. At the same time, by having your budget so low, your campaign will be underfunded, and therefore highly unlikely to find any success.
So what’s the moral of the story? Do not “go it alone”! Your best bet, if you decide to make the all-important investment in your business growth that is SEM/PPC, is to hire an expert agency to bring all of their experience to bear, to ensure your campaign is a winning one.
Best of luck in all things SEM!